Monday, June 2, 2014

The Last 20 Pounds of Carrots

Last Thursday we finally cleared out the bed of carrots which we'd experimentally overwintered--that would be one year and two months after we planted those little, tiny carrot seeds in the bed to begin with.  I'm so pleased with how it all played out.  We've still got nearly 20 pound in the fridge and we've been eating our homegrown carrots since the start of August!  We actually didn't clear out the bed completely, but left a couple feet of carrots to go to flower so that we could collect the seed later this summer.
The soil was pretty muddy for harvesting, but we had the time and we need the space for out hot weather crops which are just about ready to be transplanted, at last, into the soil outdoors.  We've been hardening them off in their pots for the past couple weeks.
That new garden sink is going to prove a very valuable creation.
The vast majority of the carrots were still pretty much perfect--crisp, sweet, smooth, firm.  But, a number of the carrots had liquefied by this May harvest.  And I mean liquefied.  We've learned from this experiment that it would likely be best to harvest the overwintered carrots as soon as the insects start coming out in the spring.  Between the bugs, high moisture, and drastic changes in temperature from the spring weather these last 20 pounds came along with a good number of rather horrifying liquid carrots.  It was interesting, for sure, and quite disgusting looking.  It didn't smell the best either, to be honest.  So, we will overwinter carrots again in coming seasons, but we will harvest the last bit earlier next time.  Live and learn.  That is the way it goes in the world of growing things.
I'll have to ask Matt to tabulate the grand total of carrots based on our harvest notes.  I'd be curious to know.  It seemed like a sort of absurd number of carrots, frankly.  I'm a little over them, in fact, having eaten so many over the winter.  We put carrots in pretty much everything.  Last week I made a stir-fry without carrots and felt a small cheer in my heart.  I'm ready for summer veggies.  And now we have room to put in the peppers!  Huzzah!

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