For it seems that as unlikely and unexpected as it is, our mechanical maestro is almost as passionate about conjuring up the kind of smouldering rhythms and wonky deepness that make his latest 4-tracker for Truesoul so infectious, as he is about... wait for it.... growing vegetables! Indeed, Mr. Robot was so inspired by his green-fingered exploits that he named the 'Purple Shoots' track on the EP after his experience cultivating beetroot. Tempted by such deliciously intriguing facts, we had to find out more. So, for your information and entertainment here is Reset Robot's (slightly alternative) guide to growing beetroot....
1. The first part of the process is the most important. Just like most things in life, if you don't take care to ensure that you start as you mean to go on then you risk everything including the future health of your beetroot crop. As boring, self-righteous people like to say, 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail'... so the very best beetroot growers will begin by potting your beetroot seeds in shallow trays of good quality soil. Ideally you would make sure your seeds are planted by the middle of Spring. To do so, poke the end of your pointiest finger gently in to the soil, place two seeds in the hole and cover it over with more soil. It really is that simple. Anyone with a finger, some soil and a bag of seeds can start growing food!
2. With a decent start to life secured for your seeds, the next most important thing to remember is to keep the soil good and moist. The best advise I can offer here is 'little and often' - so make sure you remember to keep and eye on the condition of the soil during the crucial first few days, especially if the weather is particularly dry. A little water every day will do the trick but don't over do it... baby beetroot seeds are delicate things. No matter how much love and affection you show towards your seeds, or how favorable the weather conditions turn out to be, or how freakishly fertile you have managed to make your soil; you will drown the crop with too much water. So remember kids.... always take it slow with the H2O!
3. If you have managed to successfully negotiate steps 1 and 2 then you should start to see your beetroot seeds sprouting after a few weeks. When the plants are about 2cm tall, assess how numerous your sprouting beetroot are and consider 'thinning out' the crop if you have got a particularly plentiful number of plants sprouting. Now be warned, this process can get emotional but it is time to man-up and make some tough choices for the greater good of your beetroot crop. Take a deep breath and pluck out the plants that look a bit weaker than the others so you have nice neat rows of sprouts with plenty of room for them to flourish and grow. Don't beat yourself up. Mother Earth will forgive you.
4. So now you have picked your strongest plants and gotten over the regrettable demise of the ones that didn't make it, you should turn your attention to preparing your beetroot for life in the big wide world outside. This is where your young beetroot plants get the chance to take a bit of a breather from the busy work of photosynthesizing and growing. Instead, their future prospects will almost completely rely on the hard work you put in for them. Now is the time to get up close and personal with your garden by taking some time to prepare the ground you will plant them in so that it is weed-free, fertilized ground with any large stones removed before moving the plants outside.
|NB: this is NOT Reset Robot|
5. It is around about now that everything becomes extremely nerve racking as you wait for the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor to show. As stressful as this waiting game may become, reassure yourself with the knowledge that natures wonders are going on deep under the ground and try to resist the temptation to press your ear to the soil - I have discovered from bitter experience that the faint beat of a beetroot heart is inaudible to the human ear. All that is left to do is cross your fingers and say some prayers, but if that gets boring, keep yourself amused by ensuring the soil remains weed-free through-out the growing period and keep the beetroot well watered. Finally, if you see a slug or snail nearby, ask them firmly but politely to vacate the area. They are bad news.
6. Should you manage to keep your fingers crossed for about 3 or 4 months and you are lucky enough to have your prayers answers and the slugs and snails in your garden can understand your native dialect, then you can look forward to becoming the proud parent of a bountiful crop of decent sized beetroot. It really is up to you when you choose to harvest them. Pick them earlier if you are in the mood for teeny weeny baby-beets or leave them in the ground a while longer if you really want to impress your family and friends with some super-sized bad boy beetroot. One last important tip... to make harvesting your beetroot even more fun you could try doing it naked or when wearing a cravat.
7. Once you have harvested your beetroot the rewards of your hard work come think and fast. The very first thing you must do is excitedly show off the bulbous beauty of your crimson crop to anyone who is prepared to listen. These are your creations and you need to tell the world of the wondrous journey they have endured from seed to saucepan. However, if no one will listen to you and the circle of friends you have enjoyed for so many years begins to shrink, the next best thing to do is wash the mud off your beetroot and get them cooked. Personally, I like to roast my beetroot in the oven with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper!
We trust you have enjoyed this horticultural diversion from the content usually found on the Drumcode blog. Normal service might resume next month when we will be staring into the darkness of deep space to tune in to the higher frequencies of Patrick Siech & Gustav Söllscher as they unveil their 'The Watch Receiver' EP on Truesoul before coming back down to earth with a thump, thump, thump to speak to Alan Fitzpatrick ahead of his forthcoming Drumcode release and ask why he is currently seeing 'Life Through Different Eyes'.