I harvest my first purple carrot!

We have had so much rain in the last week that I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to the allotment yesterday afternoon.  The potato bed looked a bit battered from the downpour but I don’t think any real damage has been done. A few cherry tomatoes were lying on the ground, but apart from that I think the rain has done lots of good.

The main reason for my visit was to gather salad vegetables for today’s lunch as I had invited friends around. The menu was planned and just needed the fresh taste of a bowl of salad to complete the meal.

I was really pleased with the result of my labours. Left to right is lovely crunchy radish, multicoloured harlequin carrots and Drunken Woman lettuce. Curly parsley and flat leafed parsley is at the back.

This is the first time that I have grown harlequin carrots. I really wanted to pull a purple carrot out of the ground. And here it is in the centre of the photo. it’s a bit thin, but it is purple.  The rest turned out to be white (an albino carrot!) and finally one very ordinary orange one. It was very tempting to keep pulling them up just to see what other colours I have – but I left them for another day.

I am now hooked. That is the joy of planting from seed, the variety is endless.

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. slowborg
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 20:51:49

    aaaah so exciting! What a colourful and delicious and fresh looking haul. how was your salad? Best you’ve ever tasted?
    Good growing Jean!

    Reply

  2. lightlycrunchy
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 22:15:36

    I love the name of that lettuce! I’m going to have to look for some of it, just to say I grew some. We’ve only had mesclun mix and green onions up so far. I couldnt even see and carrots sprouting yet – and we planted 3 rows back in the end of May. I worry that that is a bad sign.

    I was surprised by the amount of volunteer tomatoes, butter crunch lettuce and romaine that is popping up in our garden – I’ll leave the lettuce alone (its just coing up in between the rows, but unfortunately I’ll have to pull all of the tomato plants – they’ll interfere with our other plants.

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 13, 2012 @ 18:02:43

      I know what you mean about those volunteer tomatoes. At the allotment the cherry tomato plants pop up like weeds, I do hate to rip them out though. I saved one a few months ago and staked it and fed it and now it’s trying to take over the allotment. ‘Give it an inch it will take a mile!’, the old saying surely relates to these plants.

      Reply

  3. narf77
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 07:00:56

    Oh to live in a tropical clime! Its cold here in Tasmania but no rain to speak of when the rest of the country is deluged and stormy. We are in the process of starting to get our vegetable gardens ready for spring planting. We haven’t had veggie gardens here before (2 years) and I am REALLY looking forwards to fresh greens again. We have such a short season here that we need to choose the appropriate fast cropping veggies so that we don’t lose them all to an early frost. Purple carrots are never very big and yours looks stunning. I get constant happiness from seeing your gardening results Jean and hopefully, soon, we will be growing as well 🙂 My daughter would kill for fresh radishes like that! 🙂

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 14, 2012 @ 07:26:29

      Thanks for the comment, it’s good to hear from you. I didn’t realise that purple carrots are never very big, so mine wasn’t too bad then. Although we both live in Australia our climates are so different aren’t they. When I first visited Tassie I was so impressed with your produce. Especially the wonderful cherries over the Christmas time. But I see what you mean, you would have a shorter growing season for some veggies. I wonder if celebrity gardeners Peter Cundall or Matthew Evans have put out any information on the web about what you should be growing in your veggie patch. I was thinking as they both garden in Tasmania it could be useful to you. Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing about your veggie garden and your spring planting.
      About the radishes. They were just an extra crop that I only planted to mark the slower growing root vegetables so I wouldn’t trample on them. But when I pulled out these gorgeous crunchy little radishes it was a case of ‘Yum’. They are a really fast growing crop so you could do ok with them – and earn Brownie Points with your daughter at the same time!

      Reply

      • narf77
        Jun 14, 2012 @ 12:38:29

        My daughter would do tricks for radishes (and at 24 that’s saying something! 😉 Peter Cundall lives just around the corner from us apparently (somewhere hidden away organically beavering away in the Tamar Valley). We are doing our second diploma in horticulture and know HEAPS about trees and shrubs (our chosen passion) but sweet bucklies about veggie gardening (annuals and perennials) so its like going back to primary school to relearn everything. I am watching your efforts with keen interest. Your produce looks amazing and so healthy! We just collected heaps of spent oak leaves from our neighbours 200 year old oak trees and have been given some free topsoil. Combined with the spent chicken roost straw we should be able to make something approximating “good” for vegetable growing. Thank you for posting about your adventures, you are certainly helping out 2 Tasmanian novice veggie gardeners in the process 🙂

  4. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 21:27:57

    I am impressed with your diplomas in horticulture. I only started growing vegetables in Queensland a couple of years ago. I had grown a few veggies in the UK but that was many years ago. I was lucky that I found a community garden in Brisbane and volunteered to start with. This was a great help as I could work with the experienced gardeners and learn from them. After a few months I took on two small allotments (16 square metres in total) but I still seek advice from the more experienced allotment holders, and pick up as many tips as I can. The Brisbane City Council also fund gardening workshops in libraries around the city and I go to lots of these. So really, I have just picked up whatever knowledge I can, where I can, and it seems to be working. I am thrilled with what I have been able to harvest from my tiny patch of dirt.

    Reply

  5. cityhippyfarmgirl
    Jun 17, 2012 @ 20:22:01

    Jean that’s wonderful being able to harvest your own vegetables like that, and no wonder you wanted to keep pulling those carrots. I’d be curious too!

    Reply

    • Allotment adventures with Jean
      Jun 18, 2012 @ 09:24:21

      Thanks for stopping by Brydie. I was back at the allotment most of the day yesterday and pulled a few more carrots. Another purple one popped out. (I don’t know what I will do for excitement when I have harvested all these harlequin carrots!). My allotment neighbour Tim has had a fabulous harvest of sweet potato and generously gave me a couple. I couldn’t wait to put them in the roasting pan when I got home. There must be quite a lot of sugar in these veggies as they were lovely and caramelised.

      Reply

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