Lubricus terrestris and Beta vulgaris

We lifted beetroot for most of this afternoon. Having tried a number of mechanical harvesting methods we resorted once again to harvesting by hand. To do this we kneel within the rows of plants, lifting each beetroot by hand, snapping off the shoots and transferring first to a bucket and then to a net.

The unexpected pleasure that this brought was the observation of very high populations of earth worms and earth worm activity under and around the beets.  We might not have seen this from a higher vantage point in a tractor or harvester.  The beets were growing in a beautifully structured, worm worked, soil comprising high levels of worm casts and juvenile worms.  It was an amazing sight and little wonder given their symbiotic annelid friends that the beetroots have done so well.