Round Table Farm

Donkeys, Goats, Books and Chickens

Carrot Ignorance

Wintered over carrots in the bed of my truck. See how big they are!

Fell free to laugh. I do it all the time.

Our farm, and especially the garden, are constant sources of educational moments. Much of my privileged generation was raised with clean water, free schooling, immunizations, refrigeration, and a plethora of packaged foods. Lots of good has come out of this. However, sometimes I stumble upon a blank spot in my understanding of where food comes from.

Like carrots.

Did you know they can winter over in the ground? Then, in the second year of their life they sprout giant flowered stalks that go to seed? Who knew the humble orange root had it in it.

So, how did I stumble upon this fact? Well, a landscaper friend calls me up every couple of weeks with bags of leaves, pine needles, and other plant-based yard debris for my farm (this stuff is great in building top soil). This last time she said she had lots of carrots. I made an assumption that she had planted carrots and had thinned them out. Ha! Imagine when I saw green, flowered stalks almost as tall as I sticking out of water tubs. At first I wasn’t sure how these related to carrots.

Carrot flowers – lovely for bees and butterflies.

So, I brought 3 large buckets of these wintered over carrots home to my beasties. The goats liked the flower heads and the donkeys liked every bit of the carrots, stalks, and flower heads.

Know what else us goofballs did? We picked out 5 good looking carrots and stuck them back in the ground in between tomatoes to see if they would continue on their path to seeding. Alas, they withered and died. But if any of our carrot seeds come up this year, we are going to let some winter over and go to seed next year. We are going to experiment with the concept of permaculture with the wee tomato/carrot/onion section and see how that goes.

That’s my wee little hand next to a HUGE carrot. There were many like this.

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2 Comments

  1. My family grew lot of carrots in backyard gardens while I was growing up, but apparently knew nothing about the likes of this! Yea carrots!

    • It does me good to hear that others were unaware of the secret lives of carrots.

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