Breaking Records

Just before the ground re-froze,  we harvested some sweet winter carrots and were rather amazed when this giant emerged from the relatively shallow soils of its rooftop bed:


I’ve always been drawn much more to the qualitative than the quantitative, and initially focused on the question of how to cook this giant, and how it would taste.  But then something strange happened.   A voice deep within the limbic brain offered the tantalizing suggestion that mine might be bigger than anyone else’s.   It could be a record-breaker.  Sharing some deep genetic predisposition with every kid obsessed with the 4H prize for biggest pumpkin at the county fair, I set out to investigate whether I too might claim a prize to validate my prowess in drawing sustenance from the soil.

I turned, of course, to the good folks at the World Museum of Carrots (motto: “Discover the Power of Carrots”), who gently suggested that if I were after a record, the parameters would have to be defined rather narrowly.  After all, the world record weight was 18.985 pounds (a carrot grown in Alaska) and the world record for length was 19 feet 1.96 inches (the UK).   But the World Museum of Carrots is open to other types of carrot-related prize-winning feats.  After all, they track the records for most carrots peeled and chopped in a minute (515 g), most baby carrots fit in an open mouth (25), and most carrot chews before swallowing (96).  I was encouraged.

Researching the record books for New York State, I was disappointed to find no claim for state-champion carrot (only a nice lady from the Hudson Valley as pleased with her one-pound carrot as I am).  Nor were there any reports of tuberous immensity (I know, it’s a root not a tuber) from community or roof-top gardeners in New York City.

So, I have decided to publish a challenge:  I claim that this magnificent root, weighing in at one pound, is (i) the largest carrot ever harvested from a green-roof garden ever (anywhere in the world) and (ii) is the largest carrot harvested south of Canal Street in Manhattan during the past two centuries.    Anyone wishing to contest these claims is encouraged to send along a photograph or other evidence, and I will graciously and publicly withdraw or modify my claim.   Until then, we’ll add record-breaking carrot to the achievements of Battery Rooftop Garden.


As apology and explanation for this irrational outburst, I offer the following photographic evidence of current conditions on the roof – enough to drive any gardener mad.

A kale snow cone

A kale snow cone

Glazed blueberries

Glazed blueberries

Frosted apple

Frosted apple




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7 Responses to Breaking Records

  1. Mark K. Morrison says:

    Fred, this is hilarious – what a wonderful way to start the day! Cheers to you and hopefully you will break your record in the coming season!

    Mark K Morrison. Sent from my iPad

  2. Hi, Lovely carrot!. How deep is the soil and what cultivar did you sow? I am growing Chantenay this year in 150mm (6″) soil.

  3. carolwallace says:

    Enchanting, Fred. Especially the other carrot records you unearthed. Perhaps next time you entertain on the rooftop you’ll egg your guests on to beat the “most baby carrots fit into an open mouth” category.

  4. Kathy Allen says:

    Another amazing achievement!….still curious as to how you plan on eating it!

  5. Nancy Casserley says:

    The key photo that was missing, Fred, was you in overalls holding up the record-breaking Rooftop root. Maybe it doesn’t like having its photo taken?

  6. Fred, How spectacular. I am checking in to see how our glass held up through the bitter winter, please let me know!

  7. jr_miss says:

    that was really funny and witty Uncle Rick! P.S. This is Mary

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