Jest for Fun

The Cultivation of Carrotus scareotus

By Isette Façìon | Posted 10/22/22 | Updated 10/21/23

Scare-rotsScare-rots (Carrotus scareotus) is a hybrid root vegetable, typically orange, but sometimes with a yellow tinge.

The plant originated in a backyard garden, originally cultivated as a normal carrot, but through the process of LOE gardening (lack of experience), grew into something quite abnormal.

The history behind this edible root is quite mundane and without most acts of the Hero's Journey. One story goes like this:

In 2007, without a tinge of research, vegetable enthusiast Cynthia Askt planted her first vegetable garden of 10 cucumber plants, a few bell peppers, and several rows of carrots. She quickly learned cucumber vines do not play around and 1-2 plants is sufficient for an entire suburban block.

The pepper plants, on the other hand, were stingy, but the carrots, well, the green planty tops emerged in beautiful, densely populated rows with confidence and eagerness to please.

"Time at last to harvest!" She gleamed, and at summer's end, she reached towards the carrot greens. With a firm pull, dirt falling away, the orange roots came out… but with a scream of betray.

Scare-rots"What's this!" Cynthia exclaimed, staring in horror at the freakish crop. At its twisted contortions and mangled up tops. Aghast, she dialed a frond-loving friend, who's given advice to no ending end.

"Cynthia, you missed 'thinning' the rows so one plant can breathe. Each introvert needs space for its seed. Crowded carrots are quite claustrophobic, and social anxiety will put them on Mobic.

That was advice of her good, sage-ish friend, whom Cynthia had known for years, around ten.

Not one to waste, Cynthia thought, her hybrid plants would surely be bought. She packeted seeds for a hybrid root sell, and soon became known as an Instatwit shill.

So, the story may have taken a poetic turn, but that's how Carrotus scareotus came to market. And every year around Halloween, this twisted vegetable pops up around apple orchards and pumpkin farms.

Of course, there's controversy around who the "first one" to grow the vegetable is, but impossible to discern due to the sheer amount of forgetful farmers. Invited to comment, Askt claims her seeds look very different than anything else on the market, but if anyone objects, "multiple independent discovery" is certainly at play.

Scare-rotsScare-rots Halloween Seed Packet Project

Vegetables aren't litigious, so here's some instructions for cultivating your own garden Scare-rots.

  1. Print the Scare-rots seed packet (PDF).
  2. Cut out packet along the gray dotted lines.
  3. Fold flaps inward to create the rectangular front and back sides of the seed packet.
  4. Secure flaps with tape or adhesive.
  5. Trick your friends.
  6. Happy Halloween!

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