Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Down n Dirty with the Carrots

So in a previous post I said all we had going on with the garden at this time of year was broccoli.

This post will prove I was lying....

I totally forgot about the carrots.  Which is what you're supposed to do! 

If you leave a root vegetable in the ground for a few frosts, they turn sweeter.
We discovered this when we grew parnsips in previous years. 
For whatever reason, the parsnips didn't even come up this year!

Carrots are nutritionally awesome.  The website says "The power and goodness of carrots - Carrots have many important vitamins and minerals. They are rich in antioxidants Beta Carotene, Alpha Carotene, Phytochemicals and Glutathione, Calcium and Potassium, and vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, which are also considered antioxidants, protecting as well as nourishing the skin. They contain a form of calcium easily absorbed by the body. Finally they also contain Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorous. and Sulphur - better than a wonder drug!!"

We asked the boys to come help out with the digging up of the carrots last weekend.

It turned into quite the adventure!

As soon as big brother Noah got digging...Owen was jumping right in. 
He kept yelling, "Get me a shovel!"

Big brother Noah gave Owen instruction on how to properly pull out a carrot without grabbing up only the greens and leaving the rest of the root in the ground.  The sound of surprise in Owen's voice when he produced his first carrot was hilarious.

Turns out we produced some monster carrots this year!

Owen was compulsive...non-stop carrots pulling...

For about 10 minutes...which is a long time for him actually.

Noah kept on working for a few hours, pulling up carrot after carrot.
Each time he thought he had unearthed the biggest carrot of the year...the next one would be even bigger!

This was our total end of season haul.  Orange and purple carrots!
Some of the carrots turned out bigger than my head!!!
Keep in mind that we had already dug up half of the total planting.  We haven't bought store carrots in over two months...

We brushed off the excess dirt and broke the greens off of the top. 

We will keep them this winter in buckets, labelled, filled with moist peat.
Unlike potatoes, root veggies need moisture to stay fresh all winter.

This is something I've only read about.  Its our first year storing food without the use of hydro electricity!

We have a makeshift root cellar in our basement.  The onions kept well down there last year, in wire baskets.  We don't currently have a temperature gauge in the cellar...but that may be something I'll invest in this year.

I'll be doing future posts on root they are my new-found obsession!  Storing food without using electricity is amazing to me.  The concept has been around for ages...but for whatever reason root cellars have fallen out of fashion.  I am to bring new awareness of it.  Anyone who owns their own house can do it!

Keep an eye out for a root cellar tutorial...

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