Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Carrots

Spring Planted, Winter Picked, Carrots

Well, not actually Winter carrots, but Spring planted carrots that I left in the ground until now. I had been meaning to dig up the carrots for awhile now and finally got out there to do it yesterday when I was out there "heeling in" my new blueberry and raspberry starts. (A story for another day.)

They keep well in the ground through the winter months and continue to grow and mature. Unfortunately though, starting in late Fall they start to flower and go to seed, so those carrots that go to seed start using up all of their taste and nutrition to supply the seeds with nutrients for the next generation. Those carrots may become very fibrous and not good to eat. The carrots you see in the photo above were the ones that did not produce seeds, so these should be fine for use in soups and stews. They won't be as tender and delicious as new baby carrots are, but they will still be good eating.

Just look at the huge specimen on the far right of the photo! Wowee! That one is short and very fat. These are Nantes carrots and I did leave them in the ground a little too long. They are not at their best when they grow that big. I give the chopped up carrot greens to my chickens. They are delighted with a nice green salad treat in the middle of winter.

I think I may turn these carrots into carrot soup. Seasoned with ginger. Good hot soup full of beta carotene to ward off winter colds. Now I must find my recipe for that...

© Copyright 2009 Mountain Harvest Basket


Farmgirl_dk: said...

Wow, that big daddy on the right is quite a show off! How cool that you were able to dig these up now, almost a year after planting! Why do you suppose these didn't go to seed when the rest of their pals did? raspberries and exciting! I need to go out today and prune my raspberry canes back - the snow we had in December did quite a number on them. It's not pretty out there right now!

Barefoot Potter said...

We (Knit Witch and I) may have to pick your brain for some garden pointers! This years garden should be a lot more productive than last years.

frugalmom said...

Oh my goodness...just thinking of fresh berries makes me yearn for summer.

Farmer Jen said...

Hi Danni,
I think that maybe the cold weather arrived earlier than these carrots expected and that cut off the flowering and seeding process. So most of the carrots did not have their chance to produce seeds. Good for me. No babies for them. Yes, February is fruit tree and cane pruning month for me too, but we just got a bunch of snow dumped on us last night, so I won't be doing that today anyway.

Hi Barefoot Potter,
Thanks for commenting on my blog. Are you the former "Wheat" that I have met before?

There are lots of good garden blogs out there for you to peruse. Thanks for flattering me by suggesting that I have garden expertise! I'll share what knowledge I have, if any.

Hi Marcee,
Yeah, me too. I covered my berry starts with a cardboard box when the snow started last night and uncovered them this morning so they could get some sun. They are not really planted yet, just temporarily "heeled in" to the ground to keep them alive until I can plant them, so I am a bit overprotective of them in this cold weather. We are expecting more storms and snow tonight. 33 degrees out there on my porch at about 9am this morning.

Hardware Bob said...

Jeeze all these avid followers, I am at a loss for words. What can I say differently other than I actually saw those magnificent carrots and the heeling in process up close in person.

Heeling in, a term I definitely was not familiar with. And, it isn't all that mysterious now that I know one just buries the roots gently into the dirt sideways. I await eagerly for your future posting to explain it all.

You do have the gardener's touch. Some of that spicy carrot soup sounds really good.♥

Zitrone said...

Winter carrots! I can't believe it. We have a nice crop of fall/winter spinach despite the crappy weather we've had. However, regardless of what we've done to the soil, we've never been able to grow carrots worth looking at. I'll try again this year, though!

Knit Witch said...

Sounds great!!!!

Oh and Barefooth Potter is my hubby. Don't think he ever went by "Wheat"!

Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

I have tried to grow carrots and have not been successful. This year I plan to try again. I added more compost to the soil this fall. I think in the past the soil has not been loose enough.Thanks for sharing.


Farmer Jen said...

Hi Bob,
Yes, you saw my freshly picked carrots soaking the dirt off in a bucket of water. I cleaned them up and removed the greens, but still haven't made that soup. Too busy lately to cook much.

Hi Zitrone,
Spinach sounds wonderful! Many people tell me that they have difficulty growing carrots. I grow mine in a raised bed planter box with soil amended with homemade compost. It seems to do the trick.

Hi KnitWitch,
Yes, I got your hubby confused with another blogger's hubby. My mistake. Great to have both of you visit my blog and leaving comments.

Hi Elizabeth,
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. Your soil preparation plan sounds like it will work well for you. I bet you grow some great carrots this season.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

heheh! And you got those little orange gems pulled up just in time before your big snow, too.

Enjoy your yummy carrot soup :)


Farmer Jen said...

Hi Lisa,
I still haven't had a chance to make that carrot soup. Been too busy. Luckily carrots last for a long time in the fridge.