‘Fat Lazy Blonde’……

I think we need to get a few things out in the open. I am not a great gardener. I have entered my produce in local shows and I have literally wilted at the sight of the splendour and quality of the competition. But I did once win 1st prize for my ‘Fat Lazy Blonde’ lettuce in a Summer of constant rain, when everyone else’s lettuce died! The carrots which I grow with such enthusiasm in my raised beds, signed up for the Avant-Garde movement years ago, their far from perfect forms depriving them of ever fitting the criteria of being fit for supermarket sale. But, hey! That’s a good thing, because what store vegetables can never match is the FRESHNESS and FLAVOUR of home-grown vegetables and that, we can all come up with by the wheelbarrow load, with very little effort.

One thing that always works for me is growing baby carrots in a pot. A few seeds in multi purpose compost and a variety such as ‘Parmex’, ‘Baby Chantenay’ or ‘Resistafly’ and I have PERFECT baby carrots to be proud of.

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And, yes, I could steam them or eat them raw, but the very best thing that could happen to a little carrot is for it to be pickled with chilli and mustard seeds!   This is a fridge pickle, with a shelf life of just a few weeks. But each sweetbabyveg will have the fresh, just ever so slightly soft bite of a freshly picked carrot- fabulous as a nibble with drinks, with a pastrami sandwich, or with a pork terrine.

Depending upon the variety, these baby carrots can be planted from January to July. The ones featured here were planted in pots in early August and are just ready now. So you are too late to plant them this year, but they could be added to your list of seeds to be bought for the next growing season.

  I think you are going to love their spicy, sweet crunch- so gorgeously glossy and golden orange in the jar.

(Click here to go to the Pickled Baby Carrot recipe)

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