Monday, November 17, 2014

Digging in the Frozen Dirt

I've said it before and I'll say it again: there's something about pulling fresh produce out of your garden in mid-November that just feels like cheating :) Cheating what, I don't know... mother nature?

Having all-but-forgotten my garden by this point, I'd been curious as to how the last few bits and bobs were doing out there. As the nighttime temps started to dip and frost descended upon us, I knew I should probably cover the garden "at some point", but just never got around to it. I still have carrots, green onions, gobs of leeks ("There's a leek in the boat!" hehehe), and a few bunches of romaine and parsley that I planted in late summer and were still somehow hanging on.

Then last week we had a huge dip in temps, everything froze and was covered in a nice crust of ice and snow. I figured, well that's it then -- I've missed my window. It was a good run, 2014. Thanks for the memories, and the leeks. See you in the Spring. (Sorry, abandoned carrots.)

Until I found myself in the kitchen one frosty evening, ready to make supper, and I pulled some carrots out of the fridge. They were just... meh. Having enjoyed fresh, REAL carrots from the garden all summer and fall, we've really been spoiled. Bagged carrots from the fridge now taste, I don't know, like orange sticks of crud basically.

It dawned on me that the ones in the garden might actually still be edible... So, out I went, flashlight in hand, like a thief in the night ready to pluck the little orange gems from their wintery slumber. Ignoring the fact that our neighbourhood is home to something like a dozen or a hundred bears. BEARS. Yes, real live freaking bears. Please don't let me get mauled to death for a few freaking carrots.

I hadn't really thought this through, obviously, since the ground was frozen down at least 3" and covered in that snow/ice crust. But... I was determined. There I was, in the cold and dark, flashlight in my mouth, digging in the frozen dirt with my bare hands. At one point I thought, okay this is just silly. This is not worth it for a few measly carrots. Plus I could get mauled to death out here.

But then, lo and behold, I pulled up a huge slab of frozen earth with about a dozen orange nubs sticking out of the bottom. How cool!! And the smell! Anyone who's pulled a carrot out of the dirt knows that smell -- it's heavenly.

Now, I realize I'm starting to sound like a total kook right now. But I'm telling you, there is still nothing like the smell of fresh carrots out of the ground! Especially half frozen ground! Totally cheating mother nature, right here!

Anyway I would have loved to snap a few pictures of the orange beauties all sticking out of the frozen slab of earth, but it was cold and dark and my fingers were numb... And that supper wasn't going to make itself.

Thankfully there are still at least a dozen carrots out there (and all the leeks. Honestly what am I going do with all those damn leeks??)... so maybe I'll have another chance. Until next time...