being down to my last rotting beet

Irelia20150604

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone. I don't understand the phase of the sentence "I was also deep in a narrative about being down to my last rotting beet"... What does it mean? :(

the context is as follows:
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One morning I stood like a garden ornament among my plants trying to laser-kill mildew with just a look. I was also deep in a narrative about being down to my last rotting beet and the wife had just made our last thin gruel with a cabbage leaf and the little ones were hungry in our sod hut on the windswept prairie, when a jogger stopped and asked me if everything was all right.
===
source: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/06/11/my-perennial-dilemma/
 
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