I've been pulling the 'Parisian Market' round carrots for a few weeks now, so I thought I'd better check on the 'Bolero' Nantes ones. Sure enough, many of them were of sufficient size to warrant harvesting.
As I've said before, it just about kills me to thin seedlings of anything and I just didn't do it with the carrots. Thinning is really essential for good carrot growth though, with them being a root crop. They need room for filling out and if they're all crowded closely together in a small space, especially with heavy clay soil, they won't reach their potential. Still, we had plenty of nicely-sized carrots.
Being a dental hygienist, as I was digging and pulling the carrots it struck me just how similar the process is to extracting teeth. Some of the same problems that occur with teeth also happen with carrots.
Some teeth have bifurcated roots:
Some have trifurcated roots:
As you can imagine, teeth and carrots with roots like that are more difficult to remove. Sometimes when you tug at a carrot (tooth), it's so firmly entrenched in the ground (bone) that the top (crown) breaks off.
Then you have to use a shovel (elevator) to help lift it out. And sometimes, despite your best efforts, the carrot (root) breaks and you have to go down deeper to get to the broken part.
When you have carrots that are in close proximity to each other, sometimes they grow any which way they can in any available space. That leads to the creation of very oddly shaped carrots.
Then there are those that for no obvious reason are just weird.
Fortunately, the majority of carrots grow just like they're supposed to - straight. Most carrots are of the long and tapered variety and just like teeth that have roots that are tapered, these are the easiest to pull. In the case of the carrots, that makes them much easier to clean, too.
How about that? Curious carrots and a lesson in dentistry all at the same time!