Friday, September 07, 2012

Growing and eating carrots

Carrots are a favourite here at La Pasera. Until this year our efforts have failed miserably and we have had to use shop bought carrots which on the whole are tasteless and dull. Things have changed. Since we imported the 13 tonnes of sandy top soil, all the vegetables have improved beyond expectations and for the very first time, we have carrots, variety Nantes.

The first sowing didn't do anything so we think it was a bad batch of seed. The second and third sowing are doing amazingly well and we have now begun harvesting them.

We have so little rain in the past 10 weeks the ground is extremely dry and soon hardens so before harvesting we water the carrots to soften the soil. Give them 15 minutes or so and the with a gentle twist and pull, the whole fresh carrot comes out without snapping.

The texture and sweetness of the carrots is great. Not too sweet and a clean crisp bite allowing that true carrot flavour and aroma to come through.

The culinary use of carrots is endless and we will have a great time preparing new dishes in which to use them. Raw in salads or as a snack is one of our favourite ways to eat them so I doubt we will have many to store in the long run.

This following recipe is another great way of eating fresh raw carrot that we prepare on a regular basis, it'll be a real bonus now we will use our own carrots.

Carrot, Rice, Seed and Mint Salad

6 small to medium carrots - grated
2 sprigs of mint finely chopped
Boiled rice - wild or basmati
1 teaspoon of honey
75g raisins or sultanas (pre-soaked and drained)
Olive oil
Cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
30g Pumpkin seeds
30g Sunflower seeds

The key to making this salad is getting a mix of ingredients and flavours that do not overpower each other. Mix to your own individual taste. The sweetness of the honey, fruit and carrot is offset with the blandness of the rice and the acidity of the vinegar. Adjust quantities to suit your taste and mix.

Apart from Carrots, we are harvesting loads of aubergines, cucumber, marrow, beetroot, peppers, blackberries and fennel. Our harvests this year have been so good that we are sending out gift boxes to friends and neighbours who appreciate fresh, chemical free vegetables. Fruit hasn't done that well this year with few apples, no pears to talk off and no evidence of greengage. The wild peaches are struggling but there are a few to collect and use for jam. The walnuts and hazelnuts look to be laden with fruit so we might have a better nut harvest than last year.

The wild peach known as piesco


  1. Anonymous12:31 pm

    good luck with the next crop, and no visits of the carrot fly.
    have a suggestion regarding a new crop, yacon.
    Here is a linky, to the item.

  2. Thanks Josey, I'll look out for this one


Click link to read more.