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The more curious my home-grown vegetables look, the quicker I run for my sketchbook. Pulling up carrots is a joy, another rite of spring. Below, a bunch of Scarlet Nantes planted last fall.


Daucus carota subsp. sativus, 

Tasty, nutritious… much more flavor in a crooked homegrown carrot than the beauties from the store. People have been growing carrots in the garden for a long time: here, the “garden” carrot, in a 515 AD version of Dioscorides’ first century AD work (with side roots!)


Garden carrot, from Juliana Alicia Codex, 515 AD

A fascinating story of evolution from wild carrot ancestor, to early cultivation in the Iranian Plateau five thousand years ago, in recipes and medicines around the world, colored purple, white, yellow, and then: orange.

A gold-mine of carrot history: