Our experts share their harvesting tips this season
As we speak, bright green carrot tops are popping up along the rows of our garden beds.
Carrots are a great vegetable to plant in Spring months, as they can grow all the way through winter, the perfect addition to anyone’s home garden this season.
We’d heard whispers of our gardening team doing things a little differently to conventional sowing, with a longer harvest and zero waste the happy byproducts of their methods.
So we wandered down to the gardens, where the team shed some light on their carrot sowing style.
A new way to harvest
A carrot seed is incredibly fine. Typically, when you sow them into the ground, you are planting more seeds than will be able to successfully grow in that amount of space.
As the tops begin to emerge in all their vibrant, green glory and the vegetable takes shape underground, it comes time to “thin them out”. This technique means working your way through the bed and pulling out smaller or weaker seedlings, leaving about 3cm between each of the remaining carrots so they have more room to grow.
Often, these smaller carrots are discarded in favour of the final harvest – the ones given room to grow fully – but set foot in our gardens and you’ll soon realise this is not an accepted approach to produce.
Instead, the Tinja gardening team do multiple successions of thinning throughout the season, and rather than discarding the smaller carrots as they go, they’re being used in the dishes at The Zin House restaurant, leaving no carrot to go to waste!
This reduces waste by creating a longer harvest, where carrots stay in the ground until the kitchen needs them, and ensures that every size and shape of carrot gets used instead of being discarded. – Kesh
Food waste is an increasingly important issue when it comes to our climate; more than a third of the world’s food goes to waste, as well as all the resources used to grow them. But it’s an issue we can tackle easily, both here at Tinja as well as in our own homes, one baby carrot at a time.
Next time you’re hands-deep in the soil, watching your carrot tops grow, keep this waste-reducing tip front of mind and bring even more veggies into your kitchen this season.
- Carrot seeds grow best planted directly in the dirt rather than seedling trays as they don’t transplant well.
- If the carrots are too small for your liking, feed them to your chooks or worms to build your compost for further seasons.
Images by Hannah Edensor, Words by Nicole Bruno.