Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Last Of My Carrots

Since we have started our little semi-homesteading adventure carrots have been a bitter-sweet vegetable to serve for any meal.  Mostly because they are super small, I mean really small.  This past year we grew a bunch for ourselves and the years before that we were collecting all the leftover, unwanted, Charlie Brown Christmas Tree-type carrots.  These things are an incredible pain in the butt to wash and cut (peeling will often leave you without a carrot at all, so that's out).  But it's food, and it's food that is grown by us organically, so it's a labor of love, I guess.

This past year we grew some Jaune du Doubs and some Danvers we had ordered from Fedco.  At first we just broadcast the seeds so we could thin them out.  I found that to be really unruly.  It seemed that if you pulled them out too soon it left the others all freaked out, and if you waited too long the leaves got tangled in one another and you pull out more than you intended.  My husband said we should be using scissors like they do in the Square Foot Gardener.  That sort of makes me feel like a lunatic, and however comfortable that feeling is to me, I do try to keep it at a daily minimum of 2-3 hours a day.  So, for the fall run I compromised, I sowed the seeds in neat rows two inches apart and figured, at the very least, when I thinned them by snipping off the tops between my fingernails it would be a little easier to manage.  That was half true, the other half of that truth is that I got distracted and didn't thin them, really.  I also didn't dig them up until the ground accidentally froze around them (pesky, sneaky frost) and I found myself fully dressed in my nicer clothes and new clogs jamming a pointed shovel into the frozen earth pulling up icy chunks of earth with embedded crystallized-looking yellow carrots within. This would have been a great picture, by the way, but I was too busy beating myself up for being a lazy, forgetful wanna-be homesteader with no clue what she was doing to think to ask someone to come over and take a photo.  **Update: I got over it.  It's all part of learing the rhythmn and balancing act.  And the carrots were fine also. 

A friend of mine was admiring the long, thick carrots of another woman, and shared with her my carrot lamentations.  She said that it took her quite a while to get a good carrot and her trick is to glue the seeds with a flour and water mixture one inch apart on a strip of toilet paper and plant that! Genius! I am now really looking forward to trying the carrot adventure again.  This lady is a genius of many many talents, and you can check her out here and here, AND here by the way.

To see what became of those last precious carrots go here.

1 comment:

  1. It took us along time go get good carrots...It helps to have very loose and sandy soil plus some kind of organic fertilizer or compost tea. This year for us was the year of the carrot and we got nice big long ones, after years of small ones..FYI I dont bother peeling the little ones, just wash them, cookem and eatem!