20170623A.jpgMany gardeners believe that carrot tops (carrot leaves) are poisonous. After all, don’t we usually cut them off and toss them into the compost pile when we harvest carrots?

In fact, though, not only aren’t they poisonous, they’re even edible … and quite tasty! Plus they’re rich in minerals and vitamins, notably in vitamin A, like the roots, but also six times richer in vitamin C plus a great source of potassium and calcium.

Carrot tops taste a lot like mix of parsley (a close relative) and carrot roots. Mature leaves can be bitter, but you can fix that by blanching them or cooking them. Or toss a few into a smoothie with a sweet fruit and that will hide any bitterness.

The young leaves are even better, as they have little to no bitter taste. So when you thin your carrots, just eat your thinnings, both root and leaf!

Here’s a recipe for carrot-top pesto you might want to try.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

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