Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Inside the Garden, a Hidden Cache of Carrots Awaits Discovery

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Inside the Garden, a Hidden Cache of Carrots Awaits Discovery

Article excerpt

A COUPLE of toughs surprised me the other day in the garden.

They were carrots left over from last year's gardening efforts. My kid, then 9 years old, had sprinkled some seeds in a corner of the garden. The seeds had not done much last summer, and they were forgotten until a few weeks ago, when I was poking around in the dusts of April.

When I first stood over the swaying green tops of the carrots, I thought they were a variation of my biggest crop, weeds. Then I thought they might have been survivors of our long-lost dill crop.

But the green tops didn't smell like dill. They didn't taste like dill, either. That is one of the joys of fooling around in your garden. When you find something that looks promising, all it takes is a little washing from the hose and you have an immediate dining opportunity.

This particular tasting was not thrilling. The mysterious green tops didn't taste like weeds, but they did not taste much better. The mystery ended when I looked down at the ground and saw the bottoms that these tops had been attached to. I had almost stubbed my toe on the carrots.

It was a good thing I had not bumped up against these big, orange orbs. If I had, I might be limping. These were not svelte carrots, the tall, thin types that spend their formative months being fussed over in perfect carrot-growing environments. These were outlaw carrots. They looked like fireplugs - short, squat, thick.

They weren't pretty, but I was proud of them. I was also determined that these carrots were going to appear on my family's table. I took them in the house, where they received a mixed reception.

I knew the fact that the kid had planted the carrots was no guarantee that he would eat them. I am no longer one of those adults who believes that if you get the child involved in the preparation of a vegetable, the kid will end up eating the vegetable. …

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