A Rainbow of Carrots
Carrots Are An Easy To grow Vegetable But Ditch The Boring Orange
If you have a garden and are thinking about growing carrots I highly suggest you do so, but don't just grow plain old boring orange carrots. There are a host of interesting carrots you can grow that will fascinate and intrigue people.
The wonderful thing about gardening is you get to have fun with what you grow, experiment with plants, find the seeds for vegetables you normally can't find in the grocery store and run with it. Carrots are extremely easy to grow vegetables.
A Brief History of Carrots
Orange Carrots Are Propaganda
Orange carrots have not always been the norm. Red, yellow, purple, and white carrots were more common through most of history. Believe it or not the modern orange carrot was once a fashionable statement of national pride for the Dutch. Apparently in the 17th century the dutch began breeding and exporting the orange carrots as a symbol of Dutch supremacy, since orange was a national colour. The novelty factor of the orange carrot caused it to explode throughout Europe and eventually all other carrot colours began to fade in popularity.
The fact that carrots are such easy to grow vegetables, and that they can store for a long time meant that they were always a popular option for farmers. The popularity of the carrot is easy to understand, the extreme popularity of the orange carrot is not quite so easy to grasp. I find it strange that a novelty item such as the orange carrot took off to such heights that it squashed all other varieties into obscurity.
Little Finger may be a main character of dubious morals on The Game of Thrones, but these cute little carrots aren't any good with accounting, and will be a welcome addition to any veggie tray.
Short and stubby carrots make them great for slicing and getting nice even sized rounds. This works great for boiled carrots or for sliced raw with dip.
These carrots mature into a spherical shape instead of the standard conical shape we are used to. Perfect for boiled carrots, just wash them off then boil them and you are done.
Baked with new potatoes they make a wonderfully colourful dish with lots of character. simply mix in a generous amount of Atlas Round carrots and new potatoes bake until potatoes are tender then top with butter.
A nice striking red carrot. Best cooked rather than raw. Cooking these carrots strengthens the red colour.
Raw these leave a lot to be desired for flavour, but once you cook them the flavour is really drawn out, as is the colour. You'll be surprised by how much the colour intensifies after cooking. Bright red carrots are sure to bring attention to any dinner plate.
As the name implies these carrots are high in nutrients and antioxidants.
Blood Red Atomic
Like its other red cousin this carrot is high in antioxidants and the red colour intensifies when cooked.
This carrot does have a nice raw flavour that is much nicer than the Nutri Red, but like the Nutri Red its flavour intensifies after cooking.
Purple Haze Carrots - A Jimmy Hendrix Experience in Veggie Form
These are an interesting looking carrot. They are purple on the outside with a few orange streaks, the core of the carrot is solid orange. When I talk about my purple haze carrots at work I always hear jokes about Jimmy Hendrix and a certain recreational illicit substance. Much of the brilliant colour leeches out of the carrot and into whatever you are cooking when they are cooked. Raw they are stunning.
Purple Dragon Carrots - When a little purple just isn't enough
Purple haze too orange for your taste? These purple dragon carrots are the carrots for you. These are purple all the way through. The colour will leech out into anything that touches them while they are cooking, but they still maintain an amazing purple colour even cooked.
I haven't tried it myself, but I would imagine these would make magnificent pickled carrots.
Purple Dragon still to boring, try the Black Knight. This unique carrot is a very dark purple verging on black, thus the name black knight. The core of these carrots is white, so the contrast really stands out.
Like most multi coloured vegetables the colour does tend to run together when cooked, however the core will remain considerably paler than the rest of the carrot making it an interesting addition to the dinner plate.
White is the new orange. These carrots will send your mind on a trip. You'll look at them and think parsnip, but bite in and they are unmistakably carrots.
These solid white carrots are nice and sweet. They look great in a salad or as boiled carrots.
More of an ivory colour than the solid white of the Lunar, but still a beautiful carrot.
Solar Yellow Carrots - They call them mellow yellow
Ok, they don't really, but come on they should...
These are bright yellow carrots that would stand out in any salad or veggie mix.
Rainbow of Carrots Pack - Why decide?
Don't have a lot of room to grow so many different types of carrots, can't choose which carrot you'd like to grow, why not just get a mix pack and lay that down. The really fun thing about this pack is you won't know what type of carrot you'll end up with until it comes out of the earth, and each time you pick one it will be a surprise.
When To Plant Your Carrots
Planning Your Garden Plant Times Is Essential
Exact planting times will depend on your area, but most zones are safe to plant in late May to be harvested in August. In Ontario where I live May 2-4 weekend is a holiday known as Victoria Day, this is the common start of gardening season and a great time to plant your carrots.
© 2012 Jeff Johnston