The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip…

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.

Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume (via faultlinejournal)


Weird is good, I say. And this spring, we’re going full-tilt weird (at least botanically speaking). On April 19, we’re throwing open the doors on a brand new art exhibition that embodies the stranger side of plants. Through a partnership with the American Society of Botanical ArtistsWeird, Wild, & Wonderful showcases the results of a challenge made to a global community of painters, illustrators, and more: look beyond the simple flower.

The result is both visceral and beautiful. Head through for more info on this bizarrely enticing exhibition. —MN

(Contributing artists, clockwise from top left: Ann S. Hoffenberg, Akiko Enokido, Nancy Gehrig, and Asuka Hishiki)