Saturday, September 13, 2014

Growing Carrots

Our first year trying to grow our own organic vegetables went pretty well.  We definitely had a few failures, but we had a lot of success as well.  We had fresh organic kale all summer long, until the bugs really got it at the end of summer.  We had several good cucumbers and yellow squash, lots of tomatoes, and plenty of lettuces in late spring/early summer.  We didn't have much luck with the broccoli, our raspberry and blueberry bushes didn't produce (I'm hoping they will next year?), and no luck with the peppers.  We can apparently grow carrots really well!! 
 We did have lots of little baby carrots - we learned that we need to thin out our seedlings better.  I just didn't have the heart to pull up those little baby carrot plants when they started sprouting. haha! 
 I don't know why the stems came right off when we tried to pull them up - I think maybe they got too dry? Anyone know?  So we did a lot of digging up the carrots instead of pulling up the carrots - but it was fun. 

 It was a big job to get them all washed and scrubbed off. 
 Hubby helped peel the carrots so we could get them ready to blanch and freeze.  Something we have never done before but it's pretty simple.  Apparently, vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that over time, break down and destroy the nutrients and change the color, flavor and texture during frozen storage.  So blanching will destroy the bacteria and enzymes - boiling them just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria.
 Just peel and cut them up - put them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  And then quickly move them to an ice bath to cool them off quickly.  Then let them dry and package them up in freezer bags! 

Fresh from our garden, organically grown from seed - and ready to enjoy all winter!!