ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Carrots – Inspiring or boring?

Updated on July 8, 2014

Carrot Consumption

Which way do you normally eat your carrots?

See results

I’ve often considered carrots an uninspiring vegetable, always served with chops, beans and potatoes, often served in salads, sometimes added to hearty winter vegetable soups. Carrots are in season for the most part of the year in a Mediterranean climate and can easily be taken for granted or overlooked, considered boring, or not worth growing because they never seem to be very expensive. We always seem to have carrots in the fridge and when we don’t we automatically buy more.

According to the World Carrot Museum (yes you read correctly, there is a group of people dedicated to preserving the history and promoting the growing of carrots!), the average person eats around 6 kgs or 13 lbs of carrots each year. I used to eat mine dutifully, making sure I had at least 3 colours on my plate. Carrots were an easy addition to most meals, but I never considered them inspiring. That was until I started growing my own.

Home Grown Carrots, freshly dug from the front garden
Home Grown Carrots, freshly dug from the front garden

Home grown carrots, have a flavour and a colour of their own, which doesn’t compare to that of mass produced, shipped-a-long-way carrots. Given a reasonable soil they can be relatively easy to grow and can produce food for around 9 months of the year. With the pretty green tops they can be deceiving as they have lovely ferny, delicate-looking foliage which belies the hunk of beta carotene which lays beneath the surface.

Sow seeds as thinly as possible 12-20mm deep in rows 150mm apart. Space them between 50 and 100mm apart. If your soil is full of clay or rocks, you may need to add some sand or other organic mix to the bed so that the carrot roots can push through the soil.

Ideally you are looking for a fine tilthy soil, which turns easily. If you don’t have this in your garden beds, try growing them in raised garden beds where you can completely control the soil, by introducing they type of soil carrots will like. Mixing the seeds with a bit of clean river sand will help distribute the tiny fine seeds in a reasonably even way.

Once you’ve sown the seeds, keep watering them, making sure they don’t dry out while you are waiting for germination, but don’t flood them. Germination takes 10 to 12 days depending on soil temperature – faster germination occurs in the warmer months. Once they have germinated, thin them to 5 -10 cm apart. I planted some in my front garden bed this year which is completely exposed to the footpath and so far I don’t think any have been sampled by passers-by. Anyone who is not a gardener probably won’t recognise them by their tops, so they are fairly safe to plant in reasonably public places without fear of anyone harvesting them without your permission. Make sure you keep the weeds under control – carrots don’t like the competition and will simply not put their roots down.

Coloured carrots provide even more nutritional diversity and colour to your plate
Coloured carrots provide even more nutritional diversity and colour to your plate

There are plenty of heritage varieties of carrot seeds available if you don’t like yours orange. Try purple, pink or yellow carrots on your plate for a bit of variety. Just be aware of what you cook with them.

I’ve eaten purple mashed potatoes in the past, because I cooked the purple carrots in a steamer basket on top of the potatoes! The steamy water dripped through the steamer holes and coloured the potatoes too. Which is fine if you like all your vegetables to end up the same shade of puce, but if you’re looking for a bit of variety in your plating up, then watch where you steam them.

On the upside they can provide a lovely unexpected colour and flavour to your favourite dish.

Harvest your carrots when the top of the carrot is 2-5cm in diameter. How long it takes from germination to harvest will depend on the planting times – those planted in summer will be quicker than those planted in cooler seasons. However, you don’t need to harvest them all at the same time. You can pick them as you need them and they will keep well in the soil for many months. Remove their tops before storing, and if you have chooks, feed the greens to them – they will thank you for it by laying eggs with delicious yellow yolks. Wash and keep carrots in the fridge in airtight bags to retain moisture.

If you’re considering saving seeds from your carrots, it’s worth remembering that the carrot plant is biennial – it completes its life cycle in two years. In the first year it stores what it is going to use in its second year to produce seed. We interrupt its life cycle by harvesting the roots in the first year before it has time to fully reach maturity. In the first year the plant produces the fleshy tap root which is eaten. If left in the ground the plant will flower the following spring and the seeds can be harvested after flowering.

Once you’ve harvested your carrots you can decide if you want yours boring or inspiring, steamed or glazed in honey, grated or julienned, thrown into a soup (try carrot and coriander for a flavoursome meal in a bowl) or slow cooker, roasted with your favourite Sunday best or eaten raw and crunchy for maximum beta-carotene. Combined with beetroot creates a colourful raw salad, and of course there’s always the classic favourite of carrot cake with cream cheese icing. Sweet or savoury, I now find them inspiring and love the vibrant colours, crisp crunch and amazing flavour that you just don’t get from shop bought carrots.

Why not plant some this spring and be inspired by a vegetable which has its own museum!

If you’ve never prepared carrots before, then check out this cute video I found which demonstrates four ways to prepare carrots quickly and easily!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)