The 2023 Year of Horticulture is well underway celebrating the 100+ fruit, vegetable and nut crops grown in Queensland.
Organised by peak industry body Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers (previously known as Growcom), the Year of Horticulture is about celebrating all things horticulture, educating consumers, retailers, and the next generation of growers; and advocating strongly and loudly for an industry none of us can live without.
Horticulture has a rich history in Queensland, contributing significantly to the development of agricultural industries and communities across the State.
Queensland Fruit and Vegetable Growers (QFVG) are using the Year of Horticulture as an opportunity to showcase the sector throughout 2023, celebrating the industry and raising awareness of the important role horticulture has played and will continue to play for Queenslanders.
This week the spotlight is on the humble carrot with an activation event held in the Queen Street Mall, right in the heart of the Brisbane CBD, on Wednesday, 5 April.
With 91 per cent of Australian households buying carrots, and with the average individual consuming more than 7kg of carrots annually, it is likely that they are already a regular item in your shopping basket. However, there are probably a few things you didn’t know about carrots.
Carrots originally came to Australia in 1788 with the First Fleet. Convicts planted ‘long orange’ carrots on Norfolk Island just two weeks after their arrival and gathered their first harvest in October of that year.
Today, there are 600 million carrots grown in the Scenic Rim alone each year. Carrots are a root vegetable often claimed to be the perfect health food. Eating carrots is linked to a reduced risk of cancer and heart disease, as well as improved eye health. Carrots come in a variety of colours including white, black, red, yellow and orange, and carrot tops can be cooked and eaten just like any other leafy green.
It has been a challenging couple of years for horticulture, including carrot producers, with rising input costs such as fuel, freight and fertiliser prices continuing to remain a burden for farmers. Workforce shortages, flood and weather events have added to these cost pressures and have caused disrupted production volumes and acute supply shocks, with supply chains struggling to keep up with just−in−time delivery systems.
Biosecurity matters in agriculture and carrot production is certainly no exception, with crops at risk of invasive plants, animals, and exotic bacterium. With the Easter weekend ahead of us, there is no doubt that the only rabbit welcome on Queensland carrot farms, or any vegetable farm for that matter, is the Easter Bunny.
Make sure carrots are part of your menu this weekend and take the opportunity to appreciate farmers and all those working across the horticultural supply chains for their involvement in Queensland food production, enabling all of us to enjoy some of the world’s best produce at our dining tables.