Thursday, 28 April 2011


If you ever wondered who has picked up the baton to promote the humble carrot, well wonder no more. Step forward 'British Carrots'. And really, I can only admire their bravery. Because if my experience so far is anything to go by, then I'd quite happily see out my remaining years without so much as another crunch.

I sowed two rows of carrot seeds back in March. I even used string and a ruler to mark out the distances. I'd warmed the soil for weeks beforehand, made sure the soil was fine rather than clumpy. I used fleece to keep them protected. I put slug protection in place too. I got one seedling. So not only did I make the bed, I switched on the electric blanket before and tucked them in every night, and stayed up all night in case of burglars. And what thanks? Parents of adolescents, you have my sympathy.

Maybe it was too cold, too early in the year? Or perhaps the slugs were cunning and snuck up underneath? ( I learnt about that particular tactic from Emma and Gillian - thanks guys )

But my real beef comes with the end product. I love carrot sticks. Dunked in humous they are a nutrition junkie's dream. Except, have you ever tried to cut a carrot into sticks? Sweet Bugs Bunny they're a nightmare! Pieces of orange fly through the air, they don't cut cleanly and each stick ends up completely mishapen. For any sort of result you need to have knives infinitely sharper than a David Cameron put down.

So I face the conundrum of many a novice veg gardener. Which crops are truly worth the effort? Carrots are on my blacklist I'm afraid. I may not touch a bag of salad leaves, but pre-cut carrots are now first in the shopping basket with not a hint of shame.

1 comment:

Nome said...

Hehe, I've always struggled with carrots too. I have high hopes this year but they'll probably be dashed soon enough...

The highest-value crops for me are courgettes and French beans - because I love them and they're both so easy - and pumpkins/winter squashes - the sort you can store and use all through the winter and do tons of different things with. And spinach and salad leaves.

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.