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I’ve solved growing carrots. Thankfully, we love carrots. If, instead, our bumper crop was eggplants (which I think are beautiful but I don’t particularly like), I’d be offering eggplants to everyone I know. But the carrots thing, I’ve mastered.

My gardening philosophy is benign neglect. If seeds or plants need too much attention, they will not survive in my gardens. My solution was to build raised beds.

The raised bed solves my issue of aging. Even now, I struggle with being down on the ground weeding and hand troweling. And growing carrots was accidental. In Florida, carrots aren’t commonly grown. It’s the rocky soil. The raised bed means no encumbrances. The roots go deep. The variety of carrots astounds me and delights. They each have a slightly different flavor and sweetness. Some are peppery and other bright and citrusy.

I plant carrots twice a year and except in the height of summer heat between July and September, we have fresh carrots in the garden. I buy pelleted seeds, preferably organic, heirloom varieties from Johnny’s Selected Seeds. There are always more seeds in a package than I can grow, so, each year, I over sow with the older seeds. And often they still germinate. Someone smarter than me would know if the pelleting process protects and extends the longevity of the seeds.

Our favorite way to eat carrots – other than Joann’s carrot cake recipe (which is honestly just an excuse for cream cheese frosting) is to roast them. We chop up carrots, sweets, potatoes, onions and beets if we have them and toss with olive oil, fresh herbs, salt and fresh ground pepper and bake in a 400F oven. It can take 30-45 minutes to get the desired caramelization and crispness.


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