Friday, February 7, 2014

Growing and Preserving Carrots

This year my boys and I made a small garden space for them to choose plants to grow and play around with.  One of the plants they chose were carrots.  

The first thing the boys learned about planting carrot seeds is to make sure you soil is leveled.  Carrot seeds are not planted very deep, and when they watered the seeds to germinate them, they all washed to the corners of the bed.  They were a bit crowded, but they grew!  You live - You learn!  

Also, throughout the fall and winter, as the carrots grew, the boys were not super impressed. They couldn't see the fruits of their labor as with the strawberries and broccoli.  But when we pulled the carrots up this past weekend, they were so excited!!

I couldn't get the carrots washed fast enough for them to eat!  Mikey really wanted me to shoot a video of him crunching his carrot!

Once the boys ate their fill of fresh carrots, we had plenty left to can up for later.  I could've easily froze them, but my freezer is filling up with meats and homemade bread, so I busted out the pressure canner!

Pressure Canning Carrots

1.  Wash and sterilize jars, rings, and lids.
2.  Wash and peel carrots
3.  Save those carrot peelings and ends in your freezer for making stock!

4.  Cut your carrots into slices.
5.  Fill your pressure canner as instructed in the manual** and begin warming the water (not boiling).  
6.  Place lids in a small pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.  
7.  Boil carrots for 5 minutes in enough water to use for filling the jars.
8.  Fill warm jars with carrots and hot water.  Leave 1" headspace.

9.  Use a knife or chopstick to release the air bubbles.
10.  Place lid and ring on jar and place into pressure canner.
11.   Process at 10 pounds of pressure for 30 minutes

*Follow your canner's directions for releasing steam and arriving at 10 pounds

**There are variations in pressure canners.  If you've lost your manual, look it up online, most can be found there.

Boiling hot carrots!

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