A note to my future self: when Cliff Mass says it’s going to be cold, get out there and bring in the rest of the root vegetables. I spent about an hour in the p-patch this morning (two pairs of long johns under the jeans, two scarves, hat, two shirts, sweatshirt, jacket, and gardening gloves) using a shovel to pry beets and carrots out of the ground, then chipping frozen soil off them with the digging fork (since maybe the dirt should stay in the p-patch and not get washed down the kitchen sink). I filled a 15 lb butter box about 3/4 full with mostly carrots and a handful of beets.

Caitlyn was happy to go to the p-patch (before we left the house), and she played around for a while. But then she looked at her mittens and discovered that handling frozen clods of garden soil equals muddy mittens. This made them dirty and she wouldn’t wear them any more. Another reason to get the roots in before the ground freezes around them: they are really hard to chip out with 40 lbs of preschooler in your lap.

I’ll probably leave the carrots that are in the back yard garden right where they are for now. Prying them out of the soil is sounding less and less like fun. Besides, I can call it an experiment: what shape are carrots in after they’ve frozen and then thawed out again in the ground? Will I get usable carrots or will they dissolve into carroty mush?

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