The other week the weather made a sudden turn and I found myself wrapping up in about fourteen layers of clothes. As I scraped a thick layer of frost off my gardening van in the morning, I thought about what was left at the plot. Mostly winter crops, but there was one last batch of carrots to be harvested.
That weekend, Scott and I launched Operation Carrot Rescue. I had covered them with a fleece tunnel to protect them from the worst of the frosts, but when we got there the tunnel was no where to be found. We had a rather windy night earlier in the week, I imagine the Wind Gods had demanded it as a sacrifice. We wandered around the site a bit, but no luck.
Despite the frost, the carrots were looking relatively decent. A few nibbles from the slugs but the most damage had been done by carrot fly larvae. Interestingly, the orange carrots were far more infested than the purple ones. Score one for the non-hybrids.
We hauled them home and gave them a good scrub. With some careful dissection, we were able to salvage most of the carrots. Five pounds worth in all, now safely stored in the freezer. This winter will be a season of stews, pies, casseroles and pasta sauces. The carrots, along with the masses of French beans we’ve got, will remind us of the warmth and abundance of this summer.