Farmers Market

Carrots aren’t just for rabbits. This root vegetable has been grown for centuries and used in recipes the world over. Originally thought to be cultivated in Afghanistan, carrots vary in color, from purple and red, to yellow and white. The orange carrot we are familiar today was developed by Dutch producers in the 16th or 17th century.

Carrot Nutrition

Studies suggest this humble root has numerous health benefits. I knew a woman who attempted the “carrot diet,” in hopes of harnessing its nutritional powers, but mostly resulted in a subtle orangey glow. In moderation, however, the carrot is a valuable addition to your diet.

The benefits include:

  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Loaded with beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A

  • An incredible 428 percent of daily vitamin A

  • 14 percent of dietary fiber

  • Low in saturated fat and cholesterol

  • Good source of thiamin, niacin, potassium, folate and manganese

  • Source of vitamins C, B6 and K

Consider for use in Food feature if not cover.

Growing Carrots

Forming below the surface of the earth, carrots are the pearls of the soil. When cultivated properly, carrots can be a satisfying and productive part of any garden.

  • Plant seeds 3 to 5 weeks before the last spring frost in deeply tilled soil.

  • Plant seeds 3 to 4 inches apart in rows 1 foot apart.

  • Well-drained and gently mulched soil keep the root from forking or becoming stunted.

  • Multiple frosts enhance the flavor of the carrot.

  • After the first major frost, cover carrots with leaf litter.

  • Harvest carrots after 2 ½ months, or when desired size is reached.

  • Carrots may be left in the ground if the danger of freezing has past.

  • For storing harvested carrots, wash with cold water, dry, pull off tops and place in airtight plastic bags.

  • In winter, carrots may be stored in moist sand.

See Also:  How to Make the Most of Your Mushrooms

SEE MORE: What’s in Season: Kale

Crunchy, refreshing, satisfying and nutritious, carrots are the unsung hero of the salad bar. They can be used in many other creative dishes. Explore these delicious carrot recipes.

Recipes:
Carrot Cake Salad
Garden Vegetable Soup
Pear-Carrot-Cranberry Muffins
Crunchy Cabbage Peanut Slaw
Marsala Carrots

Sources:
www.organicgardening.com
www.whfoods.com
www.almanac.com

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