By Chester Collier
It’s stressful enough that summer is over and winter is fast approaching, and on top of this finding those fresh veggies that we were used to all summer long have either gone up in price, come from a different continent or have been harvested and stored for a long period of time.
We all know that fresh produce tastes so different when it’s fresh, so why do we accept vegetables that are months old? There is a solution to some, if you plan ahead
In this blog I’m going to tell you about harvesting winter root vegetables all year long!
Did you know that carrots and parsnips are actually much better wintering over? You may have heard about planting garlic in the fall, and harvesting it the following summer, so why not carrots and parsnips. They are not only good, in fact they are better than planting and harvesting the same year. When you leave these 2 root vegetables in the garden over the winter, they accumulate sugar in the root, instead of using it for green growth. This makes the carrots or parsnips sweet, and delicious.
I first learned this by accident. I left carrots and parsnips in the ground too long, and snow came early. I thought that these were lost, and would be like mush in the spring. I was surprised when I started to till the garden that these looked fresh and solid. I dug them out and thought they looked good enough to eat, so I tried them. The result was a delicious meal that I liked far better than the normal root veggies I had come accustomed to.
Heres how to take care of your own winter vegetables:
Plant as you would normally, and harvesting throughout the growing season as you need them We plant in rows, so we use the thinning process to have fresh carrots on the table all summer. This leaves others to grow bigger and longer
When fall comes, mark where the carrots are ( in case you want to dig then from under the snow for a special Christmas dinner), and cut the green tops off. The carrots will go dormant, and start storing that sugar.
Pick a day when the ground is slightly thawed and simply go out and dig up a few (you may need a pick and shovel ). If you prefer, leave them all there until the spring, and dig them at the first sign of any green growth. Don’t let the tops start growing or the sugar will quickly leave the root to feed the leaves, and you’ll gave a starchy and stringy carrot.
With a little planning, you can have fresh and delicious carrots and parsnips all year round.
Enjoy and stay healthy!