Friday, 5 December 2008

delicious home grown carrots

The difference between fresh, organic carrots grown yourself and the poor, bland things you buy in supermarkets is huge. I have just chopped some up for slow oven roasting in a savoury winter variation of the English classic bread and butter pudding.

This was a good year for late carrots. The late summer rains nourished the young plants and their roots have swollen to a good size.

Carrots fit into our four year organic rotation with onions, garlic, leeks and shallots. After the summer onions have been harvested we hoe and rake the ground over and then sow our autumn carrot seed.

Autumn carrots are not affected by carrot root fly, and as long as you can get the soil good and moist, the carrots will germinate without any problem.

I have toyed with creating a carrot clamp to store the carrots over the winter. In the ground they are open to attack from slugs and from rabbits. The Hercule Poirots among you may spot the telltale bite marks of a rabbit on the foliage: a diagonal cut across the stem.

Our bronze age forbears learned that sealed straw lined holes in the ground were perfect stores for grain. The grain breaths in oxygen and breaths out carbon dioxide which creates a preserving blanket of co2. A carrot clamp would work in the same way.

I haven't tried it, but will - when I get some spare time!

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