What you see: A very dramatically (or not so dramatically) bent carrot
What it is: A perfectly edible carrot that hit an obstacle while it was growing
Eat or toss: Eat!
Carrots, as we know, tend to grow in the downward direction, sending the tip of their root deeper into the soil as they develop into the crunchy, typically narrow, cone-shaped roots we know and love.
But, what if the soil isn’t so accommodating? If the root’s underground excavations hit dirt that won’t give way? A rock, say? Or some very hard and compacted soil?
Simple: the carrot just changes direction. In the case pictured here, the carrot made a 90 degree turn, but the root veggies might reorient in a variety of different ways, resulting in some rather unusual shapes (see more below!). Another factor that might cause a carrot to reorient a bit? Crowding. If there are too many root vegetables growing together, things can get weird.
The most important thing to keep in mind: they’re all perfectly edible!
Thank you to Daniel Yoder, trials technician at Johnny’s Selected Seeds for these photos!
Daniel Yoder. Trials Technician, Johnny’s Selected Seeds.
World Carrot Museum. Cultivation of the carrot - domestic.
Small scale organic carrot production. Michigan State University. MSU Extension.
Deformed Root Crops - Vegetables. University of Maryland Extension. Home & Garden Information Center.
Between a rock and a soil space....