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HOME GROWN: Saving our local carrots

Suzanne Griffith

HOME GROWN: Saving our local carrots

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I was previously of the opinion that the kitchen garden was the realm of the quick-growing vegetable, various herbs and a variety of leafy greens.
Familiar staples, which we would refer to as ground provisions, were not only of good quality, but also plentiful and, most importantly, affordable. For those reasons, I felt that it made sense to purchase these slower growing, far more agriculturally intense items.
With each return trip to the supermarket, I note the prices of vegetables edging up.
We all know that the cost of living continues to spiral out of control.
In the past I always had carrots on hand. When I grew up in the United States, carrots were a staple.
A one-pound bag of normal size carrots could be yours for 99 cents, sometimes even less.
The five-pound bag that I normally purchase here in Barbados, if my memory serves me correctly, started out three or four years ago at about $14. It is now $17.
The last two times I have considered purchasing them I have put them back – as consumers, we need to send a clear message: enough is enough.
I’ve been researching growing carrots in containers. It is possible. But I also wonder what is being done to improve the way that we grow carrots locally.
Bajan carrots have their strengths, but the retailers know that an imported carrot from packaging to appearance to flavour will win hands down.
Reducing the import bill means that the produce that is grown here has to compete. It has to be appealing, and the price has to be right.
Without a doubt, there is a direct connection between supply and demand, and we as consumers are guilty of supplying the demand.
For now, I am going to continue my research on the various methods of growing carrots in containers. I won’t buy imported carrots.
I’ll use Bajan carrots in soups and stews, and hopefully someone will hear my cries. Both the quality and price of what we produce here have to give any produce that we import a run for its money.
We have the land, we have the farmers.
They need our support and, more importantly, technological support, without which they will not have the will to excel.