Two weeks ago we harvested our Spring crop of carrots, one of my favorite crops of the year! We have a hard time making them last because they are SO good and are used so many different ways! Roasted, grilled, in pot roasts, roast chicken, stocks and soups… You get the point.
Last year we put in a raised bed for our asparagus, made out of cinder blocks, and planted carrots and herbs in the holes around the outside and they did amazing. The only problem, those herbs took up space for more carrots! So this summer we found new places for the herbs and planted MORE carrots. Guess what. Still not enough.
The problem is, typically I’m a pretty generous person. With my carrots, not so much. And the carrots are requested a lot as soon as we harvest. So this year we took a stab at doing a second planting. Let’s cross our fingers that we get a bountiful winter crop!
But now, what to do with my beautiful carrots to keep them fresh and tasty all winter long?
With the help of my carrot thief, Layla, we cleaned, separated, and stored them. For my large, beautiful, and undamaged carrots we trimmed the tops and hosed them down, then packed them in five gallon buckets with damp sand. The buckets are then stored in a dark canning closet that I have in the basement. Last winter we finished them off in November (we like fresh carrots!) and they still tasted as fresh as from the garden, with their crisp snap. We were recently speaking with other gardeners in the community who told us that they were still pulling from their buckets in April and they were perfect!
As for the smaller or damaged carrots, after cleaning them, I trimmed off any bad spots and stored them all in ziplock bags in the freezer to pull from for soups, stocks, and roasts. This way I’m not using up my pretty carrots like I did last year. I was almost heartbroken when I reached in that bucket and couldn’t find anymore of my go to veggie!
Our winter crop was started that same day, and two weeks later my little seedlings are emerging! Now we only need to keep my chickens from snacking on the tops! Do you have any other ways that you store your carrots for winter?