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Never Say Never

October 27, 2012

Remember the post about shooting myself in the foot, over and over?  I’m still working on it 😦  In order to put the sheep in the greenhouse to clean up some weeds, I need to pull everything I want to save, or protect it from grazing.  Another thing I am wanting to avoid is making cozy winter quarters for the voles.  To that end, besides removing cover, i.e., weeds, I need to make sure I’m not providing food.  Voles love sweet root crops, so getting the carrots out of the greenhouse was a priority.

Napoli

Judging from the fresh nibbles, I’m not a moment too soon either.  Now with a wheelbarrow load of carrots staring me in the face, I am going to do something with them that I have never done in my life.  Can them.  Until now I have not seen a need for canning any carrots because we always have good luck storing them in situ.  At least by canning them, I will preserve them, and have them ready for soups and stews if anything happens to our crop outside.  If you asked me five years ago about canning carrots I would have said I never can carrots.  Silly me, never say never…

Red Long of Tropea

I also needed to pull the last of my red onions, which have been pretty handy to have in the greenhouse.  But, sheep love onions, so these need to be graded and bagged and removed from little sheep teeth or they will disappear as fast as the carrots.  I just used the last of my Walla Wallas last week and now I can concentrate on these.  They only have a storage life of approximately 3 months, so I’m set for a while at least and then I can move into my storage onion stash.

Tristar

Besides vegetables, I grew herbs and strawberries in the greenhouse this summer.  I will let the sheep have the herbal tonic, but we are going to fence out the strawberry bed with sheep hog panels in order to save the plants.  These everbearing strawberries are really little workhorses, we have been eating berries out of this little 3′ x 12′ bed since May and they are still pumping out a few berries, just enough to choke down with some cream 😉

So that’s my weekend – canning carrots and applesauce and trying to avoid the raindrops!

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2012 3:08 pm

    I am continually amazed at the crops that can come out of high tunnel!

  2. October 27, 2012 5:45 pm

    Mexican style pickled carrots are one of my very faves… I think I could eat a wheelbarrow full by myself!

    You don’t mention the sheep much; I had no idea they’d enjoy onions…

    • October 27, 2012 8:29 pm

      AMF, I’m glad the sheep can’t get to the blog, they would be upset to see they are portrayed as the resident weeders 😉 But they are ancient in sheep years, but still weeding, so they can live out there years here, the ultimate weed wackers! Too bad everything likes to eat them or I would entertain keeping more sheep.

  3. October 27, 2012 5:55 pm

    Our 100 yr old great grandpa came to visit this weekend (quite an honor). We are new farmers and we told him of our vole situation and he said to put little windmills in the ground all around the garden where the voles were most prevalent. The vibration would keep them away. Thoughts?

    • October 27, 2012 8:27 pm

      Scrapple, I’ve seen folks do that for moles, not voles, but who knows, it’s a pretty harmless and inexpensive thing to try 🙂 Plu GGGP probably knows what he’s talking about! I do know some years are worse because of their cycles, but when they’re chowing down on the veggies, it seems like every year is the worst 😦 Eliot Coleman traps them in his greenhouses, but that is hard to do in a field. 😦

  4. October 28, 2012 2:25 am

    I’m going to try to remember the windmill idea. It would be cool if it worked well!
    Most of my food preservation is done, except dehydrating kale (won’t winter here).

    We’ve been working hard prepping for the storm(s) that are due to hit the Northeast in a day or so. Because of the damage these storms do, our cattle were moved to the home farm yesterday. We would have run out of pasture for them before they could be moved after the storm, if it’s as bad as they say.

    I’ve had to freeze some carrots due to damage in the past. But I’ve found they store ok damaged in the veg drawer of our extra fridge. We don’t eat a lot of carrots, so this works for us.

    • October 28, 2012 5:47 am

      Pam R, I’ve been thinking of you with Sandy heading your way – I hope it passes by without too much damage. Fingers crossed.

  5. A.A. permalink
    October 28, 2012 7:48 am

    Was it that you don’t have a root cellar, right? Carrots store very nicely in damp sand there.

    Oh to have strawberries and cream! For some reason I have a huge craving for fat today, sour cream and strawberries would be superb! I’ve eaten so much meat and kraut lately. Maybe the meat’s been too lean.

    • October 28, 2012 8:48 am

      AA, no root cellar, just a cellar, but you know it doesn’t freeze much at all here, so leaving them in place makes more sense, however leaving these in the greenhouse makes no sense since the critters like to go where they have some cover and food. I figure it can’t hurt to have a few pints on hand of jarred carrots for stews, and convenience in case something takes out the main cook 😉

      The strawberries have been a pretty good treat, made much better with Jane’s contribution 😉

      • A.A. permalink
        October 28, 2012 9:29 am

        I’ve still got some roots and kale in the garden. I thought I’d leave it all in “until winter” since everything seemed to take the freezing night temps so well, but then it suddenly snowed a lot. 😀 I think I’ll get to it by Tuesday the latest. I don’t think rodents have got to eating the tops yet.

        Have you saved kale seed? I suppose I’d have to dig one or two plants up and put them in a bucket in the cellar.

        Here’s to your health! Cheers!

        • October 28, 2012 2:14 pm

          AA, until winter! That’s January here 😉 I like it when we get snow, cheap insulation, but I know you get much colder weather than we do!

          I haven’t saved kale seed for quite awhile – too busy saving rutabaga seed. Your bucket plan sounds like it would work perfectly.

  6. Eva permalink
    October 28, 2012 8:07 pm

    Has anyone tried dehydrating carrots? Even if does use electricity, this time of your it would contribute to heating.

    • October 29, 2012 4:58 am

      Eva, I haven’t, and I don’t plan on canning too many either. It would be interesting to compare the electricity usage of canning 40 pounds of carrots for 25 minutes vs. the dehydrating for how long? Storage space would be a good comparison too, one half gallon canning jar would probably hold 40 pounds of dehydrated carrots compared to 35 pint or 17 quarts or so of the canned.

    • October 30, 2012 5:25 am

      I’ve dehydrated and canned carrots before. When canning I usually pickle them with hot peppers in a 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 water solution with some salt.

      When dehydrating, we put them with a bunch of other dried veggies for soup. They work out nicely and tend to hold their shape/texture better than canned or fresh veggies in soup.

      Love reading your blog!

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