Monday, October 11, 2010

Carrots and Onions (and Shallot) 2010

Wow, the carrots really did well.  I got lots of them. I don't remember if i did weigh them. I can't imagine that i didn't- but i don't remember doing it.
They were sweet and crispy, the roots were thick and a bit on the short side- but i think the varieties i had weren't supposed to be the ultra long and thin type- so they may have been as perfect as they could be- which was great. I only had 4 or 5 that were bifurcated, cracked or shaped oddly, the rest were straight, smooth and not 'hairy'.  The color of both types was hard to differentiate, the skin on both was a vibrant garnet red. The cores were small, one type more tinged with green than the other, but otherwise the inside color was the usual carrot shade of orange.  They pulled up easily- a few broke from their stems but the soil had stayed so nice and loose they were easily pulled out.

I love how light my soil stayed in the planting rows. Even now, this late in the year after all the watering and recent rain, if i step into a bare spot in any planting row, my foot will sink at least an inch or two. I'm used to soil with a higher clay content so this is recognisably different than the garden soil i traipsed through as a kid.

Now the onions-  I decided at the beginning of the year that if i got one or two onions the size of a regulation baseball, i'd be happy enough.  I got my wish and then some,  i got at least a half dozen that were of good size and plenty of sizes close.  I got plenty of little tinkers too- and i like the range in sizes actually.  The little golf ball ones are great for the morning omelet.

I got plenty of white onions, and the red onions did catch up in size-  they seem to grow at a noticeably different pace than the white ones. I probably could have waited to harvest the red ones until the tops were more dried than they are, but we were getting so much rain for a while there i was afraid they'd just rot in the ground. So i pulled them.  They will get diced and frozen for convenient use through the winter soon anyway, they don't need to store well whole after all.   I never did get to the root cellar yet. Hubby has been working on the basement now and then but there was a lot going on down there and he isn't finished yet.   So not having a root cellar for storage this fall isn't a problem since i don't have a big need for it yet anyway.

Oh, and the Shallot...s....  Well, i don't know what was up with those things, the variety was named "Mirage" and i'm thinking that they were that very thing! lol.  I planted a number of seedlings, but it looks like i only pulled one or two up. The seedlings may have gotten slugged,  and the other thing that i think contributed was the volunteer pumpkin plant that hubby asked me to keep.  It was self-seeded in the center of one of my walking rows and it vined in the direction of my shallots. I think it shaded them too much despite my trying to keep those leaves down to a minimum and the vines out of the planting row.  So whatever it was, it probably wasn't all the fault of the variety of shallot.  I have them green-lighted for next year.


Mal's Allotment said...

Fab carrots, PB. What's the flavo(u)r of the purple ones like?

(coincidetally, like you I was brought up on clay, and now spoiled with really good loamy soil.)

My carrots are a game of two halves. A few surviving early ones grew as large as parsnips. But there were so few I had to fill in the gaps with laters sowings. Result an unfortunate mixture of early and late together. (all orange, btw)

Just to keep some winter interest, and as my shallots were sold as an autumn (fall) sown variety, I planted them back out in a corner this weekend. I meant to sow them last fall but only got around to it in the spring. Perhaps that's why they ended up so small!

Lexa said...

Lovely harvests! Those carots are just beautiful. I have been wanting to grow the red & purple ones. Have you noticed any change in taste? I have read in some catalogs that they are suppose to have a bit of a spicy hint to them.

icebear said...

Atomic Red and Cosmic purple were the names of them- i know i forgot to write that in.
They were spicy in flavor, definitely more than grocery store carrots. Quite sweet too. I cooked up some more of them last night, put a bit of honey in the cooking water and everyone loved them, brought the earthy sweetness out in just the right way. Hubby wants me to grow more of these next year.
Funny thing is that i planted 2 types, but once grown and harvested i couldn't tell the difference between them- some had a greener color to their core, but i pulled them all out at once and by the time they were cut into the 2 types were hopelessly mixed together. :o)

I wonder if my shallots were supposed to be planted in the Spring or fall. I probably followed the packet instructions at the time, so i may have gotten it right if it was specified but if not that could be a clue.
I will have to double check. :0)

Anonymous said...

excellent points and the details are more precise than elsewhere, thanks.

- Thomas

Faith said...

Wow, they are gorgeous! That soft earth was just the place for them.