Carrots on the Shelf

The carrots have been pulled and processed. We were very pleased with the amount of the harvest since it was more than we expected. We grow Danver’s half longs since our rocky soil lends itself to non-straight carrots, even the short version.

That small dirt path down the middle is where the carrots were. As with most canning projects, preparing the food is the most time consuming part of the process.

Why is this one lonely carrot yellow? It was the only one. Interesting. By the way, about half of these carrots were grown from the seeds we saved last year. Two years ago, I planted a patch of carrots in the herb bed so I could leave them for two years to go to seed since they are biennial. It worked! This year, I put a small patch of beets in the herb bed that grew in the greenhouse all winter. I hope they will reward us with seeds as well.

Instead of cutting each carrot by hand, we chose to use a slicing wheel on the KitchenAid. It was much faster and easier on the aging bodies.


 We had exactly enough to fill up two canners – 32 pints.

One of those all purpose shelves. From left to right, top to bottom.
Row 1: Handheld radios we use everyday, work gloves, cookie sheet and bucket to dry eggshells for the garden, Frank’s hat and gloves. 
Row 2: Towel lined shelf for hot jars to cool after removing from the canner
Row 3: Milk buckets, extra bucket for scraps

The next morning the chickens got the carrot scraps and the garden got the whey from the soft cheese that was making while we canned the carrots.

We are grateful for the harvest and the nutrition on the shelf. A very satisfying days work.

Until next time – Fern

20 thoughts on “Carrots on the Shelf

  1. Fiona, when I try to direct seed carrots into the garden we never get a crop. Using the newspaper Pot Makers and waiting until the plants are up and growing about 3\” works for us. Hang in there and keep trying.Good to hear from you, Fern

  2. Carrots are our nemesis. We find germination extremely difficult and then they really dislike our climate. We are hoping the manure will help our clay and are contemplating adding sand. Great post as usual. The bright happy color of carrots is a blessing in winter.

  3. Thanks, Will, and you're welcome. It is interesting to be back, and we prefer this pace of writing as opposed to forcing a time schedule to publish something more often. We're rather hit and miss now, but it's good for us.Thank you for the encouragement, it's always good to hear from folks. Fern

  4. This is my first year to grow pinto beans also, so I'm learning right there with you. I was so excited to see the pinto bean pods that I picked the ones that looked like the beans inside were mature. I haven't shelled them yet. I'm guessing that from the first picking I'll probably get about a cup of pintos. I will probably also try letting some dry on the vines, so they can be preserved in dry form, as well as canning/cooking the fresh ones. I did cook the first picking of green beans and that yield was about 6 cups. Our squash is still too small to pick, so your squash must be doing great! I was working in the garden this morning for about 4 hours (cultivating, weeding, and re-planting in spots where the seeds didn't come up). When it hits 11:00am in TX, you just have to stop the outside activities. Everything has to be done early if you want to get things done. I bet ya'll have similar weather, too. Thanks for the tip on freezing tomatoes before canning. I will definitely try that to save time.

  5. Hi, Janae. We aren't milking as many goats as you are, but have more than enough whey for our animals to consume. We give some to the chickens, but the the cats and dog prefer milk.I have found that most garden plants, especially the tomatoes, like the whey. I haven't researched the components of whey in quite a while, but whey, along with eggshells, are distributed throughout the garden regularly. How? The whey I pour at the base of the plants, the eggshells we dry, crush, then sprinkle at the base of the plants.I like using the whey and eggshells to produce more food. It just feels right. Thanks for the question, and I'm glad you're finding something useful here.Fern

  6. Lots of good ideas for carrots, Vicki, and I agree with your sentiments. \”Food in jars makes me happy.\” The more food I have on the shelf, the more relaxed I am about feeding us for a period of time without access to any other sources if the situation necessitates. Happy canning! Fern

  7. Your canned carrots are beautiful and will be so nice to open them up and use them for a winter dinner! Please tell me more about how you use your whey in the garden. We milk 5 goats daily and always have an abundance of whey left over from our cheese making as well, always looking for new \”Wheys\” to use it up! We got a late start with gardening this year as the snow hung around til the 1st week of April. Eating fresh lettuce and strawberries. Raspberries are just starting and red currants will soon be ready to harvest as well. So looking forward to some fresh tomatoes, zuc's, cukes and potatoes! Nothing taste better then food right out of the garden. I am always so blessed by your blog and so happy you have returned to posting again!Blessings,Janae @ Creekside Farmstead

  8. Food in jars makes me happy. It is sort of my version of a security blanket. I use my home canned carrots in soups and stews as well as a side dish with a bit of butter or candied in butter and brown sugar. I tried canning carrot chunks in the dame jar with diced potatoes and peas for use in beef stew and that worked well. I also can carrot and potato chunks together to add to a beef roast or roasting chicken. I would prefer my carrots home grown, but will take them however I can get them. They are a necessity in this household.

  9. I didn’t raise carrots this year, but I use a lot of them. Like you, I put them in soup and stew. I also put them in with a roast and potatoes. I also eat a lot of raw carrots when we have sandwiches, and I put them in a cold chicken pasta dish that we eat a lot of during the hot summer months.

  10. Mary, we have a few green beans coming on, but not enough for a meal yet. I need to check them again today.Pinto beans. This is our first crop and they are growing and producing well. I'm still surprised they are pole beans instead of bush, so they're growing on the ground. I hope they still make well and don't suffer from lack of air flow. Question. When do you pick yours? Do you wait for them to dry on the vine, or just until the interior bean is mature enough to look like a pinto? The Jacobs Cattle shell beans we grew before seemed to harvest better while the pod was still green but the beans were showing the red and white color of maturity.The tomatoes are just starting to put on well here. We have had one green tomato and are looking forward to our first ripe one. Most of ours will be canned, either chopped or made into sauce. We have found that freezing the tomatoes first helps eliminate some of the liquid and forgoes the blanching process for peeling. We froze about 20 gallon bags of tomatoes last summer then thawed them all at once for making tomato sauce. That worked very well, so we will do that again. Just have to make sure we have the freezer space.We are already overrun with yellow squash, but we don't mind, and neither do the chickens. Enjoy the harvest!Fern

  11. We have never tried dehydrating carrots, Bluesman, only herbs. I used to use some dehydrated carrots to make carrot cake and they worked great. Now that we don't eat sugar, we only dream about carrot cake on occasion.Now it's time to can greens and beets. I'm glad the harvest has begun.Fern

  12. I don't plan to add anything to that area for now. The two tomato trellises on either side are developing well and will bush out quite a bit more. We will plant more carrots and beets in September on the eastern end of the garden and see if we can have a crop for fresh eating well into winter. The pinto beans are there now. I've tried a fall crop before with direct seeding without much luck. We'll start the fall carrots in Pot Makers like we did this crop since it was much more successful.Hope your seeds thrive and are productive, CW. There is nothing like putting your own homegrown food on the shelf, you are right about that.Fern

  13. The main use for the carrots is in soup, Grammy. I like having carrots, green beans, cowpeas, tomatoes and squash on the shelf for soup. Grab one jar of each and the meat of our choice, and we have soup. Do you can carrots? What do you use them for? Fern

  14. Fern, your carrots look great! 32 pints is a great start to the canning season, and I'm sure there's lots more to come. Isn't it rewarding when you aim for something, and then achieve it? Successfully harvesting a crop from saved seeds was well worth the 2 year wait, and it cost you nothing. I too would like to begin saving seeds from this year's gardens. Our gardens are now producing, and today I'm canning asparagus. Yesterday I picked pinto beans and green beans. Like you, we use our Kitchen Aid and attachments to make life easier when we can. I can't wait to start harvesting all those tomatoes that still need to ripen, along with the squashes, cucumbers and peppers that are still small. God is blessing us this year, and challenging us with the weather patterns. Thanks for the insight into your food preservation ideas.

  15. Congratulations on your carrot harvest, they look yummy. I agree , the cleaning & processing part of the operation is very time consuming. But when everything is on the shelf ,what a great feeling of accomplishment. We also dehydrate some for soups .Bluesman

  16. Wow, 32 pints! That is wonderful. Will you now put another planting of carrots or other vegetable in the row where the carrots grew? You are on your way for storing up more food and nutrition for the coming year. We are just putting our seeds in the ground but there is still time to grow a good crop of produce. Today I canned jars of pickled asparagus. Tomorrow I will can jars of strawberry rhubarb jam. I just love putting all the jars of homecanned fruits, vegetables, and meat on my pantry shelves. It's food security! May you be blessed with a lot more vegeagles and fruits, CWfromIowa

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