This may be the rudest, crudest vegetable I've grown. It's flagrantly suggestive in rather obvious ways, but even if you manage to look past those, it looks to me like a carrot giving the finger to—what? The other carrots? The spinach?
Perhaps when it writes its memoir, The Secret Life of Carrots, we'll find out.
The real point here is that I picked it on February 15th from my basement garden, which even now remains my only source for fresh vegetables such as those in last Sunday's omelet.
Yes, I know; some of you down south are probably almost ready to harvest your first spring carrots, and your chard may be ready to bolt. But things are different here in the north, especially this year. We are flirting with spring—or it with us—but no commitment has been made. You couldn't say that there's an actual relationship here.
So my only carrots or chard over a quarter inch tall are growing in my basement.
I actually sowed my winter garden flats last fall (rather than waiting until February), so they had a pretty good start outside before I had to bring them in and put them under the florescent lights downstairs. All the carrots are in the 6” deep, 2' long plastic planters from my local Ace Hardware store. Not a major investment.
I wouldn't have thought carrots would grow indoors, or in such shallow containers. But two winters back I dropped a few carrot seeds in amongst my basement lettuce, and they grew to a small but edible size. So this time around I decided to get serious.
Given my shallow pots, Little Finger carrots seemed the best choice, as they only grow to be four or five inches long. Or so they say. One I picked had reached something closer to seven inches, but not in a straight line. Apparently it had hit the bottom of the planter, taken a hard left, and kept going for another couple of inches before I pulled it. As for what happened to the one pictured above, it's probably better not to speculate.
Maybe a dozen times since February, I've picked a small handful like the one pictured in Sunday's post, good for salad or garnish. It's not nearly all the carrots we eat—but it's some. And they're good.
There have been a few (ahem) problems along the way, including a horrific aphid infestation, but I'll save those for another post.
Of course, one reason why carrots are such a great crop for me this year is that I've so profoundly neglected my greens. That fast-growing chard in this winter's only exception. Apparently the whole gardening 101 bit about first planting seeds and then watering them in a timely fashion —this is still beyond me.
Working on it.