The Napoli variety of carrot can be sown very early and is a F1 hybrid that is ready to harvest 50 - 60 days after sowing. While strictly an early variety it can be grown as a main or late crop. The roots are cylindrical, slightly tapered and grow to 20 cm in length. They are known for their consistency, very fine color inside and out and their flavor. Incredibly sweet and often referred to as a 'sugar or candy carrot', the sweetness is enhanced by cold weather late in the season. Looks good displayed as a bunch of carrots with bright orange roots and deep green foliage.
Purple Dragon is an old heirloom variety of carrot that is purple on the outside but has the typical carrot orange core. It is thought to have been first cultivated in Afganistan, the ancestral home of the carrot, where once all carrots were purple! Not just grown for its novelty, the purple colour comes from a compound called anthocyanin which is said to be a source of antioxidants with all the implied health benefits. The purple colour will fade a little when coooking so if grown for the colour alone, this variety is best eaten raw. Grow at slighter greater spacings than other varieties, the purple dragon variety, in particular, likes to have plenty of room and will not prosper if there is competion from neighbours or weeds. Roots are long and taper to the tap root, the flesh is crisp and has a sweet flavour with a faint hint of spice.
Red Samurai is an F1 variety of carrot and as its name may suggests was developed in Japan, though is likely to have originated in Afghanistan. It has distinctive red skin and crisp pink flesh, the colour holds best when steamed. Roots are long and thin and taper to a point, in good well drained soil this variety will grow to 30cm. A second early main crop that will grow to maturity in just over 10 weeks and will tolerate freezing conditions. A reliable variety that requires little effort to grow and will certainly add colour and interest to oriental dishes, not to mention sweetness and crunch.