Script 13.8

Notes to broadcasters

Information on this subject area was requested by DCFRN Participants in Bhutan, Bolivia, Cameroon, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Gambia, Guatemala, India, Mali, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Special Note:  Before using the information in this item, please read the notes at the end concerning related DCFRN Items.

When storing vegetable seeds for long periods of time, especially during damp weather, the germination rate may be reduced.  It is therefore suggested that you use the information in another DCFRN item on this subject in connection with this item.  It is:

“Storing Vegetable Seeds” – DCFRN Package 8, Item 1C.

The same general message about the selection method of improving grain crops was dealt with in another DCFRN Item.  You might wish to use the information in that item in association with this one.  It could be used before this one in a series on improving the quality of crops your farmers grow.  The item referred to is:

“Improving the Field Crops You Grow by Selection”-DCFRN Package 9, Item 6.

You may wish to use this information in association with another DCFRN item on a related subject.  It is:

“Thinning Carrots in Your Garden” – DCFRN Package 8, Item 1D.

While the selection method described in this item is recommended for the improvement of carrots, it would appear that similar methods might also be effective in improving beets, parsnips or other such root crops.  DCFRN would welcome information you may have or the results of any tests you may be able to carry out with such crops.


Our subject today is carrots, and I’m going to tell you how you can save money by growing your own really good carrot seeds.

Now if you’ve tried producing carrot seeds before, you may have noticed that the crop of carrots that grew from your own seeds was not quite as good as the crop of carrots that those seeds came from.

In a moment, I’ll tell you why this happened. But first, let’s think about other kinds of vegetables that grow above the ground, — like tomatoes, squash, eggplants and others like that. When you keep seeds from them for planting next season, the seeds you keep are probably seeds from the biggest and best of those vegetables. — Of course, selecting your seeds in this way is a very good thing to do. — By always planting seeds that came from only the best of these vegetables you should get vegetables that are just as good, if not better, every time you do this.

All right, so what about carrots that you grow from your own seed?

First of all, this is quite a different kind of vegetable. The part you eat is actually the root of the plant, and that, of course, isn’t where the seeds are. Let’s think then, for a moment, about how it is that you get carrot seeds if you save your own seeds.

Well, you probably get them from carrot plants that you don’t pull or dig up. You usually leave a few of them growing in your garden and let them go to seed — then you take the seeds from those plants.

Of course you can do it that way, but if you do, did you ever stop to think that you have not seen the actual carrots that your new seeds came from. The carrot roots that produced those seeds were down in the ground where you couldn’t see them! Indeed, those seeds could have come from carrot roots that were not good-sized, plump, healthy roots at all; — and if that’s the kind of root they grew from, that’s the kind of carrots those seeds will produce.

Because of this, you must look at the roots. — Then only keep seeds for next season that grow from good strong healthy roots like the carrots you want to grow.

“But” you may say, “how can I tell what the carrots are like when they’re down there under ground?”

Well, Father Agatho Elsener, in Indonesia, tells me that farmers in his part of the country have a good way of doing it. Here’s what one of them told him.

Indonesian Farmer:
The method is really very simple. At the time I normally harvest carrots, I pick out plants that look good and strong. I dig them up, roots, stems, leaves and all, and select from them only a few plants that have good stout roots with blunt tips. I don’t cut off the tops of those carrots, I just put them in a dry shady place out of the direct sunlight where they can’t get wet if it rains.

After about three days, I prepare a good fertile place in the garden, — then I plant them back in the ground, just like they were before I dug them up.

Father Agatho then asked her – “Won’t they die after being out of the ground like that for three days?”

Indonesian Farmer:
No, — actually the plants will grow very well, in fact, by doing this, the plants will now produce flowers and seeds more quickly than they would have if I had just left them growing naturally in the ground.

“But,” said Father Agatho, “what happens then before you are able to harvest the seeds?”

Indonesian Farmer:
Of course, white flowers will grow on the carrot plants, — and after that, the heads will finally turn brown or even blackish. Then all you have to do is pick the good ones and let them dry out completely in a good safe place. They will contain the seeds you will plant for your next good crop of carrots.

Father Agatho Elsener who sent us that information from Indonesia said that he himself has also tried out that method a number of times. He said that, like the farmers who told him about it, he had “far better results” than when he left a few carrot plants growing in the garden and took the seeds from them.

Why don’t you try growing carrot seeds this way. If you do, you won’t have to keep on buying new seeds season after season, — and that will save you money!

Indeed, you might try growing some extra seeds this way to sell in your local market. — Doing that, you might even make some extra money!

Serving “Agriculture, the Basic Industry”, this is Glenn Powell.

Information Sources

As indicated in the text, the information in this item came to us from DCFRN Participant Fr. Agatho Elsener of Bina Sarana Bhakti Foundation (BSB) in Indonesia.  We interpreted it directly from Fr. Agatho’s manuscript entitled Cara Menghasilkan bibit wortel yang lebik baik in the language of Indonesia.