Carrots are my potatoes. Where a lot of people add potato to soups and stews, carrots are my staple. If you open my fridge at any given time, you will find a punnet of fresh carrots. Carrots are just so versatile. In the old days our grandmothers used to either mash them with potato as a complimentary savoury dish to the traditional Sunday lunch or often alternate with copper penny carrot salad in Summer. Gone are the days of traditional and boring cooking and today we have access to a vast variety of carrots which adds flavour, colour and heaps of nutrition to your diet. Besides, a yummy slice of carrot cake is good for you!
Often there is a bit of a problem though! I am absolutely reliant on my senses, colour, smell and taste. Opening a punnet of carrots and taking a huge chomp of these delectable beauties, just to be utterly disappointed in the taste. I am sure you can relate to this? That is why I decided to start growing my own and then save the seeds from the best carrots with the best taste and characteristics. It is important to note that saving carrot seeds is not a quick process, though.
Carrots are biennial, so you would have to be willing to sacrifice a few carrots with the best characteristics and leave it in the soil for another year. Plants only flower the following year. It is equally important to ensure that the seeds you sow are from an heirloom variety. Hybrid-seeds might not be the best seeds to use for seed saving. Please ensure that the seed heads ripen fully. The flower heads are ready when it is dry and turns brown. Carefully cut the flower heads and place it in a paper bag or small airtight container to completely dry. Ensure that your container is stored in a dark and dry spot. Be careful of moisture as this will create mould. You can seal your container once your seeds have darkened and dry. The cooler the storage area, the higher the seed viability will be. Sharing is caring! So share your seeds with your family and friends.
Saving seed is such a rewarding experience. We have some interesting varieties to really add crunch, colour, taste and texture to your life! The beautiful ideal red carrot, catchy ball shaped Parisian carrot, the fragrant nantes scarlet carrot, and the famous rainbow carrot, are just a few of my favourites! Have carrot of a day and keep the doctor away!
About the Author
Michele Fourie is the Seeds for Africa General Manager. Michele loves growing beautiful flowers, chilli plants and is passionate about exceptional customer. service. Michele is also a fundi in the kitchen. Check out her blog post on making your own sweet pickled piquant cherry peppers at this link.