Late October and we’re finally getting to Strawberry Hill to harvest the rest of our veggies. Sunday we dug potatoes, carrots, and beets. This was a very exciting endeavor for Sylva, our 2 1/2 year old. How magical to dig a fork in the ground and discover a pile of big, gorgeous, yummy potatoes just sitting there, buried in the dirt! I could see the wheels turning in her head; How did I know they’d be there? How did they get there in the first place? And then the carrots. She’s experienced carrot harvest before but we’ve never had a crop quite as spectacular as this crop! They were huge! And they contorted around each other in the most interesting of ways!
Since we harvested them so late, and we’ve had some good frosts, they are so sweet, juicy, and refreshing. Guess my procrastination has paid off this time!
What I know about harvesting roots I learned while working at Rock Spring Farm in Iowa. They harvested beets after a light frost and kept carrots in the ground all the way up until late October, early November. Carrots apparently can handle a harder frost than beets and of course sweeten up quite a bit as a result. I think I discovered this season why it’s recommended that beets are harvested earlier in the fall than carrots: the beets I harvested on Sunday (after quite a few nights in the 20s) had a lot of root hairs growing on them. Not an issue for me but for a commercial grower, they might not be as pretty on the shelf. Anyone have insight on this?
Stay tuned for a final update of my garden log and my end of season evaluation (to find, click on the tabs on the home page of this blog). It sure has been beneficial to me to track this stuff this season and I hope it’s been useful to others as well! I know I will find it to be a great tool to look back on next season.