I couldn't stand it anymore. I had to know. So, Monday, I finally pulled up a carrot. It was WAY bigger than I thought it would be...about 6 inches long and as big around as Jesse's index finger (because, of course, you all know how big Jesse's fingers are). It was a little astonishing. We hadn't expect anything very large. Carrots have never done very well for us, but Jesse likes them so we try every year. I planted this batch back in March and have, generally, ignored them. I didn't thin them. I only watered them a few times. Other than planting them in well composted soil (with a little sand thrown in), I really didn't invest much effort. I have always found that carrots seem to take *forever* to sprout. I'd been waiting to see the top of carrots peeking above the soil (like with radishes) to know they were ready. However, it just wouldn't happen. After two weeks of thinking the carrots really should be ready by now, I snapped. Good thing, too. We harvested about a dozen carrots varying in lengths and widths. Pulling up carrots is a little addictive--and way harder than you'd think they would be. A few of the carrots really didn't want to see the light of day and clutched on to the soil with all their rooty might. I'm sure the dogs could hear the cries of the carrots. It was very hard to keep from pulling all the carrots up in one sitting. Ardis even got in on the action. She only pulled up 2 or 3 before she tired of the process. I think she tired of pulling up stems without the carrots more than anything. After we finished, I harvest two of the beets that I could see were ready.
Jesse harvest more carrots on Wednesday. He pull up almost as many as we had on Monday. We chose to bake the carrots in a glass baking dish in the oven with a little butter. The carrots were tender enough that they did not need to be peeled. We threw in the beets as well. We baked them at 325 until they were "fork tender" (i.e. we could stick a fork into them without much effort). They were very sweet and delicious. Now, we sit and twiddle our thumb waiting patiently to pull up the remaining carrots in the garden. I'll likely start more carrots around the base of the tomato plants because carrots love tomatoes.
The survivors of the Belladonna Fiasco of 2011 are doing great- in fact, they are invading a little. All of the composted soil we pulled from the composted bin at the beginning of the season has resulted in dozens of tomato plants ALL over the place. A couple of the larger ones already have tiny green tomatoes on them.