Monday, November 25

Harvesting jumbos.

Visiting the plot these days tends to be a far shorter activity. If the weather allows we just set ourselves a small task after which once completed and a few vegetables have been harvested we come home.

This weekend's task was to finish spreading some wood chippings on part of the plot that has proved difficult to keep under control by just cutting grass. We laid weed control fabric down and whilst Martyn barrowed chippings from the site chippings' bay, I smoothed fabric and spread mulch at the same time as having a chat to a plot neighbour. (Multi-tasking female at work). 
This job finished all that remained was to harvest a few things namely , leeks, beetroots, carrots and our first parsnips. We have some sprouts and very large cabbages which we could have harvested but these were left for a later date.
If you read Martyn's blog you will know that one variety of carrots that we are growing - and the one we harvested this weekend, Chantenay Royal - is producing monsters. We don't thin our carrot seedlings and don't fret too much if some are locked in a tight embrace. Twisted carrots taste just as good as straight ones even if the supermarket buyer would turn up his/her nose and prefer those tastless perfectly formed specimens.

One seed company describes Chatenay Royal as producing 'small conical roots', so we weren't exactly expecting carrots like these.
As they have grown, rather than cuddling up to carrots growing alongside them, they have muscled one another aside. Most of the roots are supersized but their are one or two smaller roots growing in amongst the jumbos - ones that just didn't develop their muscles in time. These monster carrots are still sweet and carrotty having lost none of their flavour.

Hopefully our carrots will stay well protected under their straw blanket and keep us supplied over winter.
However, when a recipe calls for one carrot there could be a problem.

30 comments:

  1. Oh Sue they are huge, I hope they are still tasty for you.

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    1. They were just as tasty as small carrots, Jo. Lovely. We recently had a meal out where we were served with carrots and peas with neither tasting of anything. I suggested to the waiter that they should change their vegetable supplier!

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  2. Strewth, those are monsters! Your parsnips look good, how are they tasting? Have you had many "proper" frosts down your way yet?

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    1. The parsnips tasted lovely, Lee. 13 nights below 3degrees C and 2 below 0 degrees C

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  3. Well they are conical, it's just the interpretation of 'small'! Great crop.

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    1. I suppose one of the carrots met the description Jessica.

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  4. Love that last photo. Recipes really need to be more exact than "use one". You are still getting a really nice harvest, and everything looks so healthy. You do indeed have greenfingers I think.

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    1. CJ, It's almost as bad when they ask for one medium or small or large item. It all comes down to guess work not too bad for a casserole etc but not good if it is carrot cake.

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  5. Those are the biggest Chantenays I've ever seen! I'm pleased to hear that they still taste good and that they are all wrapped up warm for winter. Isn't it great to know you have all that veg waiting for the cold months?

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    1. It is Crystal - I wonder if all the Chantenay or whether we just hot on a fertile patch?

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  6. Oh my....what monsters, I can't get over them. I'm so impressed with how much food you are still harvesting. You will certainly be well fed with healthy produce over the winter.xxx

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  7. You get so many jumbo vegetables. It's so interesting. Will you share your own tip?

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    1. Our carrot sowing method is described on this page of my website Endah but it doesn't always produce jumbos.

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  8. Wow Sue your carrots are amazing!

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    1. And the main thing was they tasted great too, Lisa.

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  9. I wish I'd known about those monsters before I put in my seed order. Your leeks are making me envious, I didn't get round to planting mine out and now I'm left without.

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    1. Shame about the leeks, Jo. We've just got back from taking Tivvy for a walk round Temple Newsam

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  10. Wow. Truly amazing! I am one of those people who expect Chantenay carrots to be very small (and very sweet). I wonder what it is that made yours grow so big.

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    1. We didn't do anything out of the ordinary, Mark and they were still very sweet!

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  11. What wonderful carrots. I think my clay soil will need a lot of improvement before it can produce carrots like these!

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  12. Bark chippings is great mulch, I have it in all my flower beds and many of my pots too, I hardly ever weed! Do you have to pay for it or do you get it free? I buy it from B&Q and it is quite a yearly expense for me, but well worth it, and it helps with water evaporation in the summer too.
    Your monster carrots look amazing, a meal for a family on one! We still haven’t had any nights below 2 degrees here in my garden, I don’t mind if we don’t have any this winter :-)

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    1. The council parks' department tip off the bark chippings, Helene, Really it is the trees that they have pruned or cut down that have been shredded. We certainly had two large helpings from each carrot

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  13. That's wonderful harvest! Very big carrot too! Hope the mulch protect the carrots! ;)

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    1. It worked in a recent very cold winter, Malar.

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  14. I don't think I have ever seen carrots that big...

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    1. They are surprisingly huge, Janet. Other varieties in the same bed are just the usual size. We are curious to know whether the whole row of this variety are as big.

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  15. They really are some monster carrots. I have had some nice straight ones for the first year ever...really need to take a few pics next time I harvest some!!

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    1. I suffer from the opposite, Tanya - It's as well I don't need to buy film.

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