A week ago, in our garden, we were pulling carrots. They are always a fun vegetable to harvest! We plant a lot of different crops and many of them are somewhat uneventful to bring in . . . but not carrots. They come with an element of surprise because you never know when you grasp the handful of rich, green leaves what type of carrot is going to come out of the ground with that little tug.
They are easy to harvest, and you can unearth a lot of carrots in a short amount of time. The colors always amaze me. Out of the dark soil comes this bright orange veggie with white roots. They are beautiful, and it makes me instantly thankful for the diversity of food that God created.
As with all homegrown produce, fresh carrots are much different than store bought ones. They are very tender, and their outer skins are soft. If they have been exposed to cooler temperatures while growing, they are super sweet. No matter how many guests we have come visit our garden, they all seem to be intrigued with the fresh carrots. Almost everyone asks, without hesitation, “Can I taste that?”
With all of the different vegetables, berries and herbs we grow, it’s fun to see what people enjoy. I like to have my family members try different tastes and textures from the garden. My son-in-law will politely tell me, “There’s a lot of plant in that” when I’ve introduced something he doesn’t like, but no one ever complains while sampling carrots.
Carrots are not difficult to grow in Oklahoma. As a matter of fact, they are one of the easiest things to grow. You do need to provide a sandy loam soil for them and not expect them to thrive in our solid red clay. There are many varieties of carrots on the market, and it’s fun to try different ones. As you thumb through seed catalogs, you can see carrots of all colors, shapes and sizes. If you have garden space on your patio or balcony, there are even varieties specifically designed for shallow pots.
Here’s a few that we like to grow:
Danvers 126 https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/carrots/carrot-danvers-126–prod000632.html
Paris Market https://www.seedsavers.org/paris-market-organic-carrot
Kyoto Red https://www.rareseeds.com/store/vegetables/carrots/kyoto-red-carrot
Without using some type of a season-extending apparatus, many vegetables in central Oklahoma (Zone 7) only have one growing season. However, carrots have two! Here, we can successfully grow this rich, root crop during the spring and fall. They are truly a utilitarian vegetable of the garden and can be grown in just about anything that you can imagine from row gardens to raised beds, containers, smart pots and everything in between.
I won’t go as far as saying that they are a “no-fail” crop, but they ask for very little and give a lot back in return. When we plant carrots, we scatter the seeds freely.
Planting carrot seeds makes me think of how we should share the Gospel. Jesus left us with very clear and simple instructions. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19-20). We should actively be engaged in scattering the seeds of God’s Word.
Old people, young people, experienced gardeners and the old lady down the street who has never grown anything but mold in her refrigerator deserves the opportunity to taste a garden-fresh carrot. It’s the same with the Gospel message that we have to share. When the seeds of the Gospel are sewn and take root in the soil of a heart, age does not matter, experience does not matter. Nothing matters except this, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Everyone deserves a taste of this, so scatter freely!