Welcome to the Carrot Kingdom. We are the King of Vegetables. Why are we the King of vegetables? Well, we're one of the most widely eaten foods on the planet and everyone likes us, especially Bugs Bunny – and those that don’t eat meat.
We’re crisp and crunchy used in just about every savoury dish you eat and a few sweet ones too! We were probably one of your first solid food when you were a baby and are great in the school lunch boxes and we make a wonderful juice too.
We're grown for our taproots which form below the ground. Above ground, we have fern-like leaves grow from the top of our roots. Most of us have, tapering orange roots, 20-28cm long and wide. Some varieties are more rounded and shaped like a top whilst others are harvested when very young and small – they're sold in bunches.
We're available all year round but at our best value from February to September
We are the most commonly grown carrot in Australia and are sometimes called Stefano or Navarre. We have a straight to slightly tapered vibrant orange root. A great all-rounder, we are sweet in flavour and very versatile.
We’re a new variety, shorter than standard carrots with a rounded tip. Our deep orange skin is very smooth so there’s no need to peel us. We have a high sugar content and this means we are sweeter than other carrots and have a high beta carotene (vitamin A) concentration. We are excellent raw and very juicy. Making us a popular carrot for juicing.
We're long and tapered, with a pointed growing tip, smooth skin and good external and internal colour. We have a crisp, deep flavour with a very red to orange flesh that is great for juicing.
We’re small and sweet and look like tiny versions of our fully-grown relatives. Buy us in bunches with our fern-like green tops still attached.
Bunched Heirloom Carrot.
We’re a wonderful rainbow blend of small carrots consisting of purple, yellow, white and orange carrots. Like our cousins’ Dutch carrots, we are sold by the bunch with the fern-like green tops still attached.
We need deep, sandy soil, plenty of water and a temperate or cool climate. Sown from seeds, we’re planted in rows, not too deeply, and kept moist.
We take about 4-7 days to germinate, and our first shoots will appear 6-15 days after planting. Our root grows in one season, usually over 1 to 2 months and is then ready to harvest. This means that we can be stored in the ground over winter until you need us.
When immature we have a pale white-yellow colour that changes to a deep orange colour as we mature. We’re harvested by a machine that gently pulls us out of the ground by our leaves. If we are not bunched or Dutch carrots, the machine then cuts the top section of our leaves off and we’re loaded into large bins ready to be washed, graded, packed and sent to the markets. We’re generally not sold with our tops on because the loss of water through our leaves can cause us to shrivel up.
To pick the best of us select bright-coloured carrots with firm, well-shaped roots. When our leafy tops are still attached, they should look fresh and green. Avoid any of us that are dry, split, wilted, shrivelled
Keep us in an airtight container or a recyclable plastic bag in the veggie crisper in your fridge.
It’s said that we originated from wild roots that grew in Afghanistan which were red, black or purple in colour. It’s also thought that our ancestor was a small, tough, pale-fleshed plant that grew in the Near East and Middle Asia. Whatever the truth, we’re an ancient plant. Our seed has been found in lake dwellings in central Switzerland dated 2000 to 3000 BC. We were probably used for both food and medicinal purposes in the beginning.
Little was written about us until the 16th century when it was noted that yellow and purple varieties were eaten in Europe. In the 17th century, an orange-coloured carrot was developed in Holland and further breeding occurred throughout the 18th century. We are derived from these 18th-century varieties. We first came to Australia in 1788 with the First Fleet and convicts planted ‘Long Orange’ carrots on Norfolk Island just two weeks after their arrival and gathered in their first harvest in October of that year. Along with our friends the cabbages, we became an important food for the colonists.
We’re best washed. Trim the tops if they’re still on and eaten raw - skin and all, or peel if you prefer.
Pack carrot sticks into r the school lunchbox and eat for an after-school snack teamed with your favourite dip.
Grate and add raw carrot to all sorts of salads; a tasty combo of grated carrot with sultanas and a drizzle of orange juice and honey.
Make carrot cakes and muffins using grated carrots.
Make carrot fries - cut peeled carrots into thick strips, toss with oil and bake or air-fry until crispy.
Here are some quick and easy Sydney Markets recipes that you may like to try using carrots: