Wild carrot?

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by rwc1969, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. rwc1969

    rwc1969 Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody here eat wild carrot?

    Can you tell it apart from lookalikes based on the root alone?

    If so, how can you tell the difference?
     
  2. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Be careful and make SURE you know which is which, because wild carrot resembles Poison Hemlock!

    Wild carrot roots are edible and tasty when they're young but they get really tough and woody when they're older.

    To distinguish them, the wild carrot flowers have a mixture of 2-pinnate and 3-pinnate flowers on them, and the root actually smells like carrot.

    Wild carrot also has hairlike stuff on the stems and hemlock doesn't. Hemlock also usually has red or purple streaks on the lower part of the stem.

    If you aren't sure, pull up one or two and take it to a county extension agent, a forest service office, a college (ask for the botony dept.), or even an herbalist (ask at a health food store).
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010

  3. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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    GypsieSue, I didn't know any of that.Thanks for the info.

    You and MMM have a great day.
     
  4. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    Wild Carrot (Queen Annes Lace) does look a lot like the poisonous hemlock but they are very easy to tell apart. Break the root and smell it. If it smells like carrot it is wild carrot and safe to eat. If it does not smell like carrots, throw it away and wash your hands.
     
  5. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    We cooked and ate them while in Girl Scouts. It was part of our "learning to identify" badge.
    Now the young ones do taste like a very strong carrot. But the older ones we did use as a flavoring agent in the stews we made (venison with wild veggies, but a dad brought the venison, we didn't get to kill one!) We just pulled and cleaned the older ones and used a piece of kite string and strung them together tightly and let them cook in the stew and then when we went to eat, we just pulled them out and disposed of them, they were very tough and woody, but gave the stew great flavor.
    We washed it down with hot mint tea which we found all the mint leaves for. it did take us alllllll day to find everything and to get it cooking and we ate right after dark that day!:eek: Learned a great lesson on how hard it is to live off the land, but learned so many useful things that day.
    Best thing-Food that you work so hard to find and cook, tastes soo much better than something you just dump out of a can.:D
     
  6. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    Wow, Emerald, I never thought of using the old ones for flavor and pulling them out when it was time to eat! Great idea!

    Man...you sure had a cool girl scout troop! *envy*!
     
  7. rwc1969

    rwc1969 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, good info.

    Isn't the wild carrot harvested for the table before the stem or flower forms?

    If so, How can you ID wild carrot by the stem or flower if it doesn't even have one yet?

    Is there a way to tell by the root or basal rosette alone that a plant is wild carrot and not an impostor?

    thanks again!
     
  8. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    The root of wild carrot, even when very young, smells like carrot, and the imposters won't. They'll just have an earthy and sometimes oniony smell.

    The stem should be green, whereas some of the imposters, like Hemlock, have dark red or purple markings or streaks near the bottom.

    If in doubt, take it to someone who knows plants and ask. Many plants have carrot-like roots.

    The best way to be safe with any plant is to study it during all it's growth phases. I try to learn a few more each year. So many more to learn!
     
  9. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

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  10. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    silly me, horseman! I should have known that! Thanks for reminding me!
     
  11. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    Way back in the 70's my leader and her hubby were big into hunting and camping and we were more like boy scouts than girl scouts. but I really enjoyed it. We even learned a bit about canning and drying foods.. But we(the few girls in the troop) were really into native Indians at the time and we tried to learn how they lived and how they ate and how they dressed.. I can even make a passable pair of one piece moccasins. Now I have found a forum that has step by step instructions with pictures on how to make the same moccasins so I made a few pair for my grand daughter in fleece, which works really well for slippers.

    When I was a leader for brownies and then girl scouts, I had a hard time even convincing the other leaders(we had 24 girls and 4 co-leaders) and the girls themselves to go outside and do things other than going to the lake for swim-overs (camping by the lake and just playing for the overnight.) The badges aren't even the same any longer. We did one sleep over in the dead of winter at the big campground--one word of advice--when going to the outhouse in winter, to make the last potty run of the night-let all the little girl scouts go first--then the seat is nice and warm!:2thumb:
     
  12. mdprepper

    mdprepper I sold my soul to The_Blob. He had candy...

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    Could you post the link? Thank you!!
     
  13. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    I just posted a thread on the "how to" forum so I don't hijack the carrot thread much more!:eek:
     
  14. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    I was in Girl Scouts waaaaayyyyy back in 1968 to 1970. I finally quit out of boredom. Our troop didn't do anything, almost literally. Just met every week, pretty much. We went to a girl scout camp one time and slept inside the lodge building. woo hoo.

    My brother, in boy scouts, got to go camping and on canoe trips and all kinds of cool stuff.

    Thank goodness I had a Dad who hauled me all over the outdoors with him!

    By the way, thanks for the moccasin link!
     
  15. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    we did go camping quite a bit but not the same as when I was younger. Pretty boring stuff. I even got poo-pooed about teaching the girls about knifes and about how to start a fire with a drill platform.
    Makes me want to start a group on how to survive in the wilderness, or even about how to do the home ec. stuff that they have cut out of school. cooking, sewing, baking, even cleaning for goodness sake!
    I know I might even think about trying to start up the 4-H in our area again.
    Then I can sneak in cooking and sewing and even gardening. Not to forget the animal raising.:D
     
  16. rwc1969

    rwc1969 Well-Known Member

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    Horseman, thank you. Now I can safely ID all plants and mushrooms and don't have to do any homework, until I run out of mother in laws that is.:p

    Emerald, you hijacker you. JK!;)

    Gypsysue, I have read that only wild carrot smells like carrot, but after reading some literature from some very experienced foragers I'm pretty confident that's not the case. Sam Thayer states in his new book on p. 360 I believe that poison hemlock root can smell like carrot.

    I'm now thinking the key is in the basal rosettes as that is the only part visible at harvest time.

    Thanks for all the replies, even the hijacky ones. LOL!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  17. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    How about an olive branch!
    If you grow carrots and leave them in the ground and cover them with a couple bales of hay during the winter you can keep digging them all winter and they will be much sweeter than any you have ever had before... lol Same with parsnips!
     
  18. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

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    I didn't know hemlock could also smell like carrot. I know that I've always heard that it's the one you need to be really careful about, because they can be easily mis-identified.

    I grow so many domestic carrots that it's been years since we nibbled wild carrots.

    Anyone who isn't absolutely sure should either NOT eat it, or take it to a plant expert for verification. It isn't worth taking a chance.
     
  19. GroovyMike

    GroovyMike Well-Known Member

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    Its true. The frist does it. Horseradish also gets much more pungent after the frost :)
     
  20. Emerald

    Emerald Well-Known Member

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    :eek:You gotta be kidding! Mine is so "pungent" that grinding it in the house cleans out the house! Watering eyes and cleaned out sinuses! :D Could not imagine it any more "pungent"!