These plants tend to store energy in the taproot and have hollow stems with ample greenery. The poisonous varieties can be difficult to tell from safe wild varieties – wild carrot, for example, is almost indistinguishable from hemlock.
Over the years, there has been some debate as to whether you can eat the green leaves. Yes, you can! Despite the presence of celery and carrot in the ‘Apiaceae’ (umbellifers), many other members are highly poisonous, but not the carrot. They are edible and highly nutritious, rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. The tops of the carrots are loaded with potassium which can make them bitter, so use of them in food is limited.
Carrots are an important vegetable because they are high in beta-carotene, a substance that is converted to Vitamin by our bodies. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that may help to fight cancer, brain and heart disease. Carrots are also rich in fiber, and fiber is low in calories and fat. Fiber helps in weight loss because the body does not digest it, it simply passes through. Carrots come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Most people like to grow the classic variety, which is long and slender.
COMPOSITION OF CARROT LEAVES
Carrot greens contain:
GROWING CARROT LEAVES
1. Till the soil down to a depth of six inches and work three inches of compost into it.
2. Now make a mound which is four to six inches high and about three inches wide.
3. Leave a furrow between this mound and the next one. This helps to make sure that the carrots have proper drainage and that they grow straight and tall.
4. Plant the seed along the top of the mound in a furrow that is ½ inch deep.
5. Keep the carrots weed free or the antioxidants will take all the water and nutrients and the carrots will be unable to thrive.
6. Carrots should be ready for harvest 70-80 days from planting. They should be 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter. Any bigger and they will be tough.
7. Loosen the dirt around the carrots before pulling to make sure the root does not break off.
8. To store carrots, remove the tops. Wash the carrots and store them in the bottom of the refrigerator. They will store longer if you place them in a plastic bag.
WHAT TO DO WITH CARROTS?
HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING CARROTS AND THEIR LEAVES
The following are the health benefits of eating carrots and their leaves: