Fresh Eats Blog: Carrots
Here at the Coquitlam Farmers Market we are all about local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce. What better way to celebrate the summer months than a fresh take on some familiar foods! This week’s topic: carrots.
Did You Know?
Did you know the orange colour in carrots is a result of abundant carotenes found in them? The main one found is the beta-carotene which is a strongly coloured red-orange pigment found in some plants and fruits.
Carrots are in season in South West British Columbia from July all the way until December! Did you know carrots are in the top 10 of most economically important global vegetable crops? There are over 100 species of edible carrots today and are a good source of fibre.
Recipe of the Week
Parsnip and Carrot Puree
Courtesy of Always Cooking Up Something & allrecipes Canada
8 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup snipped chives
6 tablespoons butter, divided sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Step 1- Place the parsnips and carrots into a large pot and filled with salted water until fully submerged. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 2- Drain and return vegetables to pot. Turn heat to low, stir in the chives and three tablespoons of butter.
Step 3- Begin to puree mixture and add three tablespoons of butter. Continue to puree until mixture is smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients at the Market
Carrots: Forstbauer Family Farm, Shen’s Farm, Never Say Die Farm
Chives: Wah Fung Farm, Red Barn Plants and Produce
Parsnips: Red Barn Plants and Produce
Greens: Floralia Growers, Forstbauer Farms, Langley Organic Growers, Mandair Farms, Never Say Die Farm, Ripple Creek Organic Farm, Shen’s Farm, Wah Fung Farm
Steps on How To
Carrot Planting 101:
Step 1- Select desired seed variety. Some standard varieties that seem to do well are chantenay, danvars 126, and scarlet nantes.
Step 2- Plant your seeds about one to two inches apart. As an option, plant two rows two inches apart. Skip about 18 inches for the next two rows and so on when planting large patches of carrots. Carrots like sandy-loam soil but it is recommended to mix this with organic compost or soil.
Step 3- After at least 60 days, pull up a few carrots to see if they are at desired size. If you plant your carrots every few weeks apart, you can harvest throughout the season. The longer carrots stay in the ground, the larger they become and increasingly more woody.
Note: Water enough to keep the soil moist. This depends on your climate, but a reminder not to over water the plants.
Carrots in B.C.
Carrots are one of B.C.’s many field vegetables and is a crop produced in relatively large volumes throughout most of the southern portion of the province. Farmers can grow a wide variety of field vegetables in British Columbia, thanks to a moderate climate, fertile soils and access to good water.