Sunday, November 22, 2009

Broken dormancy

A few days ago I went down into the root cellar and saw tiny spikes of carrot stem sticking up out of the damp sand. This November has been so mild my cellar hasn't been able to maintain the near-freezing temps needed to keep carrots in dormancy. So, I had a choice: do nothing and risk having most of my carrots turn to mush before I could use them, or process them to keep them from spoiling. I decided to process them.

Then, I had another choice: canning or freezing. Since my family prefers the taste of canned carrots, and since freezer space is definitely at a premium these days, I chose to can. Hubby spent a good chunk of the day Friday cleaning and chopping carrots while I was at work. Saturday morning the canning began in earnest. A visiting brother-in-law (thanks Nate!) was even roped in to help.

The canning continued off and on during the day, interspersed with a trip to town, playing with monkeys, a hot hotseat Civilization III game on the computer, and meal preparation. I finally put the pressure canner to rest at 2 am. I was determined to get it all done, and I did.

So, now we have 22 quarts and ten pints of canned carrots. And I now have the wisdom to keep my carrots in the ground until late fall, when the temperature in my root cellar is cold enough to stop carrot stems from growing up through the sand. Another lesson learned.


Mr. H. said...

That's a lot of canned carrots, very impressive. I also have a hard time maintaining our root cellar temperature in October and early November and am always opening and shutting doors to cool it off a bit.

Mama Pea said...

What a huge project! This year has been especially bad on root cellars, I know. Today our wake-up temperature was 44 degrees! Almost unheard of for this time of year in NE Minnesota. We always try to plan skating on the pond on Thanksgiving but it's sure not gonna happen this year.

You get two big Gold Stars for getting all those carrots canned in such a short time. That is A LOT of canning.

LindaSue said...

Hi I am Linda from http"//

Found your blog from reading another, I think MamaPea, and am really enjoying it.

You are not looney. In fact it is a beautiful sight to see all those canned jars. I too am a worry wort and cannot have enough food in the house even though it is just hubby and me.

You are right. It does seem like a lot of stuff but when you come right down to it, it isn't enough is it? 3 or maybe 4 or even6 times that much would be getting closer to enough. LOL LOL

See, we would get along just fine.

I am hoping this spring to get a little piece of land and try to do some gardening for the first time. I am 62 on disability from a nursing back injury so I don't know how much I can do. I just know it will be raised beds so I can do the work in it. That is my plan anyway.

Keep writing and canning and storing food. I am enjoying it.

LindaSue said...

Haven't looked at other comments, but thought I would put in my two cents. Dried tomaotes are great. Put them in soup or anything you would use canned tomatoes. Putting a roast in the crock pot. Throw in a couple of slices, a pot of green beans for supper, throw in a couple of slices. So much you can use them in. Later

Jo said...

Hey Mr. H -- Yep, it's a lot. Fortunately my potatoes are still okay down there. Guess they are more forgiving than carrots.

Hello Mama Pea -- Thanks for the Gold Stars! I loved getting those in grade school. Yeah, November was weird, but it looks like December is back to normal. Should we be happy? I don't know...

Hello LindaSue -- Thanks for your comments. Good luck with your quest for a little bit of land -- you can do a lot with just a little bit!

Jo said...
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