Monday, August 25, 2008

No Carrots.

Do you grow carrots? I don't grow carrots. I *try* to grow carrots, but it doesn't usually work out for me.

See, the first time I tried to grow carrots, none germinated. I was told that that's because carrot seeds are a bit more finicky than other garden seeds and they need to have a moist seed bed that gets neither too wet nor too dry. Fair enough.

So the second time I planted them, with my sister living here, I told her what I'd heard. She really wanted carrots. She kept that seed bed so evenly and perfectly moist. I think only five or ten germinated.

Last year I tried a third time. This time I planted it using the Square Foot Gardening method. I planted sixteen squares of sixteen carrots each (I really like carrots). Two hundred and fifty-six carrots I planted, each in its own little square. I watched and watered and weeded. I weeded every little piece of grass that dared to poke its head through. I complained to my husband a few weeks later. "I've babied that seed bed. I've weeded it like crazy. I haven't let a single bit of grass grow, even." He looked at me like I was kidding him and said "Are you being serious?" Of course I was. "Sarah, carrots look like grass when they first come up." Oh sh....oot. I'd never given my carrots the chance to prove themselves. I'd weeded two hundred and fifty-six carrots out of my carefully planted carrot plot. I gave up.

This year, though, my girls wanted carrots. They love carrots more than I do. So I planted carrots and promptly forgot about them, not wanting my heart to get broken again. Weeding two hundred and fifty-six carrots can do that to you. When I went to go weed that garden area, having studiously ignored it for awhile, I was excited to see lots of little carrots coming up.

When they got big enough, I called Hannah over and asked her to "pull one of those plants for me". My girls have grazed on peas, beans, various greens, even flax seeds, from the garden, so I wasn't expecting any problems. Hannah first pulled a little carrot frond off of the outside like she's been taught to do with greens. I told her to pull up the whole plant, root and all, because it was the root she wanted to eat.

She pulled it out and gave it this look...

"You eat the root?" she asks.

Yes, darling, you eat the root. It's a carrot, just like the one you ate a few hours ago that we got at the store. Well, it's not really just like it. It's as fresh as can be with no chemicals on it and not washed. Try it!

"It's not a carrot, Mother. It's much, *much* yummier."

"Oh, this is so yummy. This is the best day ever, eating a carrot like this."

So she liked it.

These are the varieties we tried - Amarillo Yellow and Dragon.

I've always laughed at stories of kids that don't know that milk comes from animals or that the pretty packaged meat in the stores was an animal at one time. I just had a daughter look at a carrot and say "You eat the *root*?" I am ashamed.

On a side note, as a note for next year: More carrots. Try growing them in rows next year and plant some not only for house use but for fodder for animals.

If you successfully grow carrots do you have any advice for me?

On another side note, the title of this post comes from Hannah's current favorite movie, Disney's Sleeping Beauty, when the prince tells his horse "No carrots." Hannah thinks that's a fun thing to tell her pony now.


Nita said...

Love this story, she's young, how would she know. Our neighbor who is a vet and buys vegetable starts from our kid, called and wanted to know if the cabbage heads formed underground like beets! I won't even go into what she doesn't know about animals - and she has had a lot of college. She has children but she didn't know you could get eggs from hens without a rooster...

Once when our kid was little, we stopped at Dairy Queen for bad ice cream, and we were getting down to the cones, and our kid asked us if it was OK to eat the wood. We thought we have been sheltering her too much! We still laugh about that one.

Sarah said...

OMG, Nita, you had me laughing at the story of your daughter and the ice cream cone!

Sarah said...

I hate to meta-comment, especially on my own blog, but I just realized that you said that it was a *veterinarian* that didn't know that about chickens.



Wow. lol