* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
Carrots are one of the cheapest vegetables to buy. I purchased just 2 loose carrots from my local Tesco's the other week for just 25p! Amazing value when you think that a smelly califlower is normally £1.
Carrots are really versatile in what you can do with them, delicious accompaniment to any repast dinner, also great in soap and then there is of course carrot cake. I am not personally a fan of carrot cake because I find the moist texture stange but hey each to their own.
Carrots are supposed to have amazing unique qualities, I read once that the saying of carrots helping you see in the dark is actually true - but you would need to eat literally millions to have a minor improvement in eyesight. Eating carrots is also said to give you more of a tanned look. You would a also need to eat millions of carrots though before you can start looking orange like a carrot. I believe that there are tablets available that use condensed carrots to help with suntanning.
I have attempted to grow my own carrots before. This is really fun and easy to do! Up you just get a packet of carrot seeds and put them into the grownd of a outside pot. You must be careful though to spread the seeds out well as they need room to grow and the soil needs to pie fine. If the carrots are grown too close together or if there are stones in your soil the carrots are likely to be deformed.
I'm sure that everyone knows what a carrot is, they are the orange root vegetables that we are told to eat as children so that we can see in the dark. But did you know that carrots were not originally orange at all? They were purple until they were selectively bred to be orange.
The latin name for the carrot is Daucus carota and there are two subspecies, the mild carrot Daucus carota, Carota, and domesticated carrot belongs to Daucus carota, sativus. The main component of carrots is water, followed by sugar.
Anyone can grow their own carrots, and I have grown them many times in a tub on my patio. Carrots need a fine, sandy soil, and will not grow well in heavy soil (plus stones in the soil can cause your carrots to grow in strange shapes and not nice and straight). Carrot seeds should be sown thinly, as they won't grow very well if too close together. Around 3inches between each carrot is perfect.
I sow more seeds if there are spaces after a week or two where some seeds haven't germinated. They also need plenty of sunlight, in order to photosynthesise and produce plenty of glucose which can be sent down into the root. A good fertile soil with plenty of phosphorous will produce gorgeous carrots.
Home grown carrots taste 10x nicer than tined, frozen or fresh supermarket carrots. They are nice and sweet when eaten while they are still small. I love eating some raw at this stage, as I get impatient and want to taste them! Home grown carrots can be blanched and frozen, or boiled, roasted or even fried to eat.
Orange carrots contain Beta-Carotene, which is an antioxidant, used by the body to produce vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed by the body for many reasons, one of which is to help the eyes adjust in different light sources, hence the saying about carrots helping you see in the dark.
So carrots are tasty, good for you and easy to grow. What's stopping you?
A pack of carrot seeds costs about £1.50, and from this you will get about 50 carrots, whick works out at 3p per carrot! You get all sorts of varieties, and nowadays you can even get several colours (I grew Thompson and Morgan Purple Haze, which are a bright beautiful purple!). Plant them in drills about 13mm deep, with about 30 cm between each row. Once they start to sprout thin them out - this varies from type to type, so see the seed packet, but normally between 10-15cm. Planting normally happens in March-April, and they will be ready for harvest June-July time. If you look just below the foilage, you should see the top of the carrot, and so will be able to gauge the size of it before you harvest it. The longer you leave it in the ground, the bigger it will get, and dont necessarily use the size/amount of foilage to judge how big the carrot will be.
For those that have only ever eaten frozen or supermarket bought carrots, I'm going to use this review as a way of convincing you that it's pretty easy to grow your own far superior carrots for less money, less environmental impact (zero food miles and no use of pesticides) and more taste. Carrots that have been pulled from your own garden really do taste far better than those which have been imported from Holland and kept in refrigeration for a week before entering our kitchens.
Carrots are thought to come from central Asia originally, but have been widespread throughout Asia and Europe for hundreds of years as an edible farmed crop. It may come as a surprise to most, but carrots are also available in white, yellow, red, even purple! Also, the shape of a carrot doesn't have to be the tapered cylinder we all know and love, you can get short squat round "globe" shaped carrots too. These small ball shaped carrots are known as "Chantenay" types, whereas the more conventional shape of carrot we are most familiar with are from the "Nantes" family of carrots.
Soil preparation is key with carrots - get the soil right and you will be rewarded by a good crop of decent sized carrots. Carrots prefer light, sandy soils free from pebbles which will cause the growing carrots to deviate from a tapering, straight growing shape. Any obstacles in the soil will produce amusingly (and obscene) shaped carrots, difficult to peel but good for the comedy value.
Early sown carrots can be sown outside under a cloche or fleece in March, most carrots however are sown straight to the growing position in April as they do prefer full sun. If your soil is unsuitable for carrots and you haven't got the time or energy to prepare it, a good trick is to leave the soil as it is, but make holes in it with a metal pipe or crowbar and then fill in the hole with soft compost - sow the seed in this and the carrot should grow unhindered.
Growing times vary with different varieties of carrots, but most are ready to eat after 10 weeks, and most can be kept in the ground until ready for pulling until well into the autumn.
CARING FOR CARROTS
Keep on top of the weeding whilst the carrots are only seedlings, and you can thin out baby carrots which are delicious - thin out to about 4 inches apart. Carrots can have a problem with carrot fly, but there are ways around this. For example, carrot flies are weak fliers so I plant my carrots in a bin, meaning that the carrots are growing about a metre off the floor. Also, I plant chives and garlic around my carrots so that the smell from these alliums masks the scent of the carrot foliage which confuses the carrot fly.
USING CARROTS - FOR EATING
Boiled, mashed, roasted, sliced, grated, raw, diced or cut into strips and used with dips - carrots are very versatile. Eating a raw (washed of course!) carrot fresh from your garden will give you a far tastier treat than any bland, imported, supermarket bought carrot ever could.
USING CARROTS - OTHER USES
Carrots have some medicinal qualities - they are useful for cleaning the intestines, a diuretic, an anti-anaemic, their alkaline elements can clean our blood, and carrots can also help to kick start milk flow during lactation for nursing mothers. Also, carrots can be made into wine and used as a dye.
With a little bit of work getting the soil right at the start, carrots are easy to grow after that and very rewarding to eat. Grab some seeds and get sowing!
its a great time for getting in the garden and I love to grow my own vegetables, they are great to watch growing and tasty to eat. carrots are really easy to grow and they are so crunchy to eat when you pick them straight from the ground, wash them and eat them raw.
The best way to get a good yeild from your carrots is to prepare the ground your going to grow them in first, if you dig in lots of manure or rotted organic matter like rotted down vegetable peelings. Then mix in lots of bonemeal and make sure the ground is not stoney, if you don't get the conditions of the soil right before you plant your carrots, your more likely to get misshapen ones and when I first started to grow carrots, mine used to come out twisted and split as well as all kinds of funny shapes, a real disater until I read up on it from a good gardening book I found at the bootsale.
Now I grow good healthy straightish carrots that look tasty and not like aliens.
I grow my carrots in the partly shaded area of my garden, as I have tried to get them in full sun but they don't seem to do as well as if they are in the part shaded area. You can buy carrot seeds in any garden centre and now most supermarkets sell seeds, they cost around £1 for a packet of seeds.
The seeds are very small so be careful when planting as they can fall into the hole a few at a time when scattering, I try to place one in each small hole so that they don't crowd each other, you can grow them in small pots in the green house and replant outside outside if you like, but now its summertime you can just get them in straight into the ground.
If you don't have a garden then carrots can be grown in a small wooden box, as long as its deep enough for them to grow you can still get the benefits of fresh home grown carrots.
You can now begin to grow carrots and they will be ready to harvest in mid August, you have to water them about twice a day, don't give the carrots any plant food as this will only help to grow the tops of the carrot and you really want all the growth to go into the root, for a good sized tubular vegetable when you pull them.
The best time to pull your carrots is when the tops are starting to wilt, although its very tempting to pull the small carrots for salads, if you plant enough you can have both.
The carrot can be pestered by the carrot fly and this is attracted to the plant, if you have planted them too near each other and have to thin them out as the carrot fly will be able to smell them and is attrackted to the smell.
They usually attack around mid may but you can buy sprays from the garden centre for pests. Planting your carrots later in the year reduces the risk of carrot fly pests.
I love growing my own veg, its cheap er than buying from shops and really does taste different.
Carrots are rich in vitamin A, B, C, D, E, G and K vitamin A is good for the kidneys and good for refractive errors in eyes, strong bones and healthy teeth.
You can juice the carrots to make your own carrot juice which is also good for nursing mothers to enrich their milk. It removes the bacterial infection from the kidneys and it is rich in minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron.
Carrot juice also helps in developing immunity and strengthens the body cells due to the presence of vitamin E in it. All in all the carrot is a wonder vegetable packed with goodness.
Ingredients for Carrot Cake
1 cup castor sugar
1 cup plain flour
1 and ½ cups grated carrots
½ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
Line a standard loaf tin or oblong cake tin with baking paper.
Place all ingredients into a bowl and beat well.
Pour mixture into cake tin.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Remove the cake from oven and allow to cool.
CARROT AND CORRIANDER SOUP
Ingredients - Serves 4
1 Medium sized Potato
1 Small Onion
Small bunch of Fresh Coriander
1 Dessert spoon Sunflower Oil
Salt & Pepper
2½ Pints Water
Firstly put the water into a saucepan that will hold at least four pints of liquid, and bring to the boil.
Whilst the water is heating scrub the potato and carrots, peel if not organic, and chop finely. Put the potato and carrots carefully into the pan, when the water comes back to the boil turn down the heat and leave to simmer with the lid on the pan.
Take the onion, peel and chop and, in a separate pan on a moderate heat, fry in the sunflower oil. When the onion is soft and golden add to the contents of the saucepan.
Leave the soup cooking and wash the coriander then chop it very finely.
Test the vegetables in the soup, the carrot and potato need to be quite soft, in fact the softer the better as it makes the next bit easier.
The next bit. Blend the soup, Finally, add the chopped coriander to the soup, stir and season to taste.
Carrots - do they really make you see in the dark? Root vegetables that come in many colours including bright orange and is beloved of mothers everywhere. Rich in Vitamins A,B,C,D and E - every child must be made to eat them in the right quantities so that they can grow big and strong. Dieters on the other most eat them shredded in salads so that they can grow small.
There is another side to carrots. They are beloved of aromatherapists for their rich Carrot oil that can be used as a carrier oil or included in ointments and creams. Carrot Oil is distilled from the roots or seeds and can be used for skin conditions and is said that it is very good for your hair.
Carrots contain a number of powerful antioxidants. The best known is the Betacarotene found in them. It is a powerful antioxident thought to see off some of the most fearsome diseases of the human body.
The fact that carrots contain vitamin A means that the humble carrot may actually help failing eyesight. So you your mother may not have been too far wrong when she told you to eat your carrots and you would be able to see in the dark!
Ever since I was a child I've hated carrots. I think that was because I was made to eat large quantities of them, cooked 'al dente'. They were cheap and very healthy for growing children, so they made an appearance at every meal. There was never any question of liking, or not liking them. We were given them to eat and we ate, without complaint, but often making screwed up faces to each other.
We were constantly reminded that carrots would enable us to see in the dark. (Well, there is a lot of vitamin A in them.) Mother reminded us that rabbits ate lots of carrots and they had lots of fun running around the fields, (hee hee! I didn't know what I know now about rabbits romping in fields.)
In recent years I have realised just how healthy carrots are and I've grown to tolerate, if not enjoy them. I add grated carrot to salads and often roast them in the oven beside the meat. I would never even put carrot juice to my lips so that's still a 'no no'.
Carrots are 84% water and they are a good source of vitamins A, B. C, D and E. Raw carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and potassium, vitamin B6, thiamine, folic acid, and magnesium.
No wonder my mother made us eat them.
Carrot seeds need to be sprinkled in well raked and composted ground. Till the soil until its very fine. Sprinkle in rows. Carrots take 10 to 12 days to germinate.
Place a light net over them as soon as you sow them. Thin them out as they grow and leave the strongest plants in place. They need to be about 50mm apart as they grow quite big.
Water your crop regularly and harvest when the top of the carrot is at least 2cm across.
Don't over water your carrots or they will rot and weed them regularly or you will end up with a very spindly final crop.
Store indoors packed in boxes and layered with newspaper, or leave in the ground until November time.
Do I grow my own carrots? I have done but I detest gardening even more than I do carrots, so I haven't sown any this year. My short experimental 'carrot' phase didn't last long. I think I had a touch of the 'Good Life' and decided to become self sufficient in vegetables, salad, etc.
Alas, it all proved to much and my latest bag of carrots came from Tesco.
"Dainty and majestic,
I might grace the noblest gown.
Ancient emblem of fertility,
yet my tiny seeds made a preventative tea!
Aid to vision and psychic clarity,
Find me by my ivory crown."
"Look to this day For it is life, the very life of life. For yesterday is but a dream And tomorrow is only a vision But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness And tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day Such is the salutation of the dawn." ~ Kalidasa
"Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for insects as well as for the stars. Human beings, vegetables or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper. " ~ Albert Einstein
"If you hear a different drummer- dreamer, take a chance... the road you choose to travel means the difference in the dance." D. Morgan
"Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness" Oprah Winfrey
Daucus carota is a variable biennial plant typically growing to 2-4' tall. With finely divided feathery leaves and a white flowering crown made up predominantly of small white florets with a single purplish-black floret at the center, this wild progenitor of the carrot is known by many names: Queen Anne's Lace, Bishop's Lace, Bird's Nest, Bee's Nest, Fool's Parsley, Crow's Nest, Devil's Plague, Rantipole, Herbe a dinde or simply Wild or Garden Carrot. The roots are best eaten early in Spring, and the scent of carrots is noticeable when any part of this plant is crushed. Introduced from Europe, this "weed" has become a familiar sight here in the Americas, but few people seem to appreciate it for its uses or beauty.
Legend says that the name Queen Anne's Lace came from Queen Anne's, wife of King James I of England beautiful lace making. Supposedly, when the future Queen Anne arrived from Denmark to became the queen of King James I of England, wild carrot was still a novelty in the royal gardens. The legend states that Queen Anne challenged the ladies in waiting to a contest to see who could produce a pattern of lace as fine and lovely as the flower of the wild carrot. The ladies knew that no one could rival the queen's handiwork so it became a triumph for Anne.
Another tale says that the second wife of King Henry VIII pricked her finger one day while crafting lace, and this lovely lacy white flower with the blood-dark center was formed, thus coming to bear her name forever. The name Queen Anne's Lace also refers to cow parsley, anthriscus sylvestris, found commonly in Europe.
Actually, the dark centers found in Queen's Lace are colored by Anthocyanin, a naturally occurring pigment used to attract pollen carrying insects. Another possible source for this popular name comes from English botanist Geoffrey Grigson suggestion that the name comes not from a Queen of England but from Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary and the patron saint of lace makers!
I find it interesting that this aggressively growing wild carrot, a symbol of fertility, has been used as a "morning after" preventative for many years. One or two teaspoonfuls of the tiny seeds, or a tea made from them, have been used as an abortifacient. for many generations. In fact, this plant is most closely related to Silphion, which was picked and used by the Romans as a culinary spice and contraceptive until it became extinct in the first century AD. In the late 1980's studies showed (at least in mice) that this plant was indeed very effective at blocking the production of progesterone and inhibits fetal and ovarian growth. It is still used in some areas as a morning after contraceptive tea!
Extreme caution must be used when collecting wild carrots though; they closely resemble poisonous Water Hemlock (cicuta maculata), Poison Hemlock (conium maculatum) and true Fool's Parsley (aethusa cynapium), all of which can be deadly. It was poison hemlock, a plant well known to the Greeks, that Socrates was compelled to take... lest we forget. Fortunately, there is a simple way to tell the difference between Queen Anne's Lace and lookalikes. Both Poison Hemlock and Fool's Parsley smell terrible. If you take a bit of the leaf between your fingers, roll it around to crush it and smell carrots, then you're safe. Any other scent, and you'd best wash your hands of the plant...literally!
"Misdirected life force is the activity in disease process. Disease has no energy save what it borrows from the life of the organism. It is by adjusting the life force that healing must be brought about, and it is the sun as transformer and distributor of primal spiritual energy that must be utilized in this process, for life and the sun are so intimately connected." ~ Kabbalah
"Peace is the enjoyment of life, activity is the expression of life. A balance between the activity of the West and the calmness of the East is needed." ~Paramahansa Yogananda
We are still learning the many uses of the marvelous plant known commonly as Queen Anne's Lace. Thus far science has found it useful in treating: Alzheimer's, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, Infertility, Asthma-preventive, most types of cancer, Diabetes, Leukaemia, HIV, Spina-bifida, Migraine headache, obesity, and much more, even the common cold! Historically, it has been used successfully as an abortifactint, anthelmintic, carminative, contraceptive, deobstruent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, ophthalmic, and stimulant. A medicinal infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, (it soothes the digestive tract), kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. This is because it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys.
This wonderfully cleansing herb can be used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation by making a medicinal infusion of the leaves. This infusion will also reduce stones that have already formed! The seeds can also be used as a settling carminative agent for the relief of flatulence and colic. Wild Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones, stimulating the uterus.
Because it is also used to encourage delayed menstruation, can induce uterine contractions, and is a known abortifacient. it should not be used by pregnant women. Queen's Lace clearly has strong connections to both fertility and contraception, as well as a few other YinYang qualities.
To me, this is clear advice on the importance of Balance, of Tao. It is only when all things move in harmony that the greatest wisdom, the greatest healing and the greatest love are gained. Balance, like Life, is not a stagnant immovable thing. It is the push and pull of opposites united that creates balanced movement; masculine and feminine, stillness and movement, creation and destruction.
"From a Judeo-Christian perspective, the Tao is not a synonym for God. It is more specifically a description of the way God works through nature, a term that describes the unfolding of creation. In this sense, Taoism is not an exclusive religion, but a system of thought that emphasizes aligning oneself with the flow of nature's currents as the most effective path to a long, healthy, peaceful life." ~Linda Kohanov "The Tao of Equus"
"The intersection of the macro universe and the micro universe will create a gate, or a door. Lao Tzu called this "the door to all wonders". This is where Yin and Yang merge harmoniously. This is also called the Middle Way." ~ Henry Chang
"The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind." ~ Philipus Aureolus Paracel
This edible taproot is most often orange, white or pink in color and crisp in texture. Black, red and green/yellow varieties have also been grown and it is believed that an early ancestor of the carrot was used in Egypt as far back as 2000 B.C.; it was purple!
Carrots during Roman times were either purple or white, and rather bitter tasting. It was Dutch growers who took an interest in improving the taste of this vegetable that led to the orange carrot we know today, which developed sometime around the 1500's. The orange color comes from Beta-Carotene which becomes vitamin A when consumed, an excellent vitamin for skin and eyes. Eyesight becomes poor with a lack of vitamin A and vision will improve when it is reintroduced to your diet. However, the belief that it will aid night vision is an urban myth.
Like modern carrots, the roots of Queen's Lace helps to stimulate pigment production in our skin. In fact, North African natives chewed these roots to protect themselves from the sun! This veggie is an excellent source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, and minerals as well as beta-carotene, and should certainly not be excluded from anyone's diet just for being a mere weed... Queen Anne's Lace.
For all their benefits though, it should be noted by any Carrot lovers that massive overdose of carrots can cause hypercarotenemia, a condition which causes the skin to turn orange! A startling, if somewhat humorous, caution to slow down on your intake. Over consumption of vitamin A will cause liver damage, so look out Bugs Bunny! This is yet another reminder that Medicine of all sorts is powerful... not to be taken lightly, and that all things are truly best in Moderation.Parsley, fennel, dill and cumin are all close relatives of the modern carrot as well, and they have their own uses and benefits unique to them.
"Marriage is the union of disparate elements. Male and female. Yin and yang. Proton and electron. What are we talking about here Nothing less than the very tension that binds the universe. You see, when we look at marriage, people, we're are looking at creation itself. I am the sky, says the Hindu bridegroom to the bride. You are the earth. We are sky and earth united.... You are my husband. You are my wife. My feet shall run because of you. My feet shall dance because of you. My heart shall beat because of you. My eyes see because of you. My mind thinks because of you and I shall love because of you." ~ Andrew Schneider
Magically, wild carrots represent all of these symbols thus far, a strong connection to all Sun Deities, plus: fertility, psychic awareness, clarity, and healing. Kitchen witches love to use them in various recipes for increasing these aspects in their lives, and carrot based recipes are often used when celebrating Sun ceremonies. Having fresh carrot cake on Lughnasadh, a cup of Recovery soup simmering with carrots when you've been sick, or simply enjoying a tray of carrots and celery with the perfect dip for increasing your own Solar connections might be just what you need!
"Intuition is a combination of historical (empirical) data, deep and heightened observation, and an ability to cut through the thickness of surface reality. Intuition is like a slow motion machine that captures data instantaneously and hits you like a ton of bricks. Intuition is a knowing, a sensing that is beyond the conscious understanding- a gut feeling. Intuition is not pseudo-science." Abella Arthur
"Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what he loves." ~ Blaise Pascal
This poem and the discussion of Angelica which follows are part of a larger work, loosely entitled "Who Sings Now?". Each poem is inspired by a Nature Teacher... a plant, stone, animal, etc found in Nature which carries totemic lessons and sacred wisdom for us.
On other sites, we've made a game of it. I would post the poem and everyone would have fun guessing who was singing/inspired the poem. Then I'd post the article on the Wisdom of that Teacher. I have learned a great deal from playing this game with people from all over the world.
The concepts that we are all One, have a purpose in the eyes of our Creator, and are all deserving of respect are very old ones. Now, more than ever, we as a People need to reconnect to the World around us, and, in my opinion, begin to be more concerned with our Responsibilities than our Rights. Mitake Oyasin means All Our Relations in Lakota, and is used to close prayers and ceremonies as a reminder that we are all One and have a place on the Wheel of Life.
Wishing You Laughter
Carrot (in Latin Daucus Carota) is what is called a root vegetable. Most of the carrots you find in Europe are different shades of orange. It grows twice a year and can be eaten raw, chopped or cooked. I normally eat them either raw, with salad, or I add them to sauces I prepare for pasta. There are also some puddings you can prepare and cakes, but I am afraid I cannto tell you much more because I am not able to cook them.
Carrots are easily available in supermarkets in UK and are rich in B Carotene, which turns into Vitamin A when eaten by humans. Vitamin A helps improve your vision, particularly night vision.
During the famous battle of Britain, when British forces defeated their German counterparties, the British planes were equipped for the first time with new radars, which effectively contributed to that victory. However, in order to maintain the secret, rumours were spread that the British pilots had eaten plenty of carrots!
Another interesting fact about carrots is that under European directives it is defined as both a vegetable and a fruit, this is because the Portuguese treat it like a fruit!
I also like to prepare carrot juice and mix it with orange juice.
Carrots are a root vegetable, They are usually orange in colour, but more recently some growers have produced white and red carrots by geneticaly modifing them. They are available all over the uk and many other parts of europe.
There are many growers in the uk the main being: M H Poskitts, Hays and Thompsett B.
Carrots come in many different varietys ( Chanternay, Baby chanternay, organic, White satin ect) Carrots were originally a burnt red colour before they were genetically changed by a grower that liked the orange colour.
Carrots contain vit b and vitamin a when eaten by humans, many people believe eating carrots improves your night vision when eaten often.
Carrots can and are often eaten by many animals too. Rabbits ferrits, horses, ponys and dogs, along with many others are said to benefit from the vitamins and ruffage carrots contain.
In portugal carrots are said to be both fruit and veg as they eat them raw as a fruit.
Carrots can be eaten raw in a salad or used to scoop up dip. They can be cooked in a stew or just boiled in a pan or microwave. They can be served with almost any meal and are very cheap.
Thank you for reading.
Carrots are a great way to start growing your own vegetables. They are fairly easy and if you harvest them while they're still fairly small you only have to wait 12 weeks between planting and harvesting. They are very nutritious and are a good source of vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K as well as potassium.
Carrots do best in a bed, but can also be grown in containers. Either way, they like free draining soil that is fairly loose, so that they can push down and create a nice long root. If you do grow in containers, you will need to use something at least 25cm deep.
There are a lot of varities of carrot you could try. Amsterdam are fairly slim carrots and are quick to mature. Paris Market are small and round, also quick to mature. Autumn Long are large, late maturing carrots. I've had success with these varieties and would recommend them. If you fancy something a bit more unusual, there are different coloured carrots you could try, from yellows to purple and red.
To get a continuous harvest, start sowing carrots in the early spring, but be aware that they need a temperature of around 8C to germinate. Stagger further sowings every couple of weeks until summer to get a harvest of carrots right through until early winter. Sow the seed 1cm deep and thin to around 7cm after a few weeks (the thinnings can be used in salads).
Carrots need watering regularly so that the roots don't split, but be careful not to over water as this will promote leafy growth at the expense of root formation. Similarly, do not use plant food on your carrot crop for the same reason. Carrots should not be planted in recently manured or composted soil - leave it until the following year before planting on these sites.
Carrot fly can be a problem and they are attracted by the smell of the foliage. To avoid this problem, plant French Marigolds, lavender or parsley near your carrots. I'm not sure if the strong smell puts the carrot fly off, or they just lose their way to the carrots, but it seems to work.
Carrots are best served freshly harvested. They can be roasted in tin foil in a hot oven for half an hour with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. They can be steamed (especially good when you have harvested them young). A good way of serving them raw is to serve them with water cress, mustard and cress in a salad. Mix the vegetables together in a large bowl and dress with a lemon vinaigrette.
There are two things that everyone knows about carrots. They are orange and they help prevent night blindness because they are full of vitamin C. Both of these facts are technically incorrect. Carrots were formerly in colours of red, black, yellow, white and more commonly purple. It was only in the Middle Ages that the Dutch developed the orange carrot that we now know. They also contain only a small amount of Vitamin C equivalent to only about 10% of recommended daily allowance. The main vitamin in the carrot is Vitamin A. Carrots are ideal for those intending to lose weight and also those who are health conscious. They are very easily eaten and tasty in its raw form. No doubt the high quantities of Vitamin A found in carrots do help the eyes. However the area of the eye that gains most from Vitamin A is the retina. This subsequently helps your night vision but not so drastically that you could see like a cat in the dark. In the olden days the theory was that carrots could quite literally make you see in the dark. One of the stories associated with this was that during the Second World War, the British Royal Air Force bragged that the British fighter pilots did not need to use radars and the reason for there great success and accuracy at night was a direct result of them eating huge quantities of carrots. The Germans bought this story that the British were not indeed using Radars and subsequently ordered huge amounts of carrots be harvested and fed to there pilots aswell. The nutritional value of a one medium size carrot is as follows: Calories 35 Calories from Fat 0 % Total Fat 0g 0% Saturated Fat 0g 0% Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 40mg 2% Total Carbohydrate 8g 3% Dietary Fibre 2g 8% Sugars 5g Protein 1g Vitamin A 270% Vitamin C 10% Calcium 2% Iron 0% The above Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. As you
can clearly see the Vitamin A content is 270% of the recommended daily allowance. Further the fat content is totally no existent making it a great favourite for the health conscious individual. I had written several opinions on other things like Potatoes and was asked several times to include something about growing them in my opinion. So here it is: Planting: Prior to planting, work the soil well, adding liberal amounts of compost. Carrot seeds are amongst the smallest of seeds and are very difficult to space. Sow them very thinly, about 1/4 inch deep. Cover them with a fine garden soil. top of the soil and Space rows 1 to 1 1/2 feet apart. Taking Care Keep carrots well weeded early in the season and until there leaves grow to several inches. Provide a good supply of water and apply fertilizer a couple of times during the season. Days to Grow Approximately 70 days. Harvesting: Begin to harvest carrots when they are small in size and thinning the row as you harvest. Once you begin picking, you can harvest as needed. Don’t be worried if the top plants have died off. The carrots can still remain in soil for several weeks or even a month. Overall a very healthy vegetable. Try and eat at least one a day. You wont regret it. NOTE: SOME INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS OPINION WAS OBTAINED FROM A TOTAL OF FIVE DIFFERENT WEBSITES.
I find it hard to believe, in this technological age, and with such a plethora of quality opinions on state of the art products, that 1400 words on carrots will generate any reads at all. But I am what I am. I doo what I doo. So here goes anyway. I suppose I only have myself to blame. Here I was, browsing through the Garden Section as is my wont. It is, after all, my second home. And at times, less stressful than my first. And my thoughts turned to spring, and sowing time. Well, actually, I forced my thoughts to turn to spring, because I’m snowed in again, and gardening seems an age away at the moment. But since all the gardening programmes on the telly tell you to do things way in advance of the optimum time, ‘cos each wants to be first; and the Garden Centres stock plants well ahead of season for the same reason, to steal a march (March!) on their rivals; why should I be any different? Please don’t rush out and sow your carrots just because I’ve written this op. And don’t sow them when the packet tells you. Or Alan Titchmarsh. Use your discretion, wait until the soil warms up, and the long-term weather forecast is somewhat less than miserable. And don’t trust Michael Fish. So, anyway, my thoughts turned to vegetables. And looking in the category, I thought how nice it would be to have groups of vegetables as topics, like Root Vegetables or Brassicas. Because, well, can I really write an opinion of reasonable quality and quantity on one vegetable? How much can you say about a carrot? Then I remembered. I suggested these, way back when the new gardening season was but a dot on the horizon. So I have only myself to blame. Having shot himself squarely in the foot, Aspen limps on regardless, into the hole he has dug. The biggest problem with carrots is their dislike of heavy, or clay, soil. A carrot’s ideal home is a light, totally stone-f
ree, sandy soil. Few of us are fortunate enough to have this carrot-friendly environment. If you are one of the fortunate few, you can skip the next bit! (In fact, just skip right to the bottom and rate it!!) We have two options. We can either alter the soil, or grow carrot varieties which are less fussy. So instead of the usual uncontrolled ramble, I’ll have a bash at structuring this. I’m going to try a couple of sub-headings, and see if I can exercise some self-discipline. 1. CARROT-FRIENDLY SOIL. 1 a) Major Veggie Plot Overhaul. Double-dig the entire plot. Double digging (also known as trenching) means removing the top spit – ie the depth of a spade – and digging down a second spit, so that the whole area is cultivated to two spade’s depth. As you dig, remove every stone, or better still, pass every spadeful through a riddle (sieve) to produce a fine-textured soil. Then import sharp sand in a quantity which will give you a ratio of, at the very minimum, one part sand to two parts soil. Mix thoroughly, and you will have carrot-friendly soil. You may also spend the rest of the gardening season in traction. I only recommend this option if you are completely off your trolley. Although, joking apart, this is exactly what a champion carrot grower would do. 1 b) Minor Veggie Plot Overhaul. Decide where you want to grow your carrots. Single dig the chosen area (one spade’s depth), and remove all the stones. Acquire a few six-inch boards, and frame the area, to create a rudimentary raised bed. Fill to the top of the boards with a mix of sharp sand, peat or peat-alternative, or even the contents of last year’s grow bags. Make absolutely sure it is lump-free. You have created a one-season mini carrot-friendly plot. 1 c) The Crowbar Technique. Define the carrot zone as per b). Beg, borrow, or if necessary steal, a crowbar. Visualise where your row of
carrots is going to be. Insert crowbar every three or four inches, along the imaginary row. Plunge to a depth of 15 – 18 inches, and rotate vigorously until you have created a tapering hole about three inches diameter at ground level. Fill the hole with a finely sieved mix of sharp sand and planting compost. Sow three or four seeds at each position, and thin to one later. Champion carrot-growers do this, too. 2 THE RIGHT VARIETIES. 2 a) Long Rooted Varieties. Choose these only if you have, or have created, carrot-friendly soil. The majority of main-crop varieties are long rooted. Long rooted carrots become misshapen or fork when they encounter obstructions in the soil. These obstructions can be as minor as a wee lump of clay, or a dollop of dung. (Which reminds me, do not add organic material to the carrot-growing area. Carrots ideally follow from a crop which was heavily “mucked” the previous season.) If you can create the right conditions, try Autumn King or Chantenay Red-Cored. 2 b) Stump Rooted Varieties. These are the short, dumpy ones, and many of the earlies fall into this category. Early Scarlet Horn is an RHS Highly Commended, and will perform well in most soils. Or try the very popular Early Nantes. Pull these varieties when they are young and sweet, and don’t sow them all at once. Sow a little at two to three week intervals throughout spring and early summer, and keep pulling them young. 2 c) Garden-Free Varieties. I’m not joking. If all else fails, or indeed for an early crop, or even if you don’t have a garden, grow your carrots in a pot, tub, or growbag. Grow them on the patio, in a window box, or for early crops, in the greenhouse or conservatory. You are in control, because you can fill the container with carrot-friendly compost. For container growing, use early, stump rooted varieties. One of the best is Amini, from Suttons. Hey, I like this structure thing. Maybe I’ll do it again. Reverting to type, though, let’s ramble on. I’d better mention the dreaded carrot fly. And by the way, this also attacks the carrot’s close relatives, parsley, parsnips and celery. They tunnel into the root. At worst, the foliage yellows and the carrot dies. At best, they disfigure the root, and look unsightly as little corpses on the dinner plate. The important thing to know is that there are two generations of these maggots during a growing season. Sowings made after the end of May will usually miss the first generation. Early sowings, perhaps under cloches in more northerly parts, will be harvested before the second generation strikes. The fly is attracted by the scent released from bruised foliage. Bruising occurs during thinning. So avoid thinning by sowing thinly and pulling young, or using pelleted seed which can be spaced out. If you don’t have an aversion to chemicals, there are several branded products which can be applied to the drill when sowing. If you have grown maincrop carrots, and want to store them in the traditional way, lift them carefully with a fork, and avoid damage or bruising. Discard (or eat) any that are damaged. Cut the tops off an inch or so above the root – no closer. Pack in layers in dry sand, in a box or other suitable container. The sand must be dry, or there is potential for rot to set in. Store in a frost free place. That’s the party line on storage. Me? I’m lazy. I leave them in the ground. They are rarely damaged by frost, and indeed a touch of frost sweetens them. A proportion will suffer slug damage, but the answer to that is just grow a few more than you need! Right. Anything else you need to know? In summary, the long ones are fine if your soil is ideal. Otherwise stick to the short ones. I’m not going to say anything about seeing in the dark, th
at one’s been done to death. Nor will I mention that you can make carrot wine. Because it tastes earthy, and is the devil of a job to clear. Make it once. For the experience. I did think, in one of my more enthusiastic moments, that with spring approaching, I would write on vegetables A to Z. Artichokes to Zucchini. Now I realise just how much you have to write about one solitary veggy to do it justice, and suddenly a whole evening of my life has disappeared. I shall do more, if you wish, but methinks it will be only the chosen few. (And a wee footnote to Nikkisly. See, I still doo requests, eventually. And if you still can’t grow carrots after this, I’ll send you some!)