First we'll start with some basic info on carrots, move on to storage and then I'll share a few recipes. Enjoy!
The carrot is a root well worth the consideration of farmers; perhaps no root is better adapted to constitute a portion of food for milch cows, horses or swine. When fed to cows it adds largely to the flavor and quality of the milk, with a reasonable increase in quantity; no dairyman who makes butter or milk of the best quality would expect the best results without a liberal use of the carrot. The carrot adapts itself to most kinds of soil, but seems to succeed well on a deep loam with a slight admixture of sand.
If it is the desire of farmers to raise large and paying crops of the carrot, such can be produced with a great degree of certainty by a liberal dressing of good and well-decomposed manure to the land, which should be well ploughed in as early in the spring as possible. As soon as the weeds have come up the laud should be cross-ploughed as fine as possible with a swivel-plough; the land should then be harrowed and rolled, when it will be read)' for the seed. The seed should be soaked in warm water twenty-four hours previous to planting, and sunned a short time to dry the surface-moisture, that the seed may not clog in the seed-sower. The seed may be planted with any suitable machine that will sow thin; two pounds of seed per acre is more than enough, if judiciously planted; too thick sowing results in very unnecessary and expensive thinning; or if neglected, in a small growth of roots, expensive to harvest and to handle.
The seed may be planted from early in May to the 10th of June. Our practice is to plant in straight rows twenty-two inches apart, and the plants should be thinned to three or four inches in the row. The after-cultivation of the carrot should be always prompt; "hoe the ground and not the weeds," should be the motto. The horse-hoe can be used in the cultivation of the carrot to a very considerable extent, and our cultivation is very like that given the mangold. English turnips can be sown between the rows with the seed-sower by the 20th of July, without injury to the carrot, and will add materially to the product of the land. There are many varieties of carrot now grown in market-gardens, and as field crops. We have tried nearly all the prominent sorts that have been introduced in the last thirty years.
The Long Orange has for many years been a standard field variety. Perhaps no kind has been more extensively cultivated, or has better repaid its culture; but there are other kinds also very desirable. The intermediate, which arc shorter but larger in diameter—a very convenient root to handle in feeding—having a decided advantage in storage, occupying less space per ton, and in harvesting, to be pulled by hand, will yield a heavy weight per acre. There is also the Early Horn carrot, a shorter and heavier root in proportion to the size, thirty-five bushels weighing a ton; it takes forty bushels of the long sorts; they can be grown closer and make less tops than the longer sorts, and are more desirable for domestic use. The white sorts are not much grown by our farmers; they yield well, but do not store and keep as well as the yellow-fleshed sorts.
As regards the harvesting and storing the carrot, it is important to let the crop remain in the ground as late as the latter part of October or the 1st of November. In harvesting the long sorts the labor is lessened by cutting the tops with a sharp hoe, and raking them together and carting them to the stables to be fed to cows and horses; and they are greedily relished. Carrots may be more easily dug by running the plough on the side of the row of roots, when they can readily be pulled by hand and thrown into piles, where, aftpr a few hours' drying, they may be carted to the cellar for storage. Carrots require considerable ventilation until freezing weather sets in. When carrots are fed to milch-cows, if an equal amount of mangolds is used, a large flow of milk of good quality will be obtained. When fed to horses once a day, in the place of grain, they will be found most conducive to the health and strength of the animal.
Source: Public Documents of Massachusetts ©1875
Carrots, Beets, and Turnips.—Carrots should be stored on slat platforms in layers about 2 feet deep and covered lightly with sand. They tend to heat and decay and should have good ventilation. Beets, turnips, parsnips, and salsify, if stored in cellars, should be put in bins or boxes in layers 2 or 3 feet deep and covered with sand or soil to prevent shriveling. If not needed till spring, an excellent method is to store them in pits in the same manner as potatoes.
Source: Farmers' Bulletin ©1899
Carrots.—Let them be well washed and brushed, not scraped. An hour is enough for young spring carrots. Grown carrots must be cut in half, and will take from an hour and a half to two hours and a half. When done rub ofl‘ the peels with a clean, coarse cloth, and slice them in two or four, according to their size. The best way to try if they are done enough is to pierce them with a fork.
Carrot FRITTERS.—These very nice fritters are simply made, and we can recommend them as being an agreeable variety for a side dish at a small party. Beat two small boiled carrots to a pulp with a spoon, add three or four eggs, and half a handful of flour. Moisten with cream, milk, or a little white wine, and sweeten to taste; beat all well together, and fry them in boiling lard. When of good color take them off and serve, having squeezed over them the juice of an orange, and strewed them over with finely sifted sugar.
Source: The Godey's Lady's Book Receipts ©1870
252. Carrot Sonp (without Meat). Take four or five large carrots, one turnip, three onions, and three heads of celery shred fine; put into a stew-pan with a quarter of a pound of butter, three cloves, some peppercorns, and a blade of mace; stir till it is a pulp; add half a pint of peas boiled to a pulp, two anchovies, and three quarts of water; let it simmer two hours, and rub through a hair sieve. If not thick enough, add a little flour and butter.
Another.—Slice two good-sized carrots, two large onions, one large turnip, and one stick of celery; dredge flour over them and fry till tender, with just butter enough to keep them from burning; put them in a stewpan, and pour enough boiling water to cover them. Stew them about four hours, and when half done add boiling water to make the proper thickness. Mash and strain through a sieve, and season with pepper and salt. If approved of, add a little cream.
Another Carrot Soup.—Take one turnip, two or three onions, and twelve carrots; boil them in some stock till quite tender, then rub tliem through a hair-sieve. Season with peppercorns and salt, if necessary, and thicken with a little flour and butter.
253. Carrot Soup (with Meat).—Put some beef-hones with four quarts of the liquor in which a leg of mutton or beef has been boiled, two large onions, a turnip, pepper, and salt, into a saucepan, and stew for three hours. Have ready six large carrots scraped and cut thin, strain the soup on them, and stew till soft enough to pulp through a hair-sieve or coarse cloth, then boil the pulp with the soup, which is to be as thick as pea-soup. Use two wooden spoons to rub the carrots through the sieve, and pulp only the red part of the carrot, not the yellow. Make the soup the day before, and add cayenne to the palate.
254. Carrot Soup (with Cream).—To the liquor that a knuckle of veal has been boiled in, add twelve large carrots; boil till the carrots will mash through a sieve, put them through, and then let them boil in the broth till quite smooth; add half a pint of cream and a little salt. It should be boiled till smooth, and of the consistence of pea-soup. Or, the stock may be made of one pound and a half of scrag of mutton, stewed in three quarts of water.
Source: The English Cookery Book©1859