Carrots into Storage

digit(ID/WA)November 12, 2010

Waiting until the last moment . . .

The Weather Service had predicted temperatures in the teens today. When they changed their forecast . . . I waited longer!

I told DW that we would have to begin eating carrots every day or we won't get thru them. It's okay with me (might improve my eyesight ;o)! About half of the carrots: From digitS'

another of my "string of fish at the dock" pictures

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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Wow, that's only half of them? Nice harvest!!!

I didn't realize I was waiting until the last minute ... until I saw your post. So I just spent the last hour or so trying to dig up what's left of the carrots, before it got dark outside. There were several monstrous ones, but not as many left as I had at the end of the season last year. Guess I must have been using them more than I realized throughout the summer.

So I cut the leaves down to ~ 1", and threw them in a plastic bag in the garage. I reeeaaaalllly don't have time to slice, blanch and freeze them tonight. I still have pumpkins in the oven that have to be pureed and frozen today. So I'm wondering how long I can leave them in the unheated garage before they are no longer usable?

Thanks for the reminder, Steve!


    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 7:11PM
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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

I don't know about the garage, since the temp could be pretty variable, Bonnie, but I keep my carrots in the fridge in a plastic bag for months and months. I just found the last couple from LAST YEAR in there a month or so ago, and used them. (My fridge is just 2 degrees above freezing.) I dig them, cut the tops off most of the way--about like Digit did with his, brush off the dirt (I don't wash them till I'm gonna use them), make sure they're DRY, put them in a bag, and stick them in the veggie drawer. Of course, I don't usually have very many!

If your garage stays cold enough (I don't remember which direction the roof faces!), you can get a BIG bucket or tub and a couple bags of play sand and keep them in that all winter--or till they're gone, whichever comes first! You just dump in some (dry) sand, put in a layer of carrots, more sand, more carrots---and then be sure it stays cold. Unless you get below zero for a buncha days in a row, they'll be fine, and they're SO much better fresh than they are frozen.

If you don't want to do it with all of them, you can try it with a few this year---just to convince you it works.

It's kind of the same thing Digit's doing, but on a smaller scale. And with a bucket, you don't need to dig a hole in the ground! ;-)

How do you cover yours, Digit? With soil, or just with leaves? Or with something else!

I can NEVER believe how much stuff you grow, Digit! And at this time of the year, you're not selling it at a farmer's market! How many of you are eating those? I like carrots---a lot---but, uhhhhh............


    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 7:36PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Wow! Wished this had been posted last week. We dug up our carrots and had many more than we could use. After eating some most of the week, I blanched and froze some, and have some sitting in water in the frig. The rest I gave away at work, and to one charity.

I feel good about giving some to the charity kitchen, but think I will try the hole and bucket with sand methods next year, if we have as many as we did this year! Interesting!! I've never heard of that being a way to store them, but never have really had a garden like this before so maybe just wasn't paying attention ;^)

So how long to they last in the hole in the ground? How much soil/leaves do you put on top of them?

Thanks Skybird for the great instructions on using the bucket and sand, as well as storing dry in the frig!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 8:29PM
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Carrots do real well in a hole in the soil. They will last right into April with no apparent change.

I like to wait late hoping that the mice have found their home for the winter and aren't looking for a nice pile of leaves to burrow into. These carrots are now under about 8" of soil and about that much pine needles. I think I'll get another bag of pine needles to dump on them.

Giving away garden produce is a wonderful thing to do.

Yeah, we don't have an apple tree but bought 2 big boxes of apples. Apples and carrots, I wonder how great a percentage of the diet those 2 things can take . . .


    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:49PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

I love the hole in the ground idea, but don't have a place to put one, and the mice would be an issue here too.

Skybird, our garage faces north, and stays in the 40ú - 50ú range in the winter, but I'm not sure what the storage temp needs to be. The problem with the bucket and sand idea is that it would mean taking up additional space in DH's garage, so that's a no go. If you saw all of the pumpkins, boxes of tomatoes, and potted peppers plants in there right now, you would know that I'm already pushing my luck, LOL. I agree that carrots are not as good once they are frozen. The texture becomes somewhat rubbery to me, but I mostly used them in soups, so it's not too big a deal. Maybe I'll put the smaller ones in the fridge, and just blanch and freeze the ones that are too big to fit in the veggie drawer. The Lunar Whites are around 12" - 15" long, and 3" - 4" in diameter!!!


    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Remember, I'm the "annuals guy." Bare dirt is an important part of my landscaping scheme for about half of each year.

Finding a place for a pile of leaves or pine needles isn't difficult it is just that the pile and the carrots, etc. have been migrating closer to the kitchen door. I mean, lawn grass is a desirable feature also (even if measures must be in place to keep it in check. ;o)

As I get older, I'm thinking that I'm getting more like a country mouse, myself.

with the garage half full of food, millet still hanging in the carport, a room in the basement stuffed with dahlia & glad roots, potatoes & onions; with 2 full freezers & 2 full refrigerators, and 2 holes covered with leaves in the backyard . . .

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 2:15PM
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My neighbor grows some ridiculous amount of carrots and covers the row with pieces of old carpet - its just enough to keep the ground from freezing. He goes out and digs some up when ever he wants to - he makes juice quite a bit.

I still have a dozen golden beets out there, and the foliage still looks great. They taste ok even if they freeze.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 10:33PM
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dsieber(z5 (Lakewood CO))

Very nice. Juice has to be the largest user of carrots.
(carrot beet is my favorite) If you juice you need lots. Great idea on the use of carpet.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 4:03PM
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