I planted carrots this year, and I thought at first it had been a total failure. However, I’m now optimistic that I might be able to harvest three– yes, three– carrots from the garden this year. I bring this up mainly because it’s an excuse to reference one of my favorite gardening books: Second Nature by Michael Pollan. It’s one of his earliest books, so not as well known as Botany of Desire, Omnivore’s Dilemma, etc., but it’s a wonderful book that’s especially fun if you enjoy gardening. One chapter includes a long diatribe on how difficult it is to grow carrots, a supposedly foolproof vegetable. He ends up growing beautiful carrots by going to some serious effort to dig in sand, peat moss and compost. Honestly, I’m not sure I care that much, but it does make me feel better about my root vegetable failures.