Store bought vegetables

I have already resigned myself to eating the cardboard tasting tomatoes in my local produce stores, but now I am finding even the carrots taste lousy. I still have some carrots growing in my garden which taste great to me, but anything store bought is either tasteless or bitter. These are carrots with the leaves still attached, which should preserve their flavor. I can understand the problem of shipping tomatoes, but what excuse is there for carrots? Next year, I am going to plant an extra large crop of carrots, say in mid season, so that I will have a supply of them for fall, and possibly in winter (I hear they can be harvested, even with snow on the ground). I cannot help but wonder that we can put men on the moon, but we cannot come up with a good tasting tomato that will hold up under shipment. I do recall that many years ago, you could not even get certain vegetables in the winter, so maybe we should just take what we can get.
Sherwin Dubren
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Sherwin Dubren said:

With the leaves still attached they are also potentially loosing water. And they were probably grown somewhere warm and yanked while still looking lush. (Carrots are much tastier after the frost has started nipping the tops and signalled them to start storing sugars.)
I've been happy enough with the cello-bagged organic carrots available locally that I've given up fighting voles and nematodes to grow my own.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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On Thu, 13 Nov 2003 06:05:40 GMT, Sherwin Dubren

As I noted in another thread, it seems that ripe, good-tasting tomatoes don't lend themselves to mechanized harvest and shipping. Agricultural colleges receive grants for developing varieties with thicker skins, more uniform shapes, and a ready-all-at-once growing schedule. Good taste is a secondary issue.
And yes, IMO, it doesn't seem fair to demand a summer fruit in the middle of winter and then complain that it's expensive and doesn't taste 'right.'
I dunno about carrots. I bought 'top on' bunches in WalMart that were delicious; a couple months later, they were awful. I queried the produce manager who said everything comes from different suppliers and the Pennsylvania ones had been replaced by some from Texas. Or vice versa.
I guess the (my) answer is to grow as much as possible yourself, and consider a lovely, sun-warm, just-picked tomato a summertime treat. :-)
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Besides what Pat said, I find non-organic carrots particularly unpalatable. At any rate, a good source of quality carrots is a local farmer market. They have been frosted, and they have not traveled. I am going this saturday to buy my usual three bushels of apples and 10-20 lbs of carrots. The carrots will last one month, and the apples into february. The carrots from the market are close in quality to homegrown.
I still have some carrots growing in my garden which taste great

Getting tomatoes in winter has been no progress whatsoever. There are several vegetables which are good in winter, and wiser people will limit themselves to those. My garden is fuller in the fall than in the summer. If you want to harvest carrots through the winter, be advised that the ground under a poly tunnel will not freeze. Last night strong winds completely blew away my tunnels, however...
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I was reading an article a while back about vegetables going extinct. The idea was that we want certain vegetables (or fruits) year round and don't eat things that are in season. So, certain type of vegetables, since they aren't in demand are not being grown. Some restaurants are trying to buck the trend and make dishes that are seasonal.
I cannot stand supermarket tomatoes. And even when in season, home grown broccoli and green beans still top the stores.

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I suppose that native american winter veggies may face possible extinction. However, there are many other parts of the world where tradition is followed. While living in France for one year I developed my taste for chicory, for example. You can go to an outdoor market in february and find freshly picked veggies. Not a tremendous selection, but just as healthy as their tastier summer counterparts. Likewise, in this country cider apples are no longer grown, but they are still thriving in the UK or France (and you can still find them near abandoned homesteads here too).
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