Add a Little Type A To Your Carrots
I walk out into my overgrown dead garden and the sky is almost dark at 5:30 pm. There is still dinner to be made. What could I possibly gather in this desolate space for dinner. Out among the brown foliage I see beautiful waving green tops …. CARROTS.
I will be honest, I struggled for several years learning how to grow a good sized carrot. Before moving to my homestead a couple of years ago, I grew either raised bed gardens or container gardens. I had wonderful success with things like lettuce, radishes, squash, tomatoes, and peppers. I tried every year to grow carrots, but when I dug them up they were tiny, even when the tops looked lucious and green. They were frequently twisted together and apart from me snacking on them in the garden they had no value to our family table. Because of limited space in raised beds my “philosophy” was always sow thick and plant tight. Some plants can thrive and survive in tight spaces but carrots need a little room to grow.
Surprisingly the pandemic was a great garden year for me. My type A husband joined in my gardening, for the first time in our 20 plus years of marriage.. When your type A husband joins in, you know what that means ?? Straighter rows, planned out plots, and fewer weeds. So actually, for the first time, I was not just throwing carrot seeds to the wind, saying, “If you grow, you grow” I actually took the time and thinned out my planting and planned a row of carrots. With my type A husband looking over my shoulder, I placed the seeds about one to two inches apart, which is actually closer than the package says. The result of a little planning and a little restraint is a beautiful crop of fat carrots. My family enjoyed a wonderful year of cole slaw with carrots, stir fry carrots, and several other yummy carrot options.
Here is the thing that makes carrots one of my favorite homesteading crops – you can enjoy them almost year round in your garden. Of course in some extreme climates, where you have a deep, deep ground freeze this might not be the case. But here in Kentucky and most of the United States you can over- winter carrots. I usually plant several short rows in the fall and enjoy carrots for months afterwards. I have even dug carrots in the snow. So when almost nothing else is edible in my garden, I can usually find some carrots.
Coming soon: A super easy, any night of the week, carrot recipe. Also including a surprise bonus recipe, here is a clue: Scott Thompson
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