We are often asked, “What’s your best crop?”, a seemingly simple question, but one that could yield any number of answers depending on your definition of the “best.” To us, best crop could mean most profitable, least resource-intensive, highest yielding, most delicious, lowest impact on the environment, etc. When presented with this question from a group of high school students this week, we responded with the question, “What crop do you think we consider our best?” The kids had obviously done their homework because several of them called out, “The carrot! It’s on your logo!” Indeed, it is.
Sometimes we say that the carrot is our spirit crop. It is a crop that pushes us to become better farmers as we deal with weed, pest, and fertility management to grow the best carrots we can.
There’s a lot of reason to go big with organic carrots, a crop so universally loved they basically sell themselves. The more we grow, the more revenue we know our fields can generate. We are still working on getting a true picture of what it costs us to grow on this scale, but our investment of human resources is considerable. We feel confident that we can successfully care for four 1-acre successions of carrots in a season, enough to fill CSA boxes from June through October. There is demand for even more than that, but we have to rein in our production in accordance with our commitment to environmental well-being as a diversified organic vegetable farm.
Our CSA members, staff, and grocery and restaurant partners have successfully eaten up the entire first succession, sown out in March. We are now harvesting from the second succession while hand-weeding the third succession and worrying (slightly) about the increasing weed pressure in the fourth succession.
We hope you’ve been enjoying the carrots that have made their way into your boxes so far this season! Remember, there are lots of ways to prepare them.