Nothing is wasted. Capturing and storing energy. These are a couple of the permaculture principles I’m employing by soaking my carrots in water for 12 hours before processing, and then reclaiming that micro-organism filled water for my garden and compost heap.
Right after harvesting carrots and other root crops, it’s essential to remove the greens. Otherwise they’ll continue to pull water from the root. This can leave your carrot, turnip, or radish for example, wilted if it had to keep supplying the green tips with hydration. To restore any lost water and to loosen dirt and debris on the outside of the vegetable, I soak my carrots for 8-12 hours post harvest, after the greens have been removed.
The next day, when I’m processing the carrots, I’m left with water that contains all the soil from my garden. That garden soil was created using a mix of growing soil, compost, and organic matter I’ve built up over time. By allowing it to soak in the water and breathe overnight, micro bacteria in that soil begins to multiply. Essentially, we’re creating compost tea from the soil deposits on the outside of the crops.
This nutrient dense liquid can be applied to the garden directly. Instead I prefer to add mine to my compost heap. Scraps from vegetable processing are a great compost additive —but liquid compost is even better since it’s full of helpful microbes.
Angela is the farmer and content creator behind Axe & Root Homestead® LLC. This historic six-acre permaculture farm is home to two Clydesdale horses, ten honeybee hives, five sheep, two guardian dogs, barn cats and a flock of 40 geese and ducks. The farm produces maple syrup, fruit from a small orchard and loads of garden produce for consumption, preservation and donation to the local food pantry.
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