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Greetings from the Project GROWS team!

We are excited to announce our brand new summer video series, Super Summer Chefs! In this video series, we have partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Waynesboro Staunton & Augusta County as well as the Virginia Family Nutrition Program to show you guys how farmers grow their veggies and how to cook some awesome recipes with those veggies. Our first video will be all about a familiar favorite, carrots! Unlike some other well known vegetables, such as peppers and tomatoes, carrots are known as a root vegetable. This special type of vegetable grows underground alongside plant roots, even though it has leaves which grow above ground! Because they grow under ground, root vegetables are able to absorb many important nutrients that can only be found in the soil. Other types of root vegetables include beets, turnips, and potatoes.

Erika is ready to harvest some carrots at the Project GROWS farm!

Here on the Project GROWS farm we grow tons of carrots! They can be grown year-round, however the best time to grow carrots is in the early spring. During this time, the soil and weather are perfect for growing carrots that are crunchy, sturdy and sweet. Depending on when they are planted, carrots can take between 2 and 4 months to fully grow. Erika has been growing carrots at Project GROWS, and now she is ready to harvest! Check out this week’s episode to see the harvesting process in action. First, it’s important to loosen the soil. We do this because, although they may be tough and crunchy, carrots can easily break if they are not harvested with care. With the soil loose, grab at the top of the carrot and gently pull it out of the ground. If you feel  some resistance when pulling, or if your carrots are breaking, try loosening the soil some more! Now that the carrots are out of the ground, the final step is a quick, post-harvest washing. Rinse the carrots to get all the soil off, and in the process, check for any abnormalities, such as bruises.

The delicious glazed carrots recipe needs only a few easy ingredients!

With the carrots washed, now its time for the best part: eating them! Morgan from the VA Family Nutrition Program shows us how to make a delicious and sweet dish known as glazed carrots. To see a list of ingredients, check out the recipe here! Before preparing the dish, it is incredibly important to wash your hands. Morgan provides a thorough hand washing tutorial in this week’s episode, which is especially valuable for staying safe from COVID-19. With our hands clean, now it is time to start working on the carrots. First, wash the carrots again to remove any dirt you may have missed during the first washing. Then use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer layer of the carrots. Move the peeler in a downward position and away from your fingers to avoid getting any cuts. Next, use a knife to remove the top and bottom ends of the carrots and cut the carrot into small pieces. It is important to be safe when using the peeler and the knife! Watch the episode to see how Morgan cuts the carrots safely. Now that they are cut, its finally time to make the dish! After adding all the ingredients, the dish will need to cook for about 15 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Morgan gives some great tips on how to safely handle hot pans in this week’s episode. Finally, add some sugar and cook for another minute. Now we are ready to eat!

Jay from the Boys and Girls Club loves eating carrots with ranch dressing!

Jay from the Boys and Girls Club loves eating carrots, and in this week’s episode, he’s here to tell you what they taste like and the best way to eat them! Not only do they have a distinct, earthy crunch, but they are also very sweet. Carrots are also very easy to eat! Like Jay says, they’re quick to pick up and snack on whenever you’re feeling hungry, and as a bonus, they have plenty of great nutrients! While Morgan likes to cook her carrots, Jay likes to eat them raw, and they go especially well with ranch dressing. If you have any other good carrot recipes or combinations that you’d like to share, let us know on the Project GROWS Facebook Page!

Thanks for tuning into our very first episode of Super Summer Chefs, and we will see you in the next episode!