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Organic Knowledgebase and Glossary

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BSE Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
A degenerative neurological disease affecting cattle.
Beans Seed after danger of frost is past; inoculating seeds with nitrogen- fixing bacteria may increase yields on land newly planted with beans.
Beetroot Beetroot is a colourful, sweet root vegetable. It's often pickled and added to salads.
It can also be fried, baked in its skin, hollowed out and stuffed with a savoury filling, or used to make borscht, the traditional Russian and Polish soup.
When you're cooking fresh beetroot, leave the skin on and then peel it off when it's cooked. You can also eat the leaves.
Biodiversity Biodiversity is the variety of living things on earth, from the smallest insect to the largest mammal and tree. It encompasses the variation within a species and the complex ecosystems or habitats where they are found.
Birds Birds, insects and other creatures devour garden pests such as aphids, mealy bugs and whiteflies.
Broad Bean One of the oldest of cultivated vegetables having been grown in Britain for centuries, it is an annual with stiff quadrangular, hollow stems.
The large seeds are white or green, according to variety.
Broad beans are grown on almost any soil and while they like moisture, avoid badly drained ground liable to become waterlogged in winter and that which dries out in early summer.
Broccoli There are two types of broccoli, heading and sprouting. Most garden broccoli is of the heading type which is closely related to cauliflower and forms a large central head.
The heads of broccoli are really flower buds. These must be harvested before the flowers open or show yellow. Mature heads measure three to six inches across. Lateral heads that develop later are smaller.
Brussel Sprouts Brussels sprouts are grown for harvest in the autumn or winter because cool weather during maturity is essential for good flavour and quality.
Brussels sprouts are tall (sometimes 2 to 3 feet) erect biennials that are grown as annuals. The sprouts develop in the leaf axils and mature along the stalk.
The lowest sprouts mature first and should be harvested when firm, l 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Lowest leaves may be removed to permit sprouts to mature.

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