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A Rainbow of Carrots

Updated on October 14, 2014
CuAllaidh profile image

Jeff Johnston is a medieval reenactor and avid history fan. He is also the publisher at Living History Publications.

Carrots come in a wide variety of colours
Carrots come in a wide variety of colours | Source

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

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.

Atlas Rounds

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.

Nutri Red

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.

Black Knight

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 Out

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.

Lunar White

These solid white carrots are nice and sweet. They look great in a salad or as boiled carrots.

White Satin

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

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    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      I had no idea of the variety of carrots, CuAllaidh. This is very informative. I think I may have seen the White Satin in grocery stores. I love carrots and will have to stretch my taste and try some of these exotic-looking carrots. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
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      Jeff Johnston 3 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @paulahite: Thanks for the share :D

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      How cool is that! I shared your lens on our G+ page today!

      https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/10593843672309975630...

    • Michelllle profile image

      Michelllle 4 years ago

      We had great fun planting rainbow carrots last year. My kids love picking them because they never know what color they are going to get. Like.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well, color my world! I'd love to eat a rainbow every day and tell everyone that's its okay to eat their carrots in this array......sing to the Johnny Cash tune...everybody sing! I sure didn't know carrots came in all these colors and beautifully displayed in the new gardening theme! :)

    • thingz1 profile image

      thingz1 4 years ago

      I'm inspired to plant carrots, and not just the orange variety. Thanks for the info!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @CoeGurl: oh yes I heartily recommend getting some, they are fun to grow and great tasting.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 4 years ago from USA

      I just saw a rainbow of carrots in the health food store and then I find this lens with more information on how they taste -- thanks! I will be getting some carrot seeds. : )

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 4 years ago

      I had no idea that such a wide variety of carrots was available! I love the mellow yellow the best. Yet to come across it, though.

    • Jemjoseph profile image

      Jemjoseph 4 years ago

      You definitely have me thinking about planting some of these exotic varieties, even though I don't have much of a green thumb, and to think I only knew about the ordinary orange carrots before!

    • tkeiser profile image

      tkeiser 4 years ago

      Good god, man. I had no idea. I love the purple carrots. Crazy, and I believe I will try to plant some this year. Awesome. Thanks for the ideas.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
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      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @LynetteBell: they do look similar, but they are definitely not parsnips.... they are very sweet :D

    • profile image

      crstnblue 4 years ago

      Excellent idea for a lens that turned into a great job!

      Glad to learn something new today - had no idea about so many colors for carrots! : )

      Blessed!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 4 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      I only recently heard about purple carrots...they look lovely. Those white ones look more like parsnips:)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Awesome. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of carrots.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
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      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Countryluthier: the purple haze carrot is spectacular.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 4 years ago from Virginia

      Never knew there was a purple haze carrot! Nicely done MM.

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      I want to try purple carrots! I bet my kids would love those, too.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 4 years ago

      This is amazing. Thanks for the information about the different kinds of carrots.

    • profile image

      VeronicaHaynes 4 years ago

      Totally amazing! When I lived in Taiwan, white carrots were everywhere. But I have to say those purple carrots are stunning. When I finally have time to start a garden, rainbow carrots will certainly be going in. Imagine the salads and stews you can make. Thanks!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Li-Li-ThePinkBookworm: Excellent idea

    • profile image

      Li-Li-ThePinkBookworm 4 years ago

      I love using colorful carrots to make a carrot cake. Adds a different look to it.

      Li Li

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 4 years ago

      I am only familiar with the common orange carrot. Now, I know that there are a lot of other carrot variety out there.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      I never knew there were so many different colored carrots.

    • Ardyn25 profile image

      Ardyn25 4 years ago

      I didn't know there were that many kinds of carrots. Great lens!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Ardyn25: I know, I didn't know at first either, and this lens barely scrapes the surface of the number of carrot varieties available out there.

    • goldenecho profile image

      Gale 5 years ago from Texas

      What a great lens! I wonder what the different nutrients of these carrots have!

    • Bulbs1 profile image

      Bulbs1 5 years ago

      Cool! I've got to try some of those Black Knights!

    • profile image

      KarenCookieJar 5 years ago

      Wow. I thought they were all orange.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Wow I'm a country girl and I had no idea the history behind carrots. You really provided me with some very interesting garden trivia this morning. Great subject.

    • aurora7 profile image

      aurora7 5 years ago

      I never knew the history of the orange carrot. It is funny how things that once were used as "statements" become the norm.

    • Kathleen Hiler profile image

      Kathleen Hiler 5 years ago from Mountain Home

      Neve knew there were so many colors!

    • Craftypicks profile image

      Lori Green 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      I had no idea carrots came in colors other than orange and white. Great lens

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @AndriyR LM: I love the fact that orange carrots were simply a political novelty when they were first grown but now somehow have become the face of carrots.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks, I have several of these planted in my garden, I plan on putting up pics of them growing and how they look when they are done :D

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      I'm going to try these out! Wish me luck! I will tell you which ones taste best. Great lens, very interesting. Pinned to my board: How does your Garden grow. Angel Blessed!

    • profile image

      River_Rose 5 years ago

      I don't plan to grow carrots, but enjoy getting them from the nearby organic farm. Great lens!

    • AndriyR LM profile image

      AndriyR LM 5 years ago

      Wow, what a variety! I always thought there is only orange. Gotta try to add some color with all those different carrots! Great Lens! Thank You!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @mariaamoroso: I live in an apartment, no balcony even, my garden is a community garden plot rented by my city. You should think about checking with your city to see if they have such a program there as well.

    • profile image

      getwellsoon 5 years ago

      I used to plant dragon carrots all the time and always got great comments on them!

    • mariaamoroso profile image

      irenemaria 5 years ago from Sweden

      I really wish I had a garden. These carrots are a blessing for the eye!

    • profile image

      cabletiesandmore 5 years ago

      I have seen only 3 colors of carot - purple, red and orange... yellow color is surprising for me, will definitely try to locate next time.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 5 years ago

      You covered the subject very thoroughly, who knew there were so many different colors and kinds of carrots. Excellent lens.

    • samsipet profile image

      samsipet 5 years ago

      All those look so yummy!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @VladimirCat: All carrots are high in vitamin A which is essential for good vision. So, in short that is partially true :D. That being said eating a bunch of carrots won't give you better vision immediately, it will more likely just help you protect your vision from deteriorating overtime.

    • VladimirCat profile image

      Vladimir 5 years ago from Australia

      I've heard that eating carrots, of any colour, will help you to see in the dark. Could this be true?

    • prikazen profile image

      prikazen 5 years ago

      Wow, rainbow indeed. So many carrots⦠Thanks for info.

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Enjoyed reading. Thanks!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @bensen32 lm: I barely scratched the surface with this listing really. There are many many more types. The monoculture that we see now really does not do justice to the carrot.

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @Gala98: on some the colour fades with cooking, but ya they are fun. The Purple Haze looses most of its purple colour when cooking them.

      As for kids, my daughter thought they were real neat.

    • profile image

      Gala98 5 years ago

      I love the rainbow selection! that would be so much fun when you pop out to pick some to cook & then get multicoloured ones on your plate! I bet the kids would love those veggies then!

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      A rainbow indeed! I have a wonderful farmer's market about a mile away, and that is where I reap my carrots.

    • randomthings lm profile image

      randomthings lm 5 years ago

      Wow I never knew there were so many carrots!

    • bensen32 lm profile image

      bensen32 lm 5 years ago

      wow you learn something everyday...I knew orange like everyone else and see a purple and white before but I didn't know there was more than 1 kind of purple and I never seen a yellow before.

    • filcaske1 lm profile image

      filcaske1 lm 5 years ago

      I only knew of the boring orange carrots! I didn't realize there was so many different kinds! Nice lens!

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @marlies vaz nunes: I didn't know either until we started shopping for seeds :D that's why I thought this would be a fun lens :D

    • marlies vaz nunes profile image

      Marlies Vaz Nunes 5 years ago from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

      Never knew there were so many differently colored carrots.

    • lilymom24 profile image

      lilymom24 5 years ago

      Very unique colored carrots. =)

    • CuAllaidh profile image
      Author

      Jeff Johnston 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      @trendydad: carrots are good... even better when they are weird :D

    • profile image

      trendydad 5 years ago

      i love carrots