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Food Item: Carrots

January 17, 2015

The background carrots are straight out the root  cellar, the foreground guy has been washed. Washing before storing tends to shorten the shelf life of roots.

Carrots are a staple around here. I don't know if there is anything to the commonly held 'wisdom' that the vitamin A precursors called carotenes are good for the eyes, but it can't hurt to eat a reasonable amount of them. Interestingly Wikipedia says that only about 3% of the beta-carotene in a raw carrot crosses the gut barrier, and 40% or so does when cooked. Wiki is not the most reliable source of information, but I'm inclined to believe this as a generality even if the cited numbers are not quite precisely correct. There are many, many cases of foods whose nutrients become more available upon cooking. Soybeans, eggs both spring to mind... but I was writing about carrots.

In 2014 I used pelleted seed and really liked it. Carrot seeds are tiny and prone to drying out as they germinate. Drying once the sprouting process begins is often a death nell for any crop, but it is particularly detrimental to smaller seeds. Pelleting wraps each seed in a little bit of moisture holding white clay. It does not obviate the need to keep track of soil moisture but it does allow for a bit less attention with less risk of outright crop failure at the get-go. I also liked the pellets because it made getting the correct plant spacing in the rows really easy.

I grew the Bolero F1 from Johnny's Selected Seeds. They're very tasty and I will grow them again in 2015.

Edmund Brown

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