I love carrots; a sweet juicy carrot tastes cocoanutty to me. I love carrots juiced, streamed, roasted, grated, whole, in sticks, in soups, but most of all in carrot cake. My father was a carrot farmer and I grew up with lots and lots of carrots. My father was also ahead of his time because in the late sixties he came to the conclusion that chemical fertilizers were destroying the microcosms in the soil, upsetting the delicate balance of pH and actually killing the earth which resulted in crops not only lacking in taste but lacking in nutrients also.
It wasn’t until after WW2 that chemical fertilizers became something used by farmers. Initially they were thought to be magic and chemicals for pest control and super growth became the must have for the modern farmer. No one at this stage was aware they were simply poisons or of the harm they would cause to the farmers who used them, the soil they were killing, the environment and even the consumers.
But my father had an inkling everything was not what it was cracked up to be. He noticed that although the pests were less, so too were the signs of good health in the soil.
It was time to bring in the DOC. Somehow my father got onto a small company, several hundreds of kilometres away from where we lived who processed and sold DOC. Dehydrated Organic Concentrate. This was basically dried out chicken poo which was mixed with other organic matter. It was a medicine for the soil.
He would buy it a tonne at a time. It would come by rail to the siding closest to the farm, it would be unloaded and trucked to the farm and stored in a shed built at the front of the property. Fortunately this was a distance away from the house because DOC smelt very organic!
We used it on the farm and also sold it and my father was very proud of his sweet tasting, organically grown carrots.
While I grew up on the farm, I really did very little farming. I was either at school or working in the nearest city until I left home in the 70s but something must have rubbed off. Not only do I love carrots, my happy place is in the garden, tilling the soil, turning the compost and playing farmer.
It is true; you can take the girl out of the farm but you can’t take the farm out of the girl.