Beets originated in the Mediterranean area and were brought to the Americas with colonization by the Europeans. The related sugar beet is grown for the high sugar content of the roots, which can be 20%. The vegetable beet, known as table beets, has about 6% sugar in their roots.
Beets grow well in cool climates, and are grown in higher elevations in Costa Rica. Beets are an important vegetable in Costa Rica and are found in most markets. It is a common ingredient in picadillo. Picadillo simply means chopped vegetables and comes in all types of sizes and flavors. It is one plate that characterizes Costa Rican food.
There is one dish called picadillo de hoja de remolacha which uses beet leaves.
For information on production and management of beets, refer to the New England Vegetable Management Guide and click on "beet and swiss chard".
There are many seed sources for beets.