I am a struggling carrot farmer. Packets of seeds. Different locations within the space. Different weather patterns, sowing dates, and groups of planting hands. Gorilla planting at random when watering. Watering frequently. Pre-sprouting. Row covers. Gleaning scraps of information from the successful carrot farmers I know. They’ve all been attempted.
Let me explain. I coordinate a school garden. I plan the crops, the rotations, the amendment schedule and IPM techniques and timing. I coordinate the students, the teachers, the garden club, and the irrigation. Somehow, I can’t quite coordinate the soil to grow a substantial crop of carrots.
The carrots we’ve managed to grow were fat and tasty, and there is a meager amount of later-planted carrotlings still pushing their way through their sparsely sprouted rows. There’s progress. But carrot farmer, I currently am not.
I see this carrot-failure as a small metaphor for the general way of things lately. I’ve been in a real mental funk, feeling like no matter the new tools I gather and employ, the result is still the same. Lackluster. Not the success I had envisioned.
In light of the set-backs and failures, both personal and carrot-related, I’ve been taking stock of the situation(s). I have a few more tools up my sleeve, a little more determination and knowledge with each new attempt. I tend to not give up easily. In fact, I’m more likely to summon the kind of rage orange-haired people are known for and use it to my full advantage.
Those carrots will grow in that garden. They’ve got great soil and an ideal microclimate. If they’re willing to grow in my home garden with its frequently neglected and weed-infested clay beds, those carrots must grow in the school’s garden. I’m insistent.
Harvesting at least one substantial row of carrots is my personal gardening mission for the season. We will have a good and healthy carrot crop come autumn. I’ve the rage on my side. :)
Carrot + Zucchini Oat Bran Muffins, makes 6 large muffins These muffins are from a recipe in The Sprouted Kitchen that I’ve been slowing adapting and refining for months now. We keep coming back to it and each time the muffins turn out better. They are a perfect way to begin a laidback summer breakfast AND they use up summer squash or zucchini and carrots–because let’s be real, I have five summer squash in my fridge from the last two days harvests, at least six more growing rapidly on the plant, and tons of squash blossoms and bees making more magic happen. I’ve EVEN managed to grow a successful crop of carrots in my home garden. If you’re a gardener, know one who shares, or have a CSA box, you too are probably trying to sneak veggies into anything and everything at this stage of summer! 1 cup almond milk 1 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup canola oil 1 egg 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates 3/4 cup grated carrots (about 1 large carrot) 3/4 cup grated zucchini or yellow summer squash (about one small squash) 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour with teff (see below) 3/4 cup oat bran 3/4 cup brown sugar 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. xanthan gum 1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ground ginger 1/2 tsp. salt
In a large bowl, pour in almond milk and vinegar. Whisk and let sit for a couple minutes. Then measure in the oil, egg, and vanilla. Stir in the carrots, zucchini, and chopped dates.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, bran, sugar, baking powder, soda, xanthan gum, salt and spices. Then pour into the wet mixture. Let the whole mix sit for about five minutes.
Scoop out evenly into a prepare muffin liner, and bake for 20-25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees F.
Gluten-Free Flour with Teff If you don’t have a kitchen scale, you can take the flours and measure them out in 1/10′s. I’ve done this before and it works out to be roughly the same (not quite as exact though, due to the different weights of the flours). The mixture measures out to be 1000 grams or 1 kilo, so if you want to make enough for 1 1/2 cups for the recipe above, use slightly less than 1/3 cup each brown rice, sorghum and millet flours, and a little less than 1/6 cup each teff and tapioca flour, potato and arrowroot starches. 200 grams brown rice flour 200 grams sorghum flour 200 grams millet flour 100 grams teff flour 100 grams potato starch 100 grams arrowroot starch 100 grams tapioca flour