For the fourth planting season, after successful maize and sugar bean harvests, carrots were planted. Unlike our first harvests where irrigation was necessary, this planting season has received excessive rain causing rapid and extensive weed growth. In lieu of herbicides, and in keeping with the mission of increasing employment in the community, especially for women and girls, we hired them to tend and weed the fields. The first two crops we chose to grow were maize and sugar beans, both staples of the Zimbabwean diet. Once these fields were harvested, we decided to grow root crops.
Carrots are classified as a root crop and grow best in cool weather. They are an incredibly nutritious source of vitamins, including K, B6, and C among others. The rich orange color that typifies carrots is due to carotene, which is converted into Vitamin A when we eat them. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant which has a critical role in maintaining healthy vision and neurological function. Carrots are high in fiber and sugar, which makes them the perfect to eat, whether cooked or uncooked. When harvested, they are washed, but it is advisable to rewash them prior to consumption.