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Carrots belongs to the family of Apiaceae. Carrots are root vegetable and belong to the kingdom of plants. A carrot has two distinct parts. Taproot is the colored part of the carrot which is eaten and consumed. The leaves and the greenish part of the carrot are usually not eaten. It takes two years for the carrots to grow fully. The carrots initially form a circular arrangement of leaves when they start grow. The taproot starts developing at the same time. Few varieties of carrots take two to five months to mature. China is the world’s biggest producer of carrots. Carrots are believed to have been first grown in Persia and Europe. From there they were introduced in America, Netherlands, Spain and other countries. Carrots grow in a lot of different colors yellow, red, purple, orange often according to the area and soil they are grow in.
Carrot Plant and Farming
When a carrot seedling is sown, the stem and taproot start developing. Leaves start to grow after two weeks and get arranged in a uniform circular arrangement. The stem grows above the ground and the taproot and storage area grows underground. Taproot consists of two parts called phloem and xylem. Flowers also develop in a carrot after meristem stops forming leaves. Carrots flowers developed from umbels, are green or yellow colored. Flowers are small and have petals and stamens. Flowers have nectar inside them. Flowers have seeds which are carried by pollinating agents. A carrot has polyacetylenes like falcarinal and falcarindiol. Polyacetylenes are sometimes responsible for tastes in carrots. Various other organic compounds are present in a carrot. Carrot seeds require two or four months to mature when the environment provided in them iks conducive. Sunshine, temperature,, soil type are few conditions that deteremine tthe conditions for the cultivation of carrots. Slightly acidic soil is required which should be deep and well drained for ideal carrot cultivation. According to the nature of the soil type fertilizers are used to grow the best kind of carrot. Alternaria fungi is one of major reason for carrot crop eradication or devastation. Plant pathogen like pythium violae cause cavity spots or irregular dispersion in carrots. Improper timing of plant seed, irregular weather and improper handling of the crop also reduces yield for carrots or is responsible for damages in the final output. To reduce these losses carrots are planted along with onions and leeks. The smell of onions prevents carrot root fly to come near carrots and prevents crop destruction. Many herbs like sage, flowers like marigold and certain fruits when planted with carrots form a natural barrier to insects and other bacterial harm. Carrots have a good shelf life and are stored for several months. The condition for storage of carrots can also be flexible. For example refrigeration or cool subzero containers can be used to store carrots for a long time.
Uses and Health Benefits
Carrots are used for human consumption in a variety of ways. They are used as chief vegetable ingredient for a lot of curries, pickles and graveys. They must be chopped to use as salads along with onions and cucumbers as is done in many houses. They are cut and fried using oil and cooked as a vegetable. Soups, stew, lentil, Chinese food, potato stuffing are various other foods in which carrots are heavily used. Carrots are sometimes used to feed livestock and cattle. Carrots are grated and cooked in milk and are used as a desert worldwide. Many food snack companies use carrot as a delicacy for their product or filling. Carrots are highly nutritional and their juice is widely sold worldwide. Carrots is rich in vitamin and minerals and are 90% water and other components that make up carrot are sugar, protein and fibers. Photosynthetic pigments like carotene, lutein are responsible for the type of colors in carrots. Persons who consume carrots regularly in high quantities develop carotenemia in which skin color turns yellow.
Carrots have a lot of benefits on human health. Carrots reduce the risk of heart attacks. They provide good nourishment fr skin and improved digestion and blood circulation in the body. Carrots are good in regulating diabetes and certain liver conditions. A few common varieties of carrots are western type of carrots originating in Europe and eastern type of carrots originating in Asia. Chantenag Danves, Imperator, Nanates are few common type of Western carrots. United States of America, Uzbekistan, Russia are few major carrot producing counties worldwide. Other countries have also improved their cultivation and supplies for carrots.