Carrots are one of those crops that every gardener should have in the backyard patch. They are easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to store. However, out of those three “easy-to-do’s,” the hardest is storing. Most folks are very familiar with storing store-bought carrots in a fridge for short-term storage, but when it comes to long-term storage solutions for gardens picked from the garden, many gardeners find themselves confused at what to do. To help those folks, I decided to whip together a little summary of how to harvest carrots for storage.
How to harvest carrots for storage.
(1) Begin with the end in mind.
You need to plan your carrots with harvest in mind. That is, plant carrots in such a way that when they grow, they will grow nice, straight, and long. If you fail to get your carrot spacing right, you’ll end up with a crooked harvest which makes storage all the more challenging. The straighter the carrot, the easier the pick, the easier the pick, the easier the storage.
(2) Don’t wait to begin storing
Harvesting can be tiring, especially when you have an abundant crop. However, it is important to plan your preservation process so that it can easily be accomplished within two days of harvest. Waiting any longer than that risks the carrots going limp and spoiling.
(3) Three ways to preserve
There are three primary methods for preserving carrots for long-term storage. And I define long-term as more than six months. Those three methods are:
- Canning in glass jars: Good for carrot chunks and slices
- Dehydrating: Good for carrot slices and smaller bits for soups.
- Not picking the carrots in the first place and simply letting them stay in the ground until it’s time to pick them: You run the risk of rodents getting to them, but this is an old-fashioned, tried-and-true method of cold storage.
Carrots really are a great crop and they produce large amounts of food from just a little bit of input. Just ensure that you have a preservation plan in place before you plant your crop. This will help ensure happy carrot-eating for months after harvest concludes.