Dear Dirt,

I enjoyed the story about your giant 7-pound Lutz beet. A friend gave us several from his garden. The beets were so big, only one would fit in my 6-quart pressure cooker. My mother-in-law said they couldn't be any good, but I pressure cooked it whole, and it was one of the best beets I've ever eaten.

Linda Shupp

Thomas, W.Va.

Dear Dirt,

A 7-pound beet? Boy, could I make a huge pot of borscht!

Celia Erdman


Dear Dirt,

Are you serious? Do we really get to see you and this bizarre vegetable? I can't wait. Please send a picture of you and your beet!

Marie Erickson

Braddock Heights

Dear Dirt,

We'd like a picture of the giant beet to save for our children and grandchildren.

Jacqueline Mulberin


Alas, the beet met a tragic end. It was destroyed by Katydid, our vegetarian dog. We found Katydid gnawing on the raw beet like a bone. Next year, I'm putting a fence around the darn thing. The beet, I mean.

Dear Dirt,

Your column on terrariums reminded me of one of my own. One day, while checking the plants, I noticed something moving. Lo and behold, it was a tiny field cricket! I kept the little critter in the terrarium all winter, by feeding it flies. Next spring, I released the cricket to its natural surroundings.

What fun it was, watching the little creature that winter.

Rita Hoffman

Birdsboro, Pa.

Would that everyone treated God's creatures so kindly. But you weren't very nice to the flies.

Dear Dirt,

Help! I need a sure-fire way to pickle my peppers, so that they taste like the ones you can buy at the supermarket.

Jeff Adam

Reading, Pa.

Let me get this straight -- you want your pickled peppers to taste like store-bought?

Dear Dirt,

DTC Please advise me on how to remove relentless, unkillable mimosa trees. They've been cut down as far as possible for the last four years. And still they live!

Linda Merritt

Reading, Pa.

You're just scratching the surface. It's time to get to the root of your problem.

Dear Dirt,

Several years ago, I decided the wisteria tree in the back yard had to go before it took over the house. It took me all summer to cut, chop and saw the tree down. Finally, I dug up the refrigerator-sized root with a crowbar. At the bottom of the hole was an antique glass bottle, intact! I couldn't believe my eyes!

I display the bottle in the kitchen, where I like to tell people how I got it, except no one really cares.

Irene Meaney

Avon, Mass.

A larger bottle collection would impress your friends. Keep digging.

Dear Dirt,

This year I planted Jerusalem artichokes, just for fun. They did great but nobody seems to have much of a palate for them except a horse across the road named Topsy. I like to hear her crunch the artichokes. She will not eat them if they are cooked.

Ramona K. McGuire

Grants Pass, Ore.

Hope Topsy has the courtesy to return the favor. What goes in must come out.

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