Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

The Cost of Carrots.

Posted on | September 1, 2014 | 6 Comments

This was the first year that I grew carrots in containers.  I did it because this guy told me to.  I found his instructive video by typing “growing carrots, lazy” into the search engine.  The best gardening tip I can give you is to always add a comma and “lazy” when searching the internet for garden plans.  I used to add the word “easy,” but obviously “easy” means different things to different people.  “Easy” method suggestions included digging garden beds down to 18″ deep and making your own seed tape with flour, water, scissors, toilet paper, ruler, paintbrush, blah, blah, horribly not-easy-at-all blah.  In fairness, I consider myself more “time-crunched” than “lazy.”  But the internet gets too confused if you search for “growing carrots, time-crunched.”  Everybody’s pretty much on the same page for “lazy.”

As it turned out, planting carrots in containers was a wonderful idea.  My parents left a bunch of empty patio containers here last year.  I carried them to the garden.  Filled them up with wheelbarrows of compost from the chicken pasture.  Sprinkled the carrot seeds in rows that I dug with my index finger.  Covered the rows back over with soil using the palm of my hand.  Easy.  Lazy.  Whatevs.

But there were more benefits to carrots in containers than just getting it all done in 30 minutes.  Unlike a row of carrots in the ground, containers were portable.  I was able to move the pots to a different location when I decided they were in the way of the broccoli.  I was able to group them together into a convenient square when I needed to cover the newly emerged seedlings with a sheet during a heavy frost.   I was able to line them up neatly under strips of shade cloth when the summer heat set in.

Weeding was easier in the pots, too.  I didn’t have chickweed or Johnson grass trying to creep in amongst the carrots from the garden paths.  The carrot tops sprouted and flourished before the temps were warm enough for any airborne weed seeds to get established, so the interlopers were easy to spot and pull out when they did arrive.  Voila!  Weed free carrots.

I’ll admit I sowed them too thickly for the pots.  But that just meant that every time I thinned out the seedlings we had lots of mini-carrots  for salads.  And for CC the fat pony.  And for little Harvey so that he didn’t have to sneak nibbles of the petunias when he thought I wasn’t looking.

Even when I didn’t thin the carrots enough to let them reach full size, they were still sweet and edible.  Some were even entertaining.  Carrots, please!!  This is a family blog!

I pulled the last of the carrots out of the pots yesterday.  Counting that batch, we had 5 harvests of carrots during the season (not counting the mini-carrots we got when thinning the seedlings).

Most were in the 5-6″ range as you can see when compared to the peppers and eggplant.

But since this was the final harvest, I even pulled the smaller 3-4″ carrots, too.

Every harvest yielded about a gallon bag full of carrots.  And each of those bags made about 2 side dishes for my family of 6.  Plus a few extra salads and snacks for lunch boxes from the mini-carrots.

Since the pots were free and the compost was free, all I spent to feed my family healthy, naturally grown carrots a little over 10 times was the purchase price of seeds.  The seeds cost…., well, I bought about….um, a couple or,….a few, I think….let’s see.  I’m sure I have a gardening journal somewhere around here that will tell me how many packets of seeds I bought and how much they cost.  Somewhere around here.  Probably….maybe….

Uh.  Nope.

Anyway, I grew five 1 gallon bags of carrots.  And the cost of naturally grown carrots per gallon is…..well, um.  I think carrots are sold by the pound in the store.  And 1 gallon is equal to….uh….hmmm.  If gallons are volume and pounds are weight then you need to….change, or…uh, convert….huh.

WTH?

Listen, people.

I saved time and money on carrots this year.

Really.

I swear.

Comments

6 Responses to “The Cost of Carrots.”

  1. Pat
    September 1st, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog…your sense of humor is just amazing and it comes through in your writing. No, we probably don’t save any money planting our own carrots, and they’re hell to clean and put up, especially now that the stores have those nice little baggies of cleaned and peeled baby carrots (so easy), but we can enjoy the ones we buy so much more because of the sense of accomplishment it give us, no? …umm….
    Keep writing, please!!!

  2. Sherry Herry
    September 2nd, 2014 @ 4:23 am

    I have tried to grow egg plants for several years now. I don’t get much of anything, maybe 2, and every plant doesn’t have fruit. Do you have any advice for growing egg plants? Thank you. I love reading your blog too.

  3. Andrew
    September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:20 am

    I’ll have to try that method. For the second year in a row, I planted my carrots in a spot with too little sun. Well, when I say “too little sun” I mean, I planted them, forgot about them, and sowed a bunch of wildflower seeds right next to them. I’m just rediscovering them now.

  4. Aunt Peggy
    September 2nd, 2014 @ 7:52 am

    Cukes and zukes and green beans are great in pots, too, but eggplant doesn’t like being potted -don’t know why. Don’t know how I forgot carrots this year – oh, well, spring isn’t all that far away.
    Love your blogs – keep writing.

  5. carla
    September 2nd, 2014 @ 12:03 pm

    Plus, we don’t get to see those R-rated carrots in the store!

  6. Jill
    September 3rd, 2014 @ 4:35 am

    Love this one Stevie! and I agree with carla! By the time carrots get to the store, they are definitely G-rated. G for good, not great. They are often dry, which I don’t love. Yay for Pretty et al for getting yummy lazy food!!! 🙂

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