Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fresh Veggies in ..... April?

A quick reminder that if you still haven't made your comment on my Changes Are Afoot post, now is the time to do so.  I will be making the draw for the glass ornament tomorrow evening.

The sun was shining all day today so when I came home I knew I wanted to get outside and try and soak a little of that Vitamin D up.  The vegetable beds are now completely snow free so it was a good time to look at how they held up.

The straw isn't sprouting at this point and the wood boxes held up just fine which is good to see.  Unfortunately there's vole trails all round the beds.  I'm not thrilled to see that.  I really hope they stay out of my beds.

You can see a vole trail winding by in the top left corner of this photo
I wanted to check this bed particularly because I left something there last fall.  On advice from Melanie at Northern Gardener's Almanac I left some carrots in my bed.  She promised me they would stay there over the winter and still be quite edible in spring.  Cold storage if you will.  So I dug in.

They're still there!  Bright orange, crisp and completely edible.  Best of all, no vole damage.  I didn't think I had left too many but it turns out I was wrong.  I managed to dig out a full basket and there's still more left in the ground.

I was so excited to be outside again and I'm thrilled to have fresh vegetables in spring.  On the menu tomorrow... carrots!

And just because he's such a handsome devil, here's one last photo of Funnyface basking in the spring sun.


  1. Wow - that is soooo cool! Can you do that with other root veggies too or just carrots? What a treat! That's one way to eat "local" year round lol!

  2. How interesting! Enjoy your fresh carrots! I am amazed.

  3. Wow, I am really surprised that the carrots did not rot! They sure look tasty. Guess I learned something new today. :-)

  4. Yeah!! Bet they are really sweet too!

  5. I can't believe the carrots didn't freeze & rot. I think I will try that this year.
    Are those voles for sure? I know I have rat trails all over the place! The dog waits beside them, ever hoping ... and sometimes succeeding!

  6. Hello everyone! I was shocked at the taste of the carrots. Very sweet, crisp not woody. There were a couple that had some rot but the majority were fine. Although I should note, none of them have started to sprout new leaves which I think changes the texture. Overwintering may depend a bit on your soil conditions so I'm not sure how this will work for different beds. Mine are raised beds and the soil is super light and free draining. I also covered them in straw for protection.

    Jane - Melanie said to try potatoes and beets as well. It seems to me that I've read parsnips are better with frost as it sweetens them so might be able to try these as well.

    Kim - I'm pretty sure they are either mice or voles as I have yet to see a rat on our property. (we have several killer cats and their trophies are generally dragged onto the porch to show them off) But I'm wondering if there are moles too? Unfortunately there is a trail that leads directly under one raised bed. Somebody made a home under there and I'm not quite sure who they are or how to get them out.

  7. With a good enough straw layer that would probably work even in Manitoba. Except if we ran out of our stored carrots again I'd probably be trying to figure out how to go unearth that planted ones - at -35 C and under four feet of snow!

  8. What a nice surprise! So glad you are finally able to feel the warm sun on your face! Have a great weekend!

  9. Now that is cool. I think I'm gonna give that a try this year. Thanks for sharing!

  10. How fabulous! A kind of down-payment on the growing season to come.

  11. I have also left carrots and parsnips in the ground over Winter.
    They have survived and taste great.
    Love the picture of Funnyface sunbathing on the deck chair table.

  12. That is the coolest thing ever. I wish I had a real garden to try that in. Some day :)

  13. Aagaard Farms - I admit I tried prying some carrots out of the frozen dirt a little too early. I got desperate! I ended up with carrots chipped from my trowel.

    Cat - I'm THRILLED to see sun again. It feels like it's been forever.

    Liz - this is such a neat idea. Definitely give it a try if you can.

    Janet - It's like enticing yourself to plant more vegetables. I got a taste of those carrots and immediately wanted more.

    The Witch - you've tried parsnips! I'm so glad to hear that, I thought they might work too but wasn't sure.

    Johanna - I sympathize. I longed for a sunny garden for years. You'll get one soon.