Christmas in March

Even though the yard is still covered with snow, the anticipation is building.  I can hardly wait until it’s nice enough outside that I can at least get out and do some cleaning up.

Because the packages have started arriving. . . my jade beans came a few weeks ago, and then my multi-colored carrots, and just this week a box of asparagus roots was delivered—it’s so exciting!

I bought the same multi-colored carrot seeds that I put in last year—purple, white, yellow, red, and orange.  And an extra packet of the purple ones, just to be sure I’ve got enough of those.

"Kaleidoscope" carrot mix from the Cook's Garden

I have had vastly different experiences with the germination rate of carrot seeds, and it often seems like it’s the most unusual ones that have the lowest germination rate.  (Yes, you might think that would encourage me to buy the more common orange varieties, but you’d be wrong.) 😉

Last year's carrot harvest

After my carrot seeds came in the mail, I came across some interesting information that I thought I would share.

Red carrots get their color mainly from lycopene, which is a type of carotene that is thought to guard against heart disease and even some types of cancer.  Yellow carrots accumulate xanthopylls, which are pigments similar to beta-carotene (which contributes to good eye health).  Purple carrots, on the other hand, have an entirely different class of pigments, called anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants.

After finding this information, I felt totally vindicated about my love of colorful vegetables—just think of the health benefits of such a variety!  :)

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