Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Carrot Harvest

The carrots had to come out.  I plant my carrots in a raised bed each year and after having made my garden plan for next season, I realized the bed in which the carrots were this year is the designated garlic bed for next year.  And, of course, up here in the north land, garlic needs to be planted in the fall.

I try to get the garlic in by October 15th (how'm I doin'?), so the carrots had to come out, out, out.

Apparently growing conditions weren't perfect for our root crops this year.  I knew this about the carrots because of a few I'd already snitched and because very few crowns were showing above the soil.  Same with our beets which are still in the ground.  I've never grown beets with such small tops or beets so down right puny.

Anyway, the carrots grown were mainly my old favorites Scarlet Nantes.  For fun and experimentation this year, I planted one row of Deep Purple and one row of Dragon.  These are two "richly pigmented" carrots which supposedly contain more health benefits than other, regular carrots.


The four foot row of Dragon yielded only 3-3/4 pounds.  The outer skin is dark as noted in the picture, but the main part looks orange like any other carrot.  We have tasted them.  The flavor?  Meh.  Not sweet at all, but that may change in storage.


Wow, now here's a dark colored carrot!  Plus, they are dark all the way through.  We haven't taste tested them yet, but they produced the nicest looking (biggest, anyway) carrot I grew.  Got 6 pounds from the one four foot long row.


Then there is our main crop of Scarlet Nantes.  (Don't they look like a bunch of misshapen hot dogs?)  Very disappoint in size this year.  Most of them are of a good length, but very thin.  Why?  Dunno.


We're used to regularly getting carrots that are at least the size of the three with the pencil over them.  Haven't tasted these yet either.  I got 17 pounds from 24 feet of them.

I guesstimate we consume one pound of carrots a week so my total poundage of approximately 26 pounds should last about six months.  Six months of very skinny carrots.  And we'll be glad to have them!

32 comments:

Sue said...

It was a good year for carrots here.
I tried the Dragon ones a few years back, but was not impressed. I keep growing the Mokums--they are by far the "sweetest" and this year they are VERY impressive. Still leaving a patch out there for a bit. Sorry you had to move yours. But gosh, ya can't be without GARLIC!!! Yum!

hoosier girl said...

Ack! It's time to plant the garlic, already!

Michelle said...

The Scarlet Nantes are my favorites as well, but mine didn't germinate AT.ALL.

Kristina said...

Wow! We got zero. Not sure why either. It could be where we planted, with that and the drought. Yours looks great!!

Katie C. said...

This was our first year for our community garden plot. We planted carrots but too close together. Now we know. How do you store your carrots?

Dawn McHugh said...

I dont grow much carrots but those I did were alright nothing to write home about, I love those dark ones they look great

Susan said...

Ditto on the zero harvest here, too. I'll be up to filch some of your skinny carrots....

Laurie said...

I didn't plant any carrots, but my beets were a fail. I never got one bigger than maybe a half inch or so in diameter.

Mama Pea said...

Sue - I don't think I'll try Dragon again, that's for sure. Hope the Deep Purple have a good flavor. I may have to try your Mokums. Sweet carrots are a good thing!

Mama Pea said...

hoosier girl - Yes, ma'am, it is! I still don't have mine in . . . but I'm getting close now. :o}

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I've heard of many people who have trouble getting carrots to germinate. At least I don't have that problem. Do you think you could have planted those little seeds too deeply?

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - I think carrots do like a steady supply of water, so that could well have been your problem. Darn. :o{

Mama Pea said...

Katie - I use the garden hose to spray off most of the dirt, cut off the tops leaving about 1/2" of stem, put them all together in a 5 gallon "pickle pail," cover with a damp towel and store in the root cellar. Our root cellar stays right around 35 degrees all winter. I've also had really good luck putting a bunch in a plastic bag with holes poked into it and storing in a spare refridge.

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - I put carrots in several of my stews and soups and some casseroles, but mostly we eat them raw.

Mama Pea said...

Susan - I've truly never seen such skinny ones. They're long like they should be, but very thin. Wish I knew why that happened this year. If you were nearby, I'd share!

Mama Pea said...

Laurie - Now that is strange. Is your weather too warm for beets?

Vera said...

What a good harvest of carrots! And what good planning you did. Lessons for me to learn I think!

odiie said...

Don't you love color in your veggies? I like to grow the variety pack of colors for fun. The Danvers turned out the best this year. I planted them in July and they are the sweetest carrots from the garden this year. Still have to finish digging them. First have to get the cellar cleaned out. Sequences. Enjoy the sunshine today.
Odiie

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

So much fun stopping over here and seeing your colorful carrots and your blog - I signed up as your newest follower too. Please come by and visit when you have a chance...Carrie @ Cottage Cozy

M.J. N. said...

Mama Pea, We grew Nantes, Danvers Half long and Tendersweet this year. All did great. But I live in the desert so, go figure on why one does better than the other. The tendersweet proved to be the sweetest early on, but with a freeze, the others are coming on in sweetness and flavor. All grew to be big in size. We will winter them over under straw. Can't you do that too? Our winter lows in Dec. go below 0* for a few weeks and the carrots do well. Jan. and Feb. are well below freezing as well. Can you mulch heavily with straw to avoid digging them up and having to store them? We have had carrots keep into May of the following year this way. Just wondering...

gld said...

I don't do carrots here. They are never sweet for some reason. Yours are lovely.

Fiona said...

Germination fail here and we tried several purple types. My favorite is Danvers Half long. The produce auction had good carrots but there a lot of the farmers there who commented on thinner than normal. They felt it was the wet we had early on.

Mama Pea said...

Vera - As I say, these carrots truly weren't as nice as I usually get . . . but at least we've got carrots! Eager to see how the flavor changes (if any) in storage.

Mama Pea said...

odiie - Isn't it strange (sometimes frustrating?) how we find one thing needs to be done before another? I've never planted carrots as late as July. Hmmmm, might have to test try that!

Sunshine? You have sunshine? Well, no wonder we don't have any. You have it all!! ;o}

Mama Pea said...

Hi, Carrie! Thanks for commenting and nice words.

Mama Pea said...

M.J.N. - Thanks for commenting. I've tried leaving carrots in the ground over winter covered with about a foot of mulch and a sheet of styrofoam insulation over that. They turned to orange mush! But our ground freezes up to 5' down so that poses a real problem. I do wish we could just leave them in the ground and dig them when necessary. That would be much easier!

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - I'm always surprised to hear a lot of folks have trouble growing good carrots. Mine normally come out much, much nicer than this year.

Mama Pea said...

Fiona - We had lots of moisture this growing season so maybe that really did cause my carrots to be so thin. It's always a challenge when gardening, isn't it? I've grown Danvers Half Long in the past and liked them, too.

Leigh said...

That is a fantastic harvest! Very exciting to see all those carrots. I usually plant mine in fall, but the ground is so hard and dry that it would be like trying to plant in rock. LOL

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Leigh, but I do wish they weren't so skinny! Your drought has really put the kabosh on your fall/winter planting. What a shame!

Rain said...

I love those dark carrots, I've never tasted them though. I've seen the purple ones at the market but for some reason, they are crazy expensive. Funny, I just made a carrot cake tonight, I wonder about using the dark carrots for that, if it would alter the taste. Lovely harvest, lucky gal! :)

Mama Pea said...

Rain - I suppose they're more expensive to purchase because they are not grown as much? I have to admit we still haven't tasted the Deep Purple variety that is dark all the way through. (Don't know what we're waiting for . . . just too much going on, I guess.)