It’s Carrot Day!

The 4th April is International Carrot Day so here’s our celebration of one of Britain’s favourite vegetables.

Did you know, one carrot gives you the energy for 10-15 minutes of activity such as going for a walk, swimming, or gardening. Carrots are Britain’s major root vegetable crop, and the UK grows 700,000 tonnes of carrots each year. Different varieties allow for different seasonal plantings across the UK, meaning carrot production is almost year-round. Find out more at BritishCarrots.co.uk!

Holtville, California is “The Carrot Capital of the World”. They have an annual carrot festival each February with cookery competitions, street festival and parades!

Up to the Middle Ages, all carrots were purple – the orange variety was first developed in 16th-century Holland by patriotic growers who bred it in tribute to the king, William I of Orange. The orange colour results from abundant carotenes, mainly the beta-carotene which is a strongly coloured red-orange pigment found in some plants and fruits. The beta-carotene is very important for maintaining healthy eyes – hence why it’s said that eating carrots can help you to see in the dark. Beta-carotene is also really good for your memory… so especially good if you have got exams coming up!

The carrot is one of the most sugary vegetables in the world… that’s why it makes such excellent cakes. There’s a very simple recipe here for Carrot Muffins from the BBC, or if you are feeling experimental, some Carrot Jam recipes here at the online Carrot Museum.

According to the Guinness Book of Records Joe Atherton (UK) created the World Record longest carrot record: a gigantic 6.245 metres in 2016 – that’s taller than a giraffe! The heaviest carrot weighs 10.17 kg – that’s like a one year old child – and was grown by Christopher Qualley (Minnesota, USA) in 2017. Other Guinness Records you may want to check out (or start practicing for) are “most slices of carrots sliced while blindfolded in 30 seconds” or “most carrots peeled and chopped in one minute”…. Let us know how you get on.

Last but not least, the world record for “fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable” is also currently held by a carrot. Andrew Lawrence ran the London Marathon in 2017 in 2hrs, 45 minutes and 8 seconds. He had previous form, as he had run (and broken the related “fruit” world record) the year before, dressed as a banana. Impressive.

www.sruc.ac.uk/horticulture

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