Freshly pulled from the cool fall soil, these carrot thinnings are sweet, crisp and juicy.

In the hour of twilight after I got home from work last night, I thinned the rows of carrots and beets that I sowed the last week of August and harvested a salad bowl of spicy mesclun mix and spinach.

The finger-sized carrots are so crisp and sweet—best of the season and not even full grown yet. We’ve had some hard frosts already and deer tracks through the garden, so tonight I’ll cover the veggies with hoops and garden fabric to protect them. A month from now, we’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with more freshly harvested vegetables. Not too shabby for a zone 4 garden!

In late October, my garden is still productive with rows of fall-sown carrots, beets, spinach and salad greens. Spring-planted leeks, broccoli and Brussels sprouts thrive in the cool, damp weather.

Ann Whitman, Gardener’s Supply