I actually preserved something this week so have a post for Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard over at Robin's blog. I figured with the carrot fly damage I'd better get some of my carrots frozen since I wasn't sure how long they would store. So I thinned out the patch by about half and sliced them. It filled up my big colander.
Then I blanched them for a few minutes and tossed them in a bowl with ice water. Then came the decisions. I often freeze them on a cookie sheet and then put them in a ziplock bag to freeze. That way I can pick out however much I want. But I had a lot of carrots (and will have more) and they will last quite some time in the freezer.
So I elected to freeze them in batches and vacuum seal them. I haven't used my vacuum sealer I think since my Grand Canyon rafting trip in '99. My mom (our trip leader) asked me to dehydrate a lot of things and I vacuumed sealed it all in the portions we would be using. During the move I tried to give away things that I hadn't used in over a decade. That would have qualified, but I kept it thinking it might be useful again with a huge garden. I was right. Sadly it is very old and the middle wire which cuts the bags apart is not working all the time. But scissors worked OK. Two of the bags didn't seal right. I didn't redo them. I figured I'd just mark them and eat them first. So now I have 13 bags of carrots, all a cup each.
But I'll have more. There are lots of carrots still in that bed. I was going to leave them there and pick them slowly as I had plenty of them frozen now for when the ground froze solid. But there is starting to be more carrot fly damage. I think those that were in my carrots hatched and put out a new group of flies. The new damage is extensive on the surface, but it is only on the surface right now. Just peeling the carrots with one swipe of the peeler. removes it all. If I wait any longer it will become deeper and I'll lose most of the carrots. So I'm going to get the rest of them up and process them now. Any undamaged carrots will be stored but with over eight pounds of carrots in that first batch, only two carrots didn't show signs of damage. So I need to get them out of the ground immediately.
Addendum: I finally got all the carrots done. I have a few saved that had no carrot fly damage. Mostly ones that were small or short and stubby. The last of the carrots made 14 cups. Two were made into three cup batches which is good for a dinner party. And 8 were made into one cup containers for me. So now I have 21 single cup pouches. I'll probably use up about one a week. That will get me through April, which isn't too bad at all.