Garden, Plant, Cook!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Volunteer Carrots and corning the beef

Dear Folks,

So, last year I planted carrots and let one of the plants go to seed - well okay, I forgot about it and it went to flower and seed before I pulled up last summer to prepare for fall planting.

The seeds randomly planted themselves, including in the pathway beside the bed, which is separated by bricks.  The carrots in the path came up this winter as a 'lawn' of green and I figured - what the heck - I will see what happens.  So periodically I would pull soil away to see if there was any appreciable growth.  Also the path is not watered directly - there is a little moisture spread from the actual growing bed, and of course we have had a lot of rain.  So yesterday I decided to poke around in the carrot lawn and guess what I found?

I carefully dug these out after softening the soil with some water, and there are still more to "grow" wider now that they more wiggle room.

You can see that the roots got kind of creative in working down into the harder soil.  I have not prepared these yet, but they may be a the heirloom short carrot Chantanay red core - you can't really see it in the picture but they have red "shoulders" -- anyway I'm delighted to have these volunteers to cook up.  There may be more ready that I can use for St. Patrick's day corned beef dinner.

One of the recommendations I give to folks about growing carrots here in the desert is very loose deep soil and choose short maturity varieties - you will have faster and better success, particularly if you successive sow them beginning in late summer/early fall.

So on to corning beef.  I tried it for the first time last year because I wanted to control the ingredients and I was completely pleased with the results - see link below for last year's post.

Last year I used Red Mountain Cattle grass fed brisket and it was great but I thought I would try a 'better' cut this year.  This year we purchased grass fed from Farmer Goose out on the west side and I decided to go with a roast.  I started the brining yesterday so it will be ready to go into the crock pot the morning of St. Patty's day.

About corning beef - my first post

The finished corned beef

Now that the weather is finally getting a bit warmer - don't forget to get your warm weather garden transplanting and sowing done ASAP so the plants have sufficient time to get good roots going before the heat hits.

Have a great week,

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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