BYO pitchforks for share in six million free carrots
SIX million carrots will be given away next weekend.
Kalfresh Vegetables at Kalbar has so many of the vibrant orange veggie right for the picking they need to either harvest their carrots and lose money, or plough perfectly good food into the ground.
Growers want the community to help eat the backlog. A Carrot-astrophe Day will be held on October 7 when veggie fans can put their spades and pitchforks to good use.
Kalfresh director and farmer Rob Hinrichsen said the company did not want to waste the food and see their hard work go to waste.
"This year we had too many carrots so thought we'd turn a really bad situation in to a really good one. Picking their own carrots seems to be something people really love," he said.
"A lot of people have never been on a farm and a lot of people have never dug things out of the ground so it's a good opportunity for people to find out where their food comes from and enjoy a day in the country."
He's got between five and six million carrots ready to be dug up and taken home, which means every one of the 800 ticket holders can take home 6250 carrots if they want to.
"If you bring the kids, they can go crazy and take home as many as they want," Mr Hinrichsen said.
"We hope people who love their carrots will come and support us through what is a pretty dire situation."
Mr Hinrichsen says in his 25 years in the vegetable business, he's never seen the carrot market as badly impacted by optimal Australian growing conditions, big crop yields and a Russian ban on European imports
"It seems there's been a perfect storm of events which have led to a flooded Australian carrot market," he said.
"Our regular customers continue to support us but there are only so many carrots they can take.
Carrot picking will happen on a Kalbar property farmed by Ed Windley. His wife, Gen, says the day will give customers a new insight into where their food comes from.
"This is a chance for people in the region and surrounding areas to have a day in the country, visit a working farm, meet the farmers, understand the paddock to plate process and pick their own food," she says.
"It's always a good time to eat more veggies, but right now we'd be so happy if people could add some extra carrots to every meal!
"Wouldn't it be amazing if we could eat our way out of this carrot-astrophe?"
What makes a good carrot?
"What we're looking for is a high colour carrot that has lots of beta-carotene, which is vitamin A and the reason we eat carrots, a small core which means the carrot is very young and will be very sweet. You can eat any carrot, it doesn't matter if is forked or bent, they'll all taste like carrots," Mr Hinrichsen said.