Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Peas and Carrots

Now that our latest visitors are gone, we're turning our attention back to our much-neglected garden... before our next visitors arrive.

I wanted you all to see the picture I took of a carrot from our garden.

These long-awaited (and blogged about) beauties were sweet, just as the snow promised.

The children were very excited to pick these with us. They LOVED pulling on the tops and seeing the carrots pop up out of the ground. We had quite a few of them, too...

And since the peas were ready for picking, too, we decided to put the peas and carrots together one night and saute them up for a side dish:

Lest you think that I grew giant peas, please understand that a very valuable lesson was learned in our home about soil conditions in far southwest Virginia. Apparently, carrots just don't do well in our soil, and they never get much bigger than this! Ahhh! But a lesson lived is a lesson learned! We'll be buying our carrots next year!

The peas were very good (and of normal size!) so, we probably will endeavor to grow those again.


Rachel said...

Just a thought, Amy, but maybe next year you could grow carrots in containers? Or raised beds? I am not sure what soil requirements they have, but you could certainly make them closer to what carrots need, if you do that. You could easily use those 5 gallon buckets that the bakery departments in grocery stores use for their frostings. They will usually give them away, although you would have to do the cleaning out. That would also mean you could move them around when you needed to, not to mention being able to add the soil in them to the garden at the end of the season, and stack the buckets inside one another in the basement/garage.

A raised bed, or a "lasagna garden" would be another way to make sure your soil met carrot requirements. And it would be easy, too, relatively speaking.

There are some good books out there on both container, raised bed, and lasagna gardening...


Lora K. said...

I think your carrots are great! A lot of people pay good money for "baby carrots".

Amy Howard said...


Thanks for the encouragement to sell those baby carrots! Maybe if I try Rachel's advice I'll have more than baby carrots to sell, though!


Thanks for all the advice. you know, I thought about lasagne or square foot gardening for next year anyway. I first ran across the book about lasagne gardening about six months ago and thought it looked interesting. Have you ever tried it yourself? If so, how did it work for you?

I have a friend here who has had success with her carrots using Square Foot Gardening. She bought her house from someone who had already built the raised beds and put in some really rich, organic compost. Her carrots looked beautiful, and of normal size.

Do you think maybe if I use your idea of the frosting buckets for my carrots next year my carrots would turn out even sweeter? ;0)

Rachel said...

Amy, I don't know if the buckets would make the carrots sweeter, but if you can't make raised beds, that might be the way to go.

Square Foot Gardening is really good, but it also pays to make sure you put compatible vegetables together (I recommend "Carrots love Tomatoes"--another good gardening book--on what to avoid as far as planting companions are concerned.

I've done raised beds. We went to a stable and got two truck loads of manure (the "dirt" where we are doesn't qualify as soil--we're down in NC, Sandhills area), as well as many many many many bags and loads of leaves and yard debris during the fall that we rototilled into the beds.

I've not done lasagna gardening myself, but I have friends who have and have had good success with it. I have also heard of folks growing their tomatoes and potatoes in straw bales....they would dig out a chunk of the top of the bale, and then place the plant in the hole....pack dirt in all around it, and make sure it stays watered...the straw acts as a mulch of sorts, and the roots grow right down in there. AND you don't have to weed right around the plant (something to consider as well).


Tidbitsof Torah said...

remembering the days when I also had a full garden. Corn, chick peas, green beans, carrots, potatos, tomatos, squash