Lately we’ve seen lots of Humble Gardener readers posting photos of their carrot harvests. Carrots are a wonderful addition to a colorful late summer/early fall garden, and there’s nothing quite like the full-flavored, crunchy goodness of a homegrown carrot. In honor of these versatile vegetables, we’ve rounded up a list of fun facts. Think you know all there is to know about carrots? Test yourself with this trivia:
- A dark carrot is a sweet carrot. The darker the color, the sweeter the flavor. Carrots come in second– behind beets– for sugar content in vegetables.
- Not just orange. The “original” carrots were either purple or red. It wasn’t until the 1500s that the Dutch developed the orange carrot we know and love. Today you can find white, red, and golden carrots at farmer’s markets and specialty stores.
- The longest carrot recorded was 19 feet, 1 7/8 inches long, grown in the U.K. in 2007.
- Carrots were first grown as a medicine. Over history carrots have been used to treat chronic coughs, dysentery, windy colic, chronic renal disease, diarrhea and anemia. An English superstition claims the purple flower found on wild carrots (Queen Anne’s Lace) can cure epilepsy.
- Mega source of Vitamin A. Carrots contain 200% of your daily value of Vitamin A. They’re packed with beta-carotene, which transforms into Vitamin A once it’s broken down in your body. The carrots with the deepest of orange hues contain the most beta-carotene!
- Low-cal snack. A medium carrot contains 25 calories.
- California is carrot central. About 85% of the U.S. carrot crop comes from Bakersfield, California.