The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Harvesting the fall carrots, 2016

Carrot tops

Harvest date for our fall carrots varies widely. If I'm on the ball, I dig them in mid September just in time to put down a fall planting of oats. This year, I've been doing the bare minimum, so I let them ride until after the first frost sweetened their orange roots.

I could have let the crop go another month or so, actually, until hard freezes are threatening. But I'm running out of the easy-to-harvest, gargantuan carrots in the front garden (right outside the kitchen door), so I figured I might as well dig up the mule garden's more moderately sized haul.

Harvesting carrots

Even with the current mini-drought (1.1 inches of rain in October), the carrots came out of the ground relatively easily. Only one bed that hasn't received as much organic matter was hard as a rock --- I felt like I was chiseling those carrots out like fossils.

Sorting carrots

Half the harvest (not all pictured) were easy to dig, wash, and sort in a couple of hours work Wednesday afternoon. I figure our total yield for the fall carrots will be around 2.5 bushels...and most of those are going in my stomach since carrots are one of the few vegetables my body can currently handle. Thank goodness I overplanted for the sake of the goats!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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