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Old 06-28-2007, 10:52 AM
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Carrots (Daucus carota) and parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) belong to the Umbelliferae (the carrot family). This family includes other vegetables such as celery, celeriac, parsley and several herbs. Both carrots and parsnips originated in the Mediterranean area and were in use over 2000 years ago (carrots, also known as Queen Anne's Lace, in Southeast Europe and Afghanistan - parsnips, in central and southern Europe). Both are botanically biennial plants which were first used as medicines and then became popular as food crops - parsnips in the 16th century in Europe and the orange carrot in the 17th century in Holland. The edible part of these plants is an enlarged taproot.

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Carrot harvest begins with the bunched crop in mid July. Roots for packaging are harvested starting in early to mid August. By the first of September carrot harvest is intensifying. By mid September harvesting of the storage and processing crops is in full swing. Carrots harvested from mid September to November yield a gross weight of 40,000 to 80,000 kg per hectare. Marketable yields average 25,000 kg per hectare (fresh or processed).

Parsnip harvest usually begins in mid September for fresh market and storage although some hand harvest may be done for roadside market sales in early September. Parsnip yields are over 20,000 to 30,000 kg per hectare.
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