I've Seen How Carrots Are Harvested and I'm Shook

Maybe it takes more work than we thought to harvest carrots.

Lauren Wellbank - Author

Jul. 10 2024, Published 1:55 p.m. ET

If you've ever wondered how carrots are harvested, prepare to have your mind blown by a viral video that shows how those big farms get the job done. No, it's not because they use some big fancy machine; instead, it's all about the simplicity (and hilarity) of the process. In fact, watching the video of farmers harvesting carrots is going viral because people just can't get over how this seemingly monotonous task is accomplished.

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Think you know how farms get carrots from their fields to your table? Think again! Keep reading to learn more.

Closeup of recently harvested carrots
Source: Getty Images
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How are carrots harvested? A viral video shows farmers handpicking the veggies while in an interesting position.

Before today I would've assumed, probably like many of you, that carrots were harvested at big farms by using some kind of machine that would run over the rows of root veggies, pulling them up as it passed. Instead, we all now know that carrots can be harvested by farmhands who accomplish the task by laying down on their stomachs on a flatbed that is pulled through the field by a tractor.

While it may look silly, this idea is actually probably really ergonomic. I'm willing to bet that this is way easier on your back, knees, and even your arms than walking through these rows of carrots and bending over to check each one.

Watch the video, below.

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When should you harvest carrots?

If you're growing carrots at home, you may be wondering how exactly you'll know when they're ready to harvest, since most of the growth happens underground and out of sight. The good news is that the carrots have a way of letting you know when they're ready, according to HGTV, and you'll begin to see a bit of orange popping out of the soil when it's time. That's likely what those farmers in the viral clip were doing, since it didn't look like they actually pulled anything in the video.

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If you want to know how soon you need to check for signs of the orange, you can likely start looking 60-80 days after your seeds were planted.

How to harvest carrots:

Once enough time has passed, and you can see the bright orange of the carrot peeking out from the top of the soil, it will be time to pull them. The best way to do this is by gently loosening the dirt around the carrots, either with a small spade or a trowel to make it easier to get the carrots up. Then, you'll want to grab the leafy green top of your carrot in your fist, as close to the orange part of the carrot as possible.

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You can either pull them straight up or wiggle them back and forth a bit if it doesn't seem like they're ready to come out. Once you've gotten your carrot free from the dirt, you'll want to place it into a bowl or basket while you move onto the next plant in the row. That being said, you don't need to feel like you have to harvest all your carrots at once.

Once they're ripe you can pull them as you need them since the soil serves as natural preservation for the carrots, keeping them fresher than if they were in your refrigerator. That is, of course, unless you're worried about any furry friends getting to your ripe carrots before you do. If that's the case, you can pull them all out as soon as they're ready, opting to store them in your fridge until you get a chance to enjoy each of them yourself!

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