The carrots sold in the farm shop at Carpenter’s Nursery are washed before they appear on the shelves. We wash them to remove all the soil and dirt. This makes them more attractive and you don’t need to worry about your car boot being covered in muck!
Large farms invest in mechanical carrot washing and grading machinery. Carrots are harvested and fed through the machine on a conveyor belt. Most of the dirt and contaminants are removed before carrots are sorted by size and processed for delivery to suppliers.
Hand Washing Your Carrots
Carpenter’s Nursery is a small operation, so we have no need for large, expensive carrot washing equipment. Carrots are harvested, approximately two to three months after being planted, they are laid out on the ground and hosed down to remove all the dirt. It’s one of those jobs that’s fun on a hot day but not much fun when it’s freezing cold and windy outside.
Washed carrots are placed in vented crates and left to dry before being moved into the Farm Shop where customers can select the carrots they want.
Why Wash Carrots?
If you grow carrots on your allotment or in your garden, you might not bother washing them before taking them into the kitchen. Unless they are plastered in mud, it’s probably easier to dig up the roots, lop the top off, and pop your fresh carrots straight into the sink to prepare for dinner. After a quick rinse and scrub under the tap, they are good to go.
Carrots grown in a commercial setting are usually washed before being sold to the consumer. Whether this is done in a machine or with a hose pipe depends on the scale of the growing operation. Even produce that’s organic still needs washing.
Produce is plucked from the ground, handled by several people, and often lays on the ground for several days before being processed. This environment is uncontrolled. The people handling the produce wear gloves but this is not a fail-safe. Your carrots could be contaminated by harmful microbes that could cause a nasty illness. Obviously, we do our best to ensure produce grown at Carpenter’s Nursery is not contaminated by anything, but we can’t prevent birds flying overhead and pooping on our veggies!
Wash Your Carrots at Home
Carrots are washed to remove the worst of the mud and any contaminants from the soil. Once you take your carrots home, we recommend that you wash them again under a running tap to remove anything that might have contaminated them in the time it took for us to crate them up and remove them into our Farm Shop.
Larger producers use post-harvest sanitising agents to clean produce before it is bagged and sold, but we don’t do this.
We hope this has given you some insight into what happens to carrots before they appear in the Farm Shop, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask one of the team!