Well it is the third year for this blog. I am looking forward to 2021 and expecting a better year. I plan to spend some of this year on carrot centered work as I hope for tiny steps to “tend our garden” and heal the world.
Growing and ceremoniously eating carrots are the tasks of this work. Last year because of the pandemic it was hard to have big carrot parties but may 2021 be very different with many carrot celebrations from small to large in the fall of 2021.
My hope is that a by-product of our collective work is the building of community, inspiration of a land ethic, and small steps in saving our habitat. Hope is a super-power, let’s use it.
Some of you may know that I like to quantify acts and interactions to try to make sense of the world. Here is a list of last year’s blog’s publish dates, reading times and titles. There were ten posts:
- 02/09/2020 1 minute read Carrot Day 2020
- 03/07/2020 1 minute read Carrot Seeds
- 03/31/2020 2 minute read Carrot Seed Order
- 05/05/2020 2 minute read May
- 06/01/2020 5 minute read June
- 07/02/2020 2 minute read July, a Time for Thinning
- 08/01/2020 3 minute read August, Guest Post by Laney Siegner
- 09/13/2020 1 minute read Mid September
- 11/28/2020 1 minute read Carrot Day 2020
Ten seems a good number but who knows about this year, maybe nine, maybe eleven? I am ordering seeds this week and I am hoping to send out seeds to 80 folks this year. The first year I sent out 33, last year 52.
Now carrots seeds are small and they germinate slowly and they like wet soil of about 50 degrees so conditions do not not always cooperate for carrots. This past summer in Massachusetts it was brutally dry so I am thinking that it might be good to push up the planting from the beginning of June to the last week in May. The timing is hard because if you plant too soon then it is a bit too long for the perfect magic of frost on a carrot.
One thing I love about Carrot Day is that it helps me stay in touch with friends. Last month a friend, the writer and climate activist, Kim Stanley Robinson, wrote to me about carrot growing in Davis California. We became friends in the early 1990’s in Davis when our children were very small and we both had gardens and shared a love of nature. Stan is a sage who is one of the world’s most important voices in stopping our journey to a future of habitat loss and a mass species extinction. Stan’s work is a warning but as Bill McKibben writes Stan is “at heart an optimist,” and Stan plants carrots. Let’s all be all optimists and plant carrots, tend them and harvest after a frost (if we live in places with frost) and then have a party.
Stan wrote me: Casey forwarded me your blog on carrot growing and I have to tell you I have been an enthusiastic grower of carrots in my garden for many years, though I find it really hard to get a successful start. I prep the soil etc. and plant seeds as if planting grass, just lots and lots of seeds, then keep it wet for a couple weeks, and when it works it really works— a field of carrot tops I can pluck from early on and then have carrots for months on end from that one bed. But half the time, I get no starts at all from all those seeds! It’s either big success or total failure. But it’s fun to try, and for years it was the only thing I grew in my garden that my boys would eat.
Hope you grow carrots this year even though it can be hard. Together we can grow more of our own food, give more back to our soil and inspire children to love vegetables. Just last week a group of sixth graders who experienced a minor carrot celebration in November begged me for carrots and I know from many of you that a child in your life inspired your family to put in a garden. Those kids were inspired by gardening in school and eating really good carrots and they inspired you to grow gardens.
Let’s stay in touch.