August 7, 2013

Fresh From the Garden : Carrots

Carrots. We've had our good years. And our not-so good.
This year is looking good! 

The optimum growth temperature for carrots is between 61 and 70 °F - which we've had a lot of lately.
Our trouble is often our soil, which is by nature heavy in clay.  (Carrots prefer loose, sandy soil.)  Some years our carrots just can't work their way downward in it.  Then they fork or peter out.  We've spent many years amending our garden with compost, and it has helped.  But this year we tried a new garden area altogether for the carrots - which is more like a raised bed, built with dirt we brought in a year or two ago (at the same time we were creating our strawberry patch.)  We put carrots & potatoes in here, as neither of them have been doing well in the main garden in recent years.  It seems to be working!

Carrots are loaded with antioxidants & nutrients.  Vitamin A (great for the eyes!), beta-caotene, vitimin C, K, E, B6, B1, & B2, to name a few.   They're very beneficial little veggies.

The fresher, more locally grown they are, they sweeter, tastier, and crispy-crunchier.  Six year old Beau picks a handful every day & eats them with quite an enthusiastic Ogre like chomp and "Nom, Nom, Nom, Nom!!"   He loves them.  

Did you know that carrot tops should be cut off before storing in the refrigerator?  They will cause the carrots to wilt prematurely as they pull moisture from the roots. 

We give those tops to the chickenistas, who are doing well.   (We're still waiting patiently for that first golden egg to appear..  they're young yet.)   

A bit of an oldie here..  Lilly, five years ago with a fresh carrot out of the garden.   That must've been a good carrot year before our garden took a decline & we eventually had our soil tested..  which is another story - but a good thing to have done!  

Carrots are a great late season / cool weather crop.  I don't think we've ever had the patience to wait for it, but it's said that they're sweeter if left in the ground until a good frost or two.   
I might put a few more rows in now & see what happens.  

What's pickin' in your part of the world right now?      

Little Things Thursday
Rurality Blog Hop

22 comments:

  1. Carrots ... yummy! Glad you got a spot to work for growing them. If nothing else your pictures are beautiful.

    I have 11 old hens. Like 3-4 years old. I get 10-11 eggs every other day and 5-7 eggs on the off days. So, I can not complain at all.

    I NEED to clean the coop and think about pullets. I keep reminding the Hubby I WANT help cleaning the coop. For some reason my project takes a back seat to his projects.

    Let us know when you start getting new eggs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's awesome, Robyn! Do you guys keep up with eating all those eggs?
      We've been getting fresh eggs from my sister - the same one who gave us these pullets - for the past year or so. So good to have fresh eggs!

      Delete
  2. Great photos ~ delish carrots and little girls is so precious and cute ~ thanks, carol xo

    ReplyDelete
  3. we have rather sandy soil here, but i'd probably have to put them in the ground in feb. to keep that kind of temp. :) LOVE fresh carrots!! my dogs and horses do, too!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Next year, carrots! And red cabbage as well as lots of beets. I harvested all my beets and steamed the greens and boiled the beets. They were wonderful! We still have some left in the fridge, but they will all be gone before tomorrow. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. OMGosh...I sooooo need a cute little girl to photograph (carrot or not!). What a cutie!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amanda, you have such beautiful children! I haven't grown carrots since i was two or three and that is eons ago. Yours look delicious. In garden veg I have broad beans about a foot high and my snow pear have poked their heads above the ground. I still find enough small, fresh potatoes as I weed to augment my dinner and after the good rains we have been having, there are two, about 4 year old, ruby chard plants that have survived and are providing me with delicious new leaves for salad and side dish. My soil is too saline for legumes except the broad beans and a sparse crop of snow peas, and too sandy and non-wetting for a lot of other things but somehow there is always something there to snack on.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mmmm ... I can almost taste them! Home grown tastes so much better than the supermarket variety.

    ReplyDelete
  8. OMGoodness...that pic of Lilly is too precious. What a sweet memory!

    Enjoy your beautiful harvest!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love carrots but have never been successful in growing them where we live. I think it gets too hot in the summer and my soil is not right for them. Lovely photos, BTW.

    ReplyDelete
  10. We tried carrots last year - we bought the seeds already spaced out on a strip of paper - just bury the paper and off you go - except nothing happened - not a single carrot! Will try something different this year.

    Nice pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  11. The photo of Lilly is GORGEOUS! The chickens are pretty cute too. I didn't know about taking the tops off, shall do so from now on..in our part of the world we are getting melons, zucchinis, eggplant, artichokes, tomatoes none of this comes from our garden though as we don't have a veggie garden and our ancient white peach tree died last year ;-(.

    ReplyDelete
  12. We planted carrots this year for the first time. I know next to nothing when it comes to gardening, so thank you for this post! I've been meaning to look up when to harvest, but hadn't got around to it. I think I will let them grow a bit longer. It's been hot here, so I am curious to see how they turn out!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Have never eaten one straight from the garden....beautiful picture of a beautiful girl.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your photos are beautiful and such clarity...adore your daughters little toenail pedicure.

    ReplyDelete
  15. These glimpses of natural living are so wonderful! We've been hit or miss with so many of our crops this year. Tomatoes did wonderfully as did our basil. Everything else was a flop.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Your photos are beautiful and such clarity...adore your daughters little toenail pedicure.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Your carrots look beautiful! I haven't tried growing them yet, but maybe I'll try one of these days :) I had read somewhere about cutting off the tops before storing them, so I'll be sure to do that if I get fresh carrots.

    We're pickin cucumbers and tomatoes right now! :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. mmm...makes me want to bake a cake...or put together a carrot and raisin salad...or munch a bit in the garden...

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your carrots look deliciously crisp and sweet, the shot of (your daughter??) is simply precious! Thanks for sharing on RBH this week!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Your carrots look perfect! I need to keep working on my soil! Thanks for stopping by! Sarah from Sarah C Photography

    ReplyDelete