Carrots are grown spring & fall on this farm. Weather conditions have a significant effect on their flavor and quality; carrots maturing in cold weather tend to be far sweeter and tastier than carrots maturing in hot weather. Thus, we feel that fall/winter carrots tend to be superior, but we like carrots enough to grow them in the spring, too. We try to plant spring carrots early so that they have a chance of maturing before the summer heat sets in. In our relatively heavy soils, we focus on short, pointy varieties with wide shoulders rather than long, thin ones that have more trouble penetrating deeply into the soil.
HANDLING & STORAGE
On the farm, we give harvested carrots a basic rinse to remove soil clods, but they should be washed again in the home kitchen before use. Carrot roots and greens are both edible; we sometimes distribute fresh-harvested carrots with the greens still on if they are in good condition. As with all root vegetables, removing the tops prior to storage will enhance the storage life of both. Carrot roots store well in the fridge, and can last many weeks if not allowed to dry out.
IN THE KITCHEN
Carrots work great both raw and cooked in myriad preparations. There’s no need to peel our organic roots if you’ve washed them; the skins contain many nutrients and part of the flavor.
– Use chopped or shredded raw in salads, slaws, or just as snacks; sweet winter carrots in particular are best appreciated in as simple a manner as possible
– Carrots roast well with other mixed root vegetables
– Trimmings (tips, tops, skins if you must) make excellent vegetable stock
– Carrot tops make a good pesto
Carrots store well enough in the ground & fridge that we’ve not felt a need to experiment with further preservation methods. Although, we’ve included chopped carrots in several batches of fermented vegetables with good results.
VARIETIES WE GROW