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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Easy harvesting of Carrot - as found by this Scottish farmer

Nature is beautiful – has its own ways and can be bountiful too.

Carrot, Radish, Beetroot, Potato, yam, Onion, Ginger, peanut – all grow underground. Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here "root" means any underground part of a plant. Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of carbohydrate. Botany distinguishes true roots such as tuberous roots and taproots from non-roots.

We all eat carrot [Daucus carota] is a root vegetable, usually orange in colour, though purple, red, white, and yellow varieties exist. It has a crisp texture when fresh. The most commonly eaten part of a carrot is a taproot, although the greens are edible as well.

Carrots develop normally within a great range of temperatures and are grown throughout the world with  the exception of the very warmest areas.  Carrots are sort of easy to grow. Carrot varieties are described as early or maincrop varieties, but also either short-root or long-root varieties. Early carrot varieties take around 12 weeks to mature and maincrop carrot varieties are ready in around 16 weeks.  Carrots are mature at around 2 ½ months and ½ inch in diameter. You may harvest when desired maturity is reached.  Experts say that the tops of the carrot will show at the soil line and you can gauge when the diameter looks right for your variety. If the diameter looks good, chances are the length is fine too.

Pulling them out can be tedious and require expertise. The largest carrots will have the darkest, greenest tops, but the roots should not be left in the ground too long as they could become tough. When harvesting,  farmers drench the bed with water first, making the carrots easier to pull.  When the carrot is found to be large enough, the greens at the top are grasped and tugged gently with a twisting motion. 

But that is all theory – in practice things can be quite different as found by a farmer Allan Fearn at Redford Farm, Laurenkirk.  Read this report in, which is quite interesting.  It is about how the Scottish farmer had it easy as carrots appear to rise out of the ground after the rainwater washed earth under them. 

The Daily Mail story is that of a  Scottish farmer who was faced with the extraordinary sight of his carrots standing upright above the ground after a nearby river burst its banks and washed away the soil around them.  The man, Allan Fearn, 60, reportedly  went out to check his fields at Redford Farm in Laurenkirk after the North Esk burst its banks, and was worried that his crops might have been badly damaged or washed away. But he found the vegetables were upright after the soil around them was washed away – only days after the harvester had gone through the field making paths in preparation for the harvest.  The only carrots that were washed away were found further down the field, suspended in trees at the bottom of the site.

The farmer is quoted as saying that they had about three inches of rain and the North Esk burst its banks about half a mile from here. It came right down through the crop of carrots. The running water washed away all the soil and left the carrots standing. The carrots which were  about eight or nine inches, had only an inch was left in the ground so they just looked to be standing on their own. He added: ‘It’s lucky the river followed the paths - it would have been a very different story if it had washed through the field.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.
Source of info. – as also for the last 2 photos above.


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