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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How Did You Get Those Carrots?

When I posted a picture of the first carrots of the year to Facebook this weekend, it sparked a conversation with a friend about how I got carrots this early, and most specifically, how I got these to overwinter.  The truth is, my garden seems to be finishing some unfinished business it started last year.

Last Fourth of July, I planted carrots in one of my raised beds alongside my leeks, hoping to get a late fall crop out of them.  Unfortunately, by the time late fall came around, they had done almost nothing.  The carrots were little and wispy, almost like they had started growing and then stopped (which they probably had, given the stupid weather we had last year).

Well, I'll be darned if I was going to pull them up or lose them to a freeze, so Mr. FC&G, bless his heart and his junk pile, built the stupidest-looking cold frame ever out of old doors and the base of an old bed.  Take a look:  http://fastcheapandgood.blogspot.com/2011/10/how-much-does-garden-grow-leeks-and.html

As I mentioned at the time, thank heavens we have an opaque fence surrounding the backyard microfarm, or the neighbors would think we are more insane than they already do.  That was one ugly sucker, but I'll tell you this:  it worked.  I harvested leeks all winter long, and in February, I threw some leek seeds in there that are growing right now.  And about March, my carrots started to grow again.

What you see above is a quarter pound of some of the best carrots we have grown in years.  They are basically full-length (a triumph in clay soil, even in a raised bed), and they were ever-so-sweet.  We grated them up and had them as carrot salad with some fresh dill, right alongside a nice stew for my meat-eating husband.  He earned it, given his ingenuity with a pile of junk.
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