Skip to main content

Ugly Carrots

I posted recently about some of our efforts to continue to eat locally over the winter.  We bought shares in a local organic winter CSA in the fall, and I made one last stop at a farmstand, and brought home:
  • eight pounds of beets
  • two or three pounds of turnips, leeks, and rutabagas
  • sixty pounds of potatoes 
  • twenty pounds of onions
  • fifteen or so pounds of butternut squash, and
  • thirty pounds of carrots.

We had to work hard and think fast to store all that food.  Peter built us a keeping bin for the potatoes, and we found a cool place for the onions.  But the carrots were a puzzler.

We eventually opted to store them in a box in the garage, laid between layers of damp sawdust

Here they are, about six weeks later.  Hideous, aren't they?

The blackening is not dirt.  The discoloration seems to be of the carrot itself.  And yet, they are still firm and crisp, and there is no sign of mildew in the sawdust itself.  And, in fact, when peeled, these ugly carrots clean up real nice:

We've been eating them for weeks now.  They seem absolutely fine--as tasty as any carrots I've ever eaten.

Who knows if this storage strategy will get us through the really cold weather still to come?  But for the moment, we're finding ways to eat locally, at least in terms of eggs, cheese, milk, and veggies.

Even in the dark of the year.

How 'bout them ugly carrots?


Nate said…
Prolly the sawdust.
Got sand?
Hey, Nate. It doesn't bother me.

I am considering whether I can wall off an alcove/crawl space off of our basement which has a sand floor, and create an improved root cellar for next year.

I would have to do something to keep it insulated from the heat from our furnace, in the main part of the basement, and I would want to measure the temperature to see how warm and cold it runs.

I am actually more concerned about the effects of a hard freeze (not uncommon here in New England) on the carrots than I am the discoloration. And the slight degree of biological activity from damp sawdust may discourage that.

Maybe. I'll keep readers posted! It's all a learning curve.
goatsandgreens said…
If the carrots work for you, great. (I just personally happen to hate the taste of carrots, but someone needs to eat them.) Here, I am storing sweet potatoes, onions, shallots, garlic, Gold potatoes, and large winter squash. Some things will go before the others, and I'm planning my meals accordingly.

Next year, assuming I am retired, having a good hoop house for my winter veggies will be critical.
Pallas Renatus said…
Holy crap that's a lot of produce. I'd try using sand as Nate suggested, if only because wet sawdust in my mind is a great home for fungus, and if you're not sure of the source of the dust, you can't be sure that none of it is from pressure-treated wood, which would quite happily leach the same poisons that prevent rot into your delicious food.
The sawdust is from a local logging company--local softwood trees, no pressure treating involved. And sand, too, can have issues with contamination. So for the moment, we're going to stick with the sawdust.

I'm happy to note, though, that there's at least one winter farmer's market that's reopening in my area! So what I am not able to store, I can perhaps buy locally anyway. w00t!

Popular posts from this blog

Peter on Grief and Communities

Well, that was unexpected. For the last year, ever since my mom's health took a sharp downturn, I've been my dad's ride to Florence Congregational Church on Sundays. That community has been important for my dad and the weekly outing with me was something he always looked forward to and enjoyed, so I didn't mind taking him there. It meant giving up attending my own Quaker meeting for the duration, but I had already been questioning whether silent waiting worship was working for me. I was ready for a sabbatical. A month ago, my dad was Section-Twelved into a geriatric psych hospital when his dementia started to make him emotionally volatile. I had been visiting him every day at his assisted living facility which was right on my way home from work, but the hospital was almost an hour away. I didn't see him at all for three weeks, and when I did visit him there, it actually took me a couple of seconds to recognize him. He was slumped forward in a wheel chair, lo

What Do You Mean, Quaker Pagan?

"What do you mean, Quaker Pagan? You can't possibly be both!" Every now and then, we do get a comment on the blog that, if politely worded, does drive at basically that point. Usually the critic is a Quaker and a Christian, though I have certainly heard similar points raised by Pagans. Let me state a few things up front. Peter and I both do consider ourselves Pagan. Neither of us considers ourselves to be Christian--I never was one, and Peter hasn't been for decades. And we do consider ourselves to be Quakers... as does our monthly meeting, which extended us membership after the normal clearness process. We consider ourselves Quaker Pagans. (Why not Pagan Quakers? Pure aesthetics; we think the word order sounds better with Q before P.) Here's the argument for why Peter and I can't possibly be both: 1. Paganism is a non-Christian religion. 2. Quakers are a Christian denomination. 3. ERGO... Yes. We've considered that argument, oddly eno

Cat's Spiritual Journey, Part I: Getting (And Losing) That Old Time Religion

All posts in this series: Part I: Getting (and Losing) That Old Time Religion Part II: Coming Home Part III: The Fool's Journey Part IV: The Underworld Part V: Seven of Cups Part VI: A Letter and a Kiss Part VII: Morticia Loves Gomez Part VIII: Nora Part IX: Felicia Hardy and the Tower of Babel Part X: When Babel Fell Part XI: Community 2.0 Part XII: This Forgiveness Stuff From time to time, someone does ask about my spiritual journey. Mainly, it's Quakers, asking about what Paganism is, though sometimes it will be a co-worker, wanting to know more either about how I came to call myself Quaker, or what on earth I mean by Pagan. I should probably mention that, despite my best efforts to be discrete about my religion at work, I was outed as Wiccan within six months of becoming a teacher by kids who know how to use Google. This blog, which at least features current information, that reflects my beliefs and practices in the present, is at least partially a response