The final harvest of our 2015 plantings turned out to be much larger than we expected.
The end of one thing always means the beginning of another. In this case it’s the end of reaping the rewards of our 2015 plantings. These carrots are the last thing for us to harvest and eat that we planted in 2015 and we must harvest them to make way our next plantings.
The soil needs to be prepared and seed needs to be laid so that we can get yet another crop of lettuce, carrots and peas – our favorite offerings that we can begin growing in our climate at the start of the 2nd week in February. A time where it is cold and a frost is surely to occur but all real danger of a deep freeze that would kill these plants has passed.
Harvesting the Bounty
To perform this harvest we brought it the best carrot picking crew you can find – our 5 children.
What makes harvesting carrots actually FUN is that they are a root crop. You actually WANT to go pull the carrot up just to see what was hidden underground. Is it that picture-perfect cone shaped carrot? A stubby little thumb-looking thing? Some crazy beast with a half dozen ‘legs’? You just don’t know until you pull!
In all we took 19.4 Pounds of carrots into the house!
Long-Term Ground Storage
We left these carrots in the ground throughout winter. One thing that really impressed me about this is how few of our carrots spoiled. You can see it in the video – very few came out soft and they were still perfectly edible for the rabbits – so no real loss at all!
And here’s a little secret – everybody just KNOWS that rabbits love carrots, right? Well, in our experience what they REALLY love are the greens. In our experience they’ll eat those carrot tops before the root every single time.
Anyhow, in our climate having a root cellar just isn’t the best approach. If we want a large crop of something like carrots to last all winter our best option is to leave it right where it grew – and it worked!
It is really wonderful because now we have a crop of fresh vegetables in a time where almost all other vegetation is dead. It’s almost like spring arrived early!
A New Crop
So with the last of our crops harvested we can now prepare the soil for a new planting. We’ll be using our Hoss Tools Double-Wheel Hoe to turn under the weeds that came up over winter so they don’t go to seed in spring and keep propagating. We’ll amend the soil to provide some more nutrients (more on that later), plant the seed and put up a bit of trellising for the tall sugar snaps that we’ll be planting.