This heirloom carrot from Seed Savers Exchange, 'Scarlet Nantes', is a bright, orange-red. The nearless coreless roots are sweet-tasting and grow to about 7 inches long. Try this variety for baby carrots, or freeze or juice the roots.
The non-profit Seed Savers Exchange says ‘St. Valery’ was mentioned in gardening literature as early as 1885. This heirloom has red-orange roots that grow to 12 inches, with a fine-grained flesh and sweet taste. 'St. Valery' keeps well in storage.
The earliest carrots, which originated in Afghanistan, were white, not orange. During the Pilgrim era, carrots were a staple crop because they stored easily through winter. Their carrots were likely white varieties, like this ‘White Satin.’
With carrots, soil prep is the secret to getting a harvest of pretty roots. Carrots need soil that’s free and clear of obstacles—stones, pebbles, sticks—to a depth of at least 6 inches (more is better). Lack of buried obstacles helps ensure straight roots. Otherwise, when a carrot hits a pebble, it shifts and becomes misshapen. The soil should be rich in organic matter so it retains moisture. Clay soils are particularly difficult to grow carrots and definitely benefit from heaps of organic matter.
HGTV's Celebrity Holiday Homes shows the details of Sherri Shepherd's holiday party down to the delicious appetizers. This carrot and butternut-squash soup topped with a green garnish makes for an appealing holiday starter.