Thursday, August 28, 2008

Pulling Carrots Is a Lot Like Pulling Teeth

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!


Ewa said...

carrots as long as not produced in factory, but o'naturel do not look perfect, but taste perfect, right?

Rosemary said...

thanks for the smile

Anonymous said...

I laughed out loud at some of them. What a great analogy.

Cindy Garber Iverson said...

This post SO reminded me of my sister who used to be an orthodontic assistant. All the same terms... all the same analogies... SO COOL!

Cindy :)

Gardenista said...

Ha! So true. I was understanding you perfectly after getting my nails dirty digging after my carrots when I had pulled their tops off before the carrot loosened. From a different job perspective, this reminded me of pulling the umbilical cord off before getting the placenta out! Now I don't feel like the only one out there who thought of carrot picking in different terms.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a funny analogy yet oh so true. Thanks for the giggle today.

Anonymous said...

wow ive never thought about that!
who would have thought!
This is truly a great & fascinating post!

Thank you for my read of the day!

Haley J.

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