I haven’t visited the bach garden for a month. When I pulled up this vegetable, I thought it must be a parsnip, although I didn’t remember planting any.

But no. It’s a white Belgium carrot. Suddenly I remembered: in the autumn I was unable to buy orange carrot seeds from the organic shop as I drove out to the bach. Instead, they sold me a packet of heritage seeds, gathered and preserved by the Koanga Gardens.

On reading the packet, I see that the green shoulders, rising above the ground, are a feature of these carrots, and don’t mean that I planted them badly!

Heritage seeds are resilient, and this row of carrots has certainly sprung up quickly, and shows no sign of disease.
Originally a Dutch heirloom, they have been grown in New Zealand for a long time. The packet says they are ‘at their best cooked, stunning for flavouring soups and stews.’
I grated this one (not having found the packet at that stage), and with a few lettuce leaves gathered from the garden, enjoyed its juicy flavour as part of my lunch.