By Heidi Lewis
“In the hierarchy of healthy vegetables, heirlooms are at the top,” says Shyryn Joy. She explains this statement by adding that “they’re closest to their natural order and have the most integrity.” Vegetables from heirloom plants are true to their seed, as opposed to hybrids—when planted, an heirloom seed will give the same results every time. They’re called “heirloom” because they’ve been handed down through the generations.
Shyryn Joy’s farm is Whole Earth CSA in Waddell, AZ, located on a 2-acre plot she calls her “organic oasis” in western Phoenix. She farms 40–60 varieties of vegetables with a concentration on heirloom plants and biodynamic processes for the soil. The results are what Shyryn calls “energized” produce.
Whole Earth is wrapping up their cool season crops, as it’s getting pretty hot in Arizona. The ending results are some rather delectable baby carrots. Baby carrots mean just that, they’re the immature carrot. Carrot seeds are super tiny, and it’s hard to plant them spaced apart, so the farmer uses the thinning for delicious results.
This week for the Southwest TakeHome case, Whole Earth is sending us baby Flakkee carrots. Flakkees are probably originally from the Middle East but are a well-established variety in the southwestern landscape. They are a traditional orange carrot with excellent flavor. Carrots contain beta- and alpha-carotene, which are valuable antioxidants.
Preparation: Wash before using. Delicious in soups, salads, stews, roasts, etc. (Clean carrot tops may be used in soup stocks.)
Storage: Store carrots in a bag in the fridge crisper drawer. Carrots last a long time in the fridge, but eat soon for optimum flavor!