Saturday, February 11, 2012

Did you know

What a surprise we got when we started to dig up our carrots which had grown enormous green tops over the summer holidays.
First carrot out of the ground was white, then another white carrot, then a yellow one. What was going on here. Did we plant parsnips by mistake?
As we dug we were pleased to see one or two orange ones among our harvest. There was even a reddish one with and orange centre.
There were theories offered by children and adults. The garden was too shady. We had multi coloured seed.
I was curious so had to investigate. I discovered that 'Carrots originated in Middle Asia, with some historians believing that they were known as far back as Ancient Egypt over 5,000 years ago. It is not clear if they were actually cultivated at this time, however by the 10th century in Afghanistan, they were being grown in the colours purple or yellow.
These weren’t the only colours around, however. In addition to purple and white, carrots were grown in red, yellow and even black.
It has been said that in the 16th century some Dutch farmers succeeded in growing the first orange carrots in honour of the House of Orange.
This may or may not be true but it makes a good story.
Looking in the Kings seed catalouge I see that you can by seed for these carrots of many colours.
Why grow only orange carrots, I say.
The children agreed that whatever the colour, carrots fresh out of the garden make good munching and crunching.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The wonder of nature

A big thanks to Margaret and Jake for bringing in the baby canary so that the children could have the unique experience of seeing a 15 day old chick in action.  Jake's family raise many different birds at home and Margaret had discovered this chick cold and not very responsive that morning.
The good news was that when she took it home from kindergarten and put it back into the nest, the adult birds took over its care again.