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  • Dana Tutela

Harvesting Carrots

Updated: May 6

A simple and satisfying vegetable to grow is the carrot. Planting from seed directly in the soil and harvesting 2-3 months later doesn’t get much easier.


Enjoy the following tips and methods for harvesting and storing carrots.

harvesting carrots
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At the end of April, I planted two varieties of carrots in one raised bed. The first row was a bit of a mystery because the seeds were free from our public library (how cool is that?), and they were simply labeled carrots. The second row was Little Finger carrot seeds purchased at our local garden center. Both are looking ready to harvest, so let's get to it!

When the carrot greens are tall and tipping over a bit, look to see if any orange carrot top is peeking out of the soil. These are ready. Pull some earlier if you like baby carrots. You can also leave them in the ground longer and pull some when you need them, but don't leave them too long or they will start to flower and become tough or woody. I left my fall carrots in the ground for quite a while last year with no problem.


Harvesting carrots is quite simple and oddly satisfying! Grasp the carrot greens close to the top of the carrot and gently wiggle the carrot loose from the soil. Slowly pull it up and shake off the dirt. It's that simple!


harvesting carrots

carrot being pulled

harvested carrot

I like to pull one or two when I need it. I can do this for a few weeks in early summer, longer with the fall harvest. Immediately put them in the fridge unwashed, greens clipped and sealed tightly in a plastic bag until you can process them. Letting them lie around in the sun while you do other garden tasks will make them soften faster.

harvested carrots on bench

When I am ready to process them, I use the following methods.

Storing Carrots in the Refrigerator

First, I wash and cut off the tops. (My chickens love the greens). If I plan to use the carrots within the week, I put them in a jar of fresh water and place in the fridge. I've also heard of the wet paper towel method where you wrap the carrot in a wet paper towel and place in a plastic bag in the fridge.

*Ginger Tip: If you put fresh carrots in the fridge, they tend to get limp. Water is key to keep them crisp.

Storing Carrots for Freezing

If I need to store them longer, I freeze them. After prepping, I peel and throw the shavings into my countertop composter, Lomi. This will then end up back in the garden and not in a landfill. Score for Mother Nature!


lomi

peeled carrots

Next I chop them up into chunks, blanch in boiling water 2-3 minutes, then ice bath for 2 minutes. I freeze on a sheet pan to keep the pieces from sticking together into one giant clump. Finally, I store the frozen carrots in a freezer bag for up to twelve months.


*Ginger Tip: Mark the date on the bag of when to use it by, not the date you froze them.


harvested carrots in freezer bag

Furthermore, if I am short on time and just need to get them in the freezer, I prep and skip the blanching/ice bath. The un-blanched carrots should only be frozen for up to two months. Mark your freezer bag accordingly. Frozen carrots are best suited for cooking in soups and stews, not eating fresh.


carrots and wine on turquoise table

As you can see, harvesting and storing homegrown carrots is fast and simple!


Enjoy using your carrots in the following recipes:



chicken noodle soup


roasted carrots

Harvesting jalapeños and cucumbers are also easy! Check out more here:


Jalapeños in garden

cucumbers in bowl


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