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Sunday, 16 October 2011

Credit Crunch Carrots

In a mad moment we decided to dig up all our carrots yesterday.

In true Rosie style - stable door and horse bolted style - I Googled 'How to Store Carrots' after having dug up the entire crop.

Yes, I know, we always get everything wrong. And digging up the entire crop wasn't the first gardening sin we'd committed. For a start we didn't bother with thinning except when we wanted a few carrots for dinner - when instead of weeding out the weediest ones we picked the biggest. Well, if you want to eat them, then why not pick the biggest?

First sin, don't thin.

So, for my second sin, what did Google tell me about how to store my carrots? That's right! The best way to store carrots is in the ground. Ah well! Too late for that.

I continued my Googing and was pleased to learn from the World Carrot Museum - did you even dream there'd be such a thing? - that carrots will actually increase their vitamin A content during the first five months of storage. Yay! A glimmer of hope.

I decided that since I couldn't exactly plant my carrots again I ought to try to find them the next best thing, so I found two old bread crates someone had kindly left behind after a party (you see it sometimes pays to never throw anything away!)and filled them with a layer of soil from my vegetable garden. Then I sorted through my carrots and picked only the perfect ones, laying them in neat rows on the layer of soil. I then covered them over and started a new layer. My crop from one packet of seeds, which has kept us going through the summer already, amounted to an entire wheelbarrow full which turned into three layers of perfect carrots in each crate and a large number of 'rejects'.

Hopefully this way we'll get to eat more than the mice and slugs will!

The rejects have now been scrubbed and cut up into chunks (taking out any bad bits) and I'm making them into soup - one batch for now and one for the freezer. The only slight problem is, I've eaten so many carrots while I chopped I'm worried I might be tinged with orange. Oh well, better than fake tan!

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