Look at this.
Just take a look at THIS!!
I finally have CARROTS!! BIG CARROTS!
Oh, how I’ve tried and tried for carrots.
Remember my very first carrot harvest back in 2009? The entire harvest fit in a bowl. With room to spare.
And last year’s 2010 carrot harvest. A little better. Enough to fill a plate.
But this year… THIS year… I filled the table!
Progress, people! Progress.
For the past two years I’ve planted Scarlet Nantes carrots. Small and sweet, but not much to them. This year I planted the Tendersweet variety. And I’m in love.
What a great harvest this was! Although… now I’m kinda wishing I’d left them in the ground. I hate it when I get too antsy and get ahead of myself!
I couldn’t help it though! I pulled up one carrot just to see how they were doing, and was so excited at how big it was, before I knew it, I’d pulled up every single carrot in the bed! With help from the kids of course, who were just as thrilled as I was at the bounty we were uncovering!
We filled a laundry basket with these guys. (While Xia sat on the ground in front of a tray of tomatoes I’d just picked, and took a bite out of each one while she waited. Which was way too cute.)
And now I have a kitchen table covered with carrots. And I’m leaving town in two days. Gotta figure out what to do with them.
See, I was thinking that since the tops of the carrots were turning brown that I’d better get them up before they started to get a bitter flavor. I don’t know why I had this idea, I don’t even know if that happens or not, but it seems like I’ve heard that somewhere.
But after consulting my books, it seems that leaving them in the ground would have been the best thing to do, as long as we don’t have a really wet season.
From what I’ve read, there are two good ways to preserve a fresh carrot harvest:
1. Leave them in the ground through the winter. Just snip the tops off, and cover the rows with hay or leaves to prevent freezing (unless it’s a wet winter). If you live where there are really cold, deep freezing winters, cover the rows with whole hay bales, then cover those with plastic.
Too bad I’ve already pulled them up.
2. If the season is turning out to be a very wet one, it’s best to pull the carrots up. You can then store them, unwashed, in a box or bucket of sand. Just stick them in there, and pull them back up again as needed. Store this in a root cellar or cool, dry place.
You think they’d mind if we bring home a few buckets of sand from the beach when we go there this weekend? I need sand.
In the meantime, I’ve cut the tops off of the carrots, wiped the dirt away, wrapped them in paper towels and stuffed them into a ziploc bag to sit in the fridge until we return. They should stay fresh like that for a couple of weeks.
I might play with them a little too. I’ve already canned carrots, but I’ve never dehydrated any. I think I’ll try that.
Isn’t this great though?! Carrots. I finally have carrots!
So, what do you do with your homegrown carrots? How do you keep them fresh? Do you leave them in the ground, or store them a different way?
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.