1 Sep 2017

Carrot Gold

From Country Life, 9:25 pm on 1 September 2017
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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

Ohakune grower Sue Deadman has been growing carrots for more than 20 years and says she's never had a season like this one.

At best you could call it.. challenging.

"Every week's wet. And it's been wet since our planting season last year.  It's one of those years we've never had before."

It has also been warm.

Wet and warm weather promotes rot in carrots, and that means more carrots don't make the grade.

Sue grows 65 hectares of carrots with her son Ricky Deadman and supplies supermarkets throughout the North Island.

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Photo: RNZ/Carol Stiles

The harvesting season runs from February to late September, then Pukekohe crops come out of the ground to keep North Islanders in carrots for summer.

Ricky says people would be surprised at how many carrots are thrown away just because of their appearance.

"Ninety-nine percent of what we grow is edible there's probably up to 50 percent wastage at times just because it doesn't look straight, has a mark on it or a crack."

Reject carrots go to juicing or become stock feed.

Thankfully not every customer insists carrots are perfect, Sue says.

"It depends on what they are doing with it. If they are processing it in any way it doesn't have to be perfect and I  think more and more consumers are realising it doesn't have to be perfect either, whereas that has been the expectation."

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