Friday Finds

What did I find, discover, or uncover this week?

Well, buried beneath the soil in our garden lay a beautiful rainbow of heirloom carrots, which we dug up, admired, photographed and then ate for supper!

This was our first year experimenting with heirloom carrots. I ordered the seeds online and we planted them in late May. They grew quite slowly this summer — but they did grow — and I think they’re incredibly beautiful. They are also incredibly flavourful.

The varieties here are Chantenay, Atomic Red, Dragon and Amarillo.

Hybrid seeds are created by crossing two selected varieties, sometimes resulting in vigorous plants that yield more than heirlooms. Heirloom vegetables are old-time varieties, open-pollinated instead of hybrid, and saved and handed down through multiple generations of families.

One of the main advantages of heirloom vegetables is exceptional taste and, some would argue, higher nutritional value. A lot of the breeding programs for modern hybrids have sacrificed taste and nutrition.

The standard tomato is a good example. Instead of old-time juicy tangy tomatoes, it tastes like cardboard. It was bred to be picked green and gas-ripened because that’s what was needed for commercial growing and shipping.

I know I’ve eaten at restaurants that serve heirloom vegetables and fruit, and, upon tasting the rich, deep flavours, my reaction has been: “This is a carrot, tomato, melon or (fill in the blanks)….?” because the flavour is so much better than the standard grocery store fare.

These carrots have been a great find.

Sharing with Kim Klassen’s Friday Finds

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18 thoughts on “Friday Finds

  1. First, your photos are stunning!
    Second, I have been an advocate for heirloom vegetables (flowers too) for years — actually more like close to 2 decades 🙂 When I wrote my weekly environment column, every spring I always wrote a column promoting the use of heirloom seeds and always devoted one or two columns about heirloom tomatoes. I’m a fan!

  2. Your carrots are a work of art! They make an eye-catching composition with those bright colours, but I can easily imagine that they are bursting with natural flavours too. You are so right: in the race for bigger, stronger, more resistant, we start to lose touch with real foods. Good to see you’ve been able to rediscover them.

  3. Well they are beautiful, that’s for sure. After reading your lovely and detailed report I’m going to look them up. Not sure if they would grow in my soil though. We do belong to an organic food co-op where we get fresh veggies, fruits and flowers all summer long. I’ll also ask them about these. Thanks for the information. I bet you enjoyed your veggies that night.

  4. How totally cool is this, at first I thought when I open your page was wow what a great Header. Just wow Sherry, love these colors and that you grew them just wonderful that you pulled these beauties out of the ground. Love this.

  5. What beautiful carrots and the variation in colours is great fun. So glad they taste as good as they look! You must be thrilled at your crop which you planted from seeds. Lovely photos of them all lined up!
    We have a very big market here in town and I love to go and pick up out-of-the-ordinary vegetables and have tasted similar carrots (except for the white one).

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