Mary's Veggie Garden

November 5, 2012

Carrot Harvest 2012

Filed under: Carrots,Celeriac,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 8:00 am
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Since our 10/13 freeze, I’m harvesting from my community garden plot about every five days: taking a big bunch of carrots, a kohlrabi, a turnip and maybe some lettuce, as it recovers from the deer attack. Thursday 10/25 was no different. I noticed my four winter cabbages ‘Storage #4’ were sizing up nicely and the biggest should come home soon. But I had the remains of another cabbage in my refrigerator so harvest could wait a few days. Cabbage keeps better as a living plant. The weather had been cloudy and drizzly most of October so outside temperatures were stuck in a tight range: 50-65° F. The temperature in my root cellar was still in the sixties so anything coming home would need to go into the refrigerator.

When we returned the next morning the big cabbage was gone.

Opening the fence I noticed it was tied with a bow, not my customary square knot. Well, it was kind of the thief to close the gate this time.

We loaded up the van with stakes and tomato cages and all the hoses. I harvested two cabbages but left the fourth, hoping with a bit more time the loose head would tighten up. I also harvested the Napa cabbage. I’d rather store the stuff  in the refrigerator than have it stolen.

Thursday 11/1 was our next trip to the garden and the first since Superstorm Sandy. We biked out for groceries. It started drizzling while we were in the store, so I decided to make the garden stop quick – just grab a few carrots and bike home.

The garden took some damage in the storm. Three (of thirteen) fence posts had snapped off at the base and were now held upright by the netting. Branches were broken off the old broccoli. And there was a carrot laying on the ground inside the gate.

Oh no, the thief was back! Even though the carrot had legs, it did not walk the 35′ across the garden without help. The bigger kohlrabi and the last cabbage were missing. I inspected the carrots and discovered the thief harvested the center row in the Napoli planting – there was a row of 6-8 holes which must have contained nice sized carrots. I planted the Napoli carrots last and hadn’t harvested a single one yet.

If I waited until late November there would be nothing left to harvest for winter storage. I spent an hour in the cold drizzle, pulling and washing carrots: 7 pounds of Bolero and 2 pounds of Napoli. Dusk was falling and I prayed the thief would not be back before I returned. Friday I harvested 8:00 – 2:00, ’till I couldn’t bend over any more. Saturday I finished the job. I also took anything else that was edible – all the celeriac, golf-ball sized turnips, kohlrabi that barely showed a bulb, and Napa cabbage that had not formed a head.

Friday harvest: 18 pounds of Napoli carrots.

More Friday harvest: 14.5 pounds Bolero carrots.

The reason so many of the Bolero carrots have legs was my poor watering at one end of the bed. I was pleased to find very little insect damage this year. Thank goodness, the temperature has finally dropped and I can store these carrots in my root cellar.

Last 2012 harvest from VF garden:  7 pounds Bolero carrots, 4.75 pounds celeriac and assorted greens.

Sunday’s harvest came from my home garden. Greens for soup and salad and parsnips and beets for meals when it’s raining/snowing later this week.

Parsnips, kale, red mustard, mache, and Lutz beets.

Total for the week:
Carrots 48.6 pounds – these ought to feed us through March!
Celeriac 4.75 pounds
Parsnips .8 pounds
Beets 1.5 pounds

Total for the year: 820 pounds.

There is not much remaining to harvest: maybe 10-15 pounds of beets and parsnips in my garden at home, plus some greens. Most of this food will stay in the garden until we need it, through the winter and even into next March.

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8 Comments »

  1. Sorry you lost harvests to a thief. Must be very frustrating. The carrot harvest is very impressive.

    Comment by kitsapfg — November 5, 2012 @ 8:19 am | Reply

    • Extremely frustrating. I’ve talked to my neighbor gardeners and anyone who planted for fall has had stuff stolen. I’ve been growing at these community gardens since 2005 and this is the first time we’ve had repeated, systematic break-ins. I think there might be a lot of padlocks next year.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — November 5, 2012 @ 8:44 am | Reply

  2. I am awed at the amount of carrots you’ve harvested! Looks like you are still bringing in a lot of veggies! What a rotten thing to have a veggie thief on your hands! I hope at least it’s someone really needy and not just someone taking advantage of your hard work.

    Comment by Patsy — November 5, 2012 @ 8:29 am | Reply

    • If they are truly needy, I wish they would talk to me. I’d be willing to teach them to garden and share extra seed. There are so many abandoned plots in this community garden they could probably get one for free.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — November 5, 2012 @ 9:15 am | Reply

  3. What a great harvest! Your root crops (carrots, parsnips, beets) look tasty! You will be eating well this winter! Too bad about the thief in your garden; I doubt it was a case of need and being hungry, in which case I know you would have shared. More likely just a case of feeling like taking from an unguarded garden and thinking they wouldn’t be caught. I’d be tempted to put up a sign asking veggie thieves to stay away – perhaps if the thieves realized you were on to them, they would quit. Bad enough when the insects, deer, groundhogs, chipmunks, rabbis and other critters take the veggies, but unexcusable when it is humans!

    Comment by Ginny — November 5, 2012 @ 8:50 am | Reply

  4. I agree with Ginny, unexcusable when it is humans stealing. How sad that someone would stoop so low. You and your garden neighbours definitely need to put up a HUGE sign to warn the veggie thief. 48+ pounds of carrtos, that’s a lot.

    Comment by Norma Chang — November 5, 2012 @ 11:16 am | Reply

  5. Sorry to hear about a theif getting into your plot. I’ve had that happen a few times, though usually it’s int he front where I expect it. The only thing I can tell you is that it was probably a teen and maybe they will think those carrots were wonderful and take a liking to the idea of gardening for themselves.

    Comment by Barbie — November 5, 2012 @ 12:55 pm | Reply

    • If the thief is a teen, they have the best diet of any teen in the country, from the list of things they’ve taken from my garden and other gardens.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — November 5, 2012 @ 5:25 pm | Reply


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