Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mission: Possible -- Carrots

My carrots have been growing for a while now.  The tops are lush, large, and bright green.  So what about the tasty bottoms?  I finally unearthed a few this morning to check on the crunchy roots and voila!  Vibrant orange roots that actually look and taste like carrots!  Nice and sweet.  I'm pretty happy with the results because this is my first stab at growing them. 

A fistful of orange and yellow carrots!
The roots were hairier than I would've imagined, and some of them were less than straight.  If the roots meet any resistance when growing (rocks, debris, etc.) they tend to bend and twist.  Sure, they don't look like your average grocery store carrots, but that's exactly the point!  I'm not looking for average grocery store carrots.  Harvesting was also simple.  The smaller carrots were removed by pulling straight up from the base of the greens.  For longer carrots, I found it helpful to push down on the tops of the roots and then pull up from the base of the greens.  Easy.

I rinsed them off and brought them inside.  I trimmed some of the wayward root tips.  I also cut the greens to within an inch of the roots to prevent transpiration of moisture.  If you don't cut the greens, the carrots will get dry and shrivel in a relatively short amount of time.

Trimmed the tops for better storage in the fridge.
This last picure is a close-up of the surface of a few carrots.  Note the vibrant color, smooth surface texture, and tiny hair-like roots.  I've got an entire 4' x 8' bed loaded with many different varieties of carrots, and it will be a joy to harvest them into the winter.  Can't wait to eat them and grow more next year.

Just need a rinse, peeling optional.  These babies are a sweet and healthy snack.


Veggie PAK said...

Your carrots are GREAT! I tried for three years to grow carrots without any luck. Various types, various times, it just didn't make a difference. They never grew over 2 inches tall. This year, I resorted to growing them in a container and it seems to be working. You should be very proud of your carrot crop. I know more than a handful of people that tried to grow carrots without success. Good job! Can't wait to see the rest!

.09 Acres said...

I think a few things really made a difference. First, the raised beds were critical because they provided extra depth for the carrot roots. Second, I also deeply dug the soil beneath the raised beds before I built them. Third, a thick layer of compost and root-nurturing organic fertilizers helped. I didn't want to add too much nitrogen for fear of only growing lush green tops. I'm glad to hear your carrots are working out in a container. I think the depth of your container is probably helping your carrots grow healthy roots.

I'm glad to see your harvests are still plentiful this late into November. Your herbs look great!