Garden Science: Wood-Fired Beets

Wood-Fired Beets


In this 7th grade science lesson, students harvest, prepare and eat beets cooked in the wood-fired oven while reflecting on their second rotation in the garden.


After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify the edible parts of the beet plant
  • Harvest beets
  • Handle post-harvest crops with guidance 


During this lesson, students will:

  • Recognize that all parts of the beet plant are edible
  • Harvest beets correctly
  • Slice, season, cook and eat harvested beets


  • Visual aid

Ingredients for the Wood-Fired Beets

  • Beets with their greens
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

For the Wood-Fired Beets Station

  • Two tables
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Water pitchers
  • Tablecloths
  • Knives
  • Cutting boards
  • Tongs
  • Metal mixing bowls
  • Spatula
  • Serving spoons
  • Sheet pan
  • Hot mitts
  • Firewood
  • Bucket of soapy water (for hand washing)
  • Towels
  • Wood-fired oven

Before You Begin

  • Create the visual aid
  • Collect all the materials
  • Light a fire in the oven
  • Create the wood-fired beets station by setting up the cooking tools on a table close to the oven and setting another table nearby for eating


At the Opening Circle

  1. Welcome students and introduce wood-fired beets as a delicious way to prepare, cook and eat beets that were harvested from the garden in a previous class.
  2. Ask students to raise their hands if they have tasted beets. Ask students to keep their hands up if they like beets.
  3. Divide the class into groups for garden jobs. Rotate each group through the wood-fired beets station during garden work time.

At the Wood-Fired Beets Station

  1. Have students wash their hands and observe the heat radiating from the fire before standing at the table in front of a cutting board.
  2. At the table, hold up a beet with its greens and explain that the entire plant is edible.
  3. Demonstrate cutting the beets so that each slice is the same width, this helps them cook evenly.
  4. Pass out knives and beets to each student and have students cut the beets into ¼ inch slices.
  5. Have students season the beets with olive oil and salt in a large mixing bowl and then spread the beets onto a baking sheet.
  6. Put the beets into the wood-fired oven.
  7. While the beets are cooking, prepare the beet leaves by tearing the leaves into bite-size pieces. Add the leaves to the beets when the beets are almost done cooking.
  8. While the beets and leaves finish cooking, read and discuss the visual aid.
  9. When the beets are ready, distribute napkins, water, beets and greens to students at the table.
  10. When they have finished eating, guide the group to the beet bed to harvest and wash beets for the next group.

At the Closing Circle

  1. Repeat the opening circle survey and ask students to raise their hands if they have tasted beets. Ask students to keep their hands up if they like beets.
  2. Acknowledge any changes in opinion about beets. 
  3. Play Roses and Thorns. Each student names a “rose” (a highlight) and a “thorn” (a challenge) from their 2nd rotation in the Garden.

Download: Wood-Fired Beets Visual Aid

Download: Wood Fired Beets Oven

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