Tuesday, July 3, 2012
We went outside, straight to the raised garden. Excitement flowed through our veins, radiating out from our pores.
It was time.
At last, after waiting for what felt like forever, we were finally going to harvest a few of the carrots that had been placed in the ground at the end of winter. Their protective plastic jug coverings had been removed long ago, but their growth rate was staggeringly slow.
At last, it was time to harvest a few carrots that had nice, large stems.
The tops of the carrots were poking up out of the ground, and they looked ready.
Giggling with joy, my daughter and I bent over the raised garden bed and dug into the earth, carefully avoiding any carrots that didn't appear to be ready. The root vegetables popped out of the ground quite easily, letting me know that the shape was perfect, even before I saw the results.
So, about those results...
My carrots were a wee bit tiny.
Don't get me wrong, they were indeed ready. The flavor was amazing, and the color was absolutely gorgeous. They were just... small.
I thought about this for a while. This was the first time I had ever planted carrots, so I knew that whatever the problem was, it was caused by me, rather than being the fault of our "strange weather this year."
I believe that the problem was the soil consistency.
The soil was healthy, as any of the worms I disrupted would gladly attest to, but I think there was a bit too much clay in it. I had added some jiffy soil to the plot, but in hindsight, I probably didn't add enough.
Upon harvest, I noticed that the soil was sticking to my fingers just a little too closely. This is a sign of too much clay.
The good news?
My daughter loves baby carrots. She loves them so much that if I pull out a carrot from the refrigerator, she'll insist that I cut it so that it resembles a baby carrot.
Now she can pull sweet and tasty baby carrots directly from the garden. As you can imagine, she's quite happy with this.
Next time I'll be more careful with the soil consistency, but for now, I'm simply going to enjoy my daughter's happiness.
Even a mistake can sometimes bring about great benefit. It was indeed time for harvest!