Some of my long term readers will remember that we were trying a new experiment in the garden last fall. We had more carrots than we could effectively store inside over the winter so we decided to leave the carrots in the garden and pull them as needed.
Well, the as needed part didn't work out so well. We had over 4 feet of snow and ice on top of the garden beds until just this week. It was impossible to break through the crust to dig the carrots out. We decided to leave the carrots in the ground until the snow melted and hoped that we would have something worth eating.
We had two beds with carrots and the first bed to come out from cover was the furthest bed from the house. I went out yesterday and dug around in the earth and pulled carrots, 3 lbs worth of beautiful, perfect carrots. The experiment was a roaring success. Some of the smaller carrots had even started putting out new fronds as if they intended to keep growing. I am so happy that we now have the perfect way to keep carrots over the winter.
Of course we still have to figure out a way to get to them when the air is cold, the ground is frozen, and there is snow covering the beds. We're thinking a layer of straw covered with a tarp should make it a lot easier to get at the carrots even in the deepest of winter. I'm so psyched by this success that I am tempted to plant carrots again this year to try out our idea. Maybe I can try this experiment with other root vegetables like beets or potatoes. We're planting both this year and will have to see if any of them are still in the ground this fall.