The joy of failure, with Black Cat’s Eric Skokan

Eric Skokan had no idea how difficult it would be to grow a carrot.

“Literally something as granular as a carrot seed causes so many problems. How do you get them into the row spaced out well enough that you don’t spend the rest of your summer thinning them out?” he says.

So his first plan was to plant more seeds. Early in the season, he’d pick out the baby ones, which would create space for the bigger ones. The problem was that carrot seeds are so small, you can’t help but dump a lot of them in on each pass.

“My rows of carrots looked like a Chia pet. Like a solid carpet of tiny, tiny carrots,” Skokan says. “And then on your hands and knees, you’re pulling out thousands of individual carrots to make space. Completely wrongheaded. It just doesn’t work that way.”

That’s when an old farmer told him, “Oh, Eric. No one’s told you the carrot trick.”

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