Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ugly Carrots

This now counts as my Halloween post.  More than a month after my first carrot harvest, I pulled a few more to use in a crab salad.  The one that had the bushiest tops went first.  It was at least an inch in diameter, but quickly devolved into a misshapen gnarl of carrot that usually happens only in compact or rocky soil.  The next one wasn't much better.  The third one was carrot-shaped, but very thin.  And the last was a lumpy mess of carroty tumors.

I cleaned them up and ran the veggie peeler over them to get rid of stray roots.  In the grocery store, they don't tell you that they've scrubbed off all kinds of stuff from the carrots.  There was also a lot of dirt in the ridges and between the stringy roots.  When you pick a fruit or leafy veggie, you don't have to deal with all that dirt.

This did not discourage me from planting a winter garden of mostly root vegetables in the pond.  The 20 or 30 gallons it took to rehydrate the soil almost made me wait for El Niño, but by then it will not be warm enough to give the sprouts a good start.  I'm also gambling that it will not climb above 85º again in two weeks, when everything starts to take root.  I planted a mesculun assortment, beets, and yet more carrots.  Eventually, I will figure out how to grow them properly.

The neighborhood skunk rooted through the pond a few days later.  All the dirt was tossed into random piles, meaning my neat rows are useless.  Adding to that, all sorts of things started sprouting way too early to be what I planted.  I pulled many of the weeds, but a few may be the lettuce assortment.  I'll wait for a few more leaves before pulling those.  The problem is the only thing I will recognize when it first comes up is the carrots.  Wish me luck.

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