It was interesting to observe what happened. Most of the seeds were sowed in the Homeland raised beds, where we normally grow carrots, but in different beds than the previous crop. Those that I sowed between the mulch (as in the photo above) took longer to germinate, but in the end, they grew better – well, sort of. Some of the seeds I sowed in open soil in the raised beds, never even germinated. Most of the seeds I sowed in Dreamland’s open shallow no-dig beds germinated, but their growth was severely stunned when they hit the hard clay. More soil conditioning is obviously required.
Anyway, the time came to harvest the carrots. Great was our disappointment! The reddish ones were sort-of OK, although very hairy, but the yellowish ones were bleak – almost white, bland, underdeveloped and as hard as rock. They weren’t even nice to boil or steam.
However, all is not lost. One of our neigh-bours is Ricky, a retired stud horse, which roams wherever he wants to go on a very neglected 3.5 acres. (I would LOVE to make something of that farmlet! In fact I did a design for it as my solo project during my PDC course.) Ricky’s shed is so dilapidated, he takes shelter under the trees when it rains (and our winter rain is icy cold!) I don’t blame him though, the loose corrugated iron sheets on his shed make the most eerie rattling noises in the midnight wind. Halloween. Stephen King. They give him the odd bale of straw, but mostly for feed he can choose between serrated tussock, some salty sprawling weeds (looks like Horehound – I should really learn their names) and whatever grows in-between after any rain. (We would also LOVE to take Ricky over too… we already use his manure in the worm farm and on the compost heaps).
So Ricky has become our adapted pet in a way. We feed him some long grass we pull out. He doesn’t like apples all that much, not even sliced, which is a pity in apple-glut season. But he loves roses, dandelion (if it’s medicinal for us, I guess it’s good for him too?) and of course, carrots!
Although he has become quite wild, he is quite tame over the fence, if that makes sense. So in exchange for treat – he always takes his treat first – he allows you a little stroke. Not much though, just a short token thank you.