Posted by: David | January 18, 2012

Ring Around The Carrot

Maybe you’ve already heard about this. A recent item in The Week  magazine really intrigued me. It’s a story that came out just before the arrival of 2012. You might say it “rang in” the new year. What happened was that this lady in Sweden was digging carrots in her garden. On a small carrot she was about to toss into the compost pile she noticed something shiny. It was her wedding ring, which had been missing since Christmas of 1995!

16 years ago Mrs. Paahlsson had taken the ring off to do some Christmas baking with her daughters, and they reckoned the ring got mixed in with vegetable peelings or some such.  Mrs. Paahlsson had designed this ring herself, a band of white gold with 7 small diamonds set in it.  This ring, after passing through the compost pile, or maybe even the digestive tract of a sheep, and which they’d long since given up hope of ever finding, had found its way into a garden bed, where it rested for who knows how long,  until last fall, when a carrot seed sprouted and grew right into it.  Amazing!

If you Google “wedding ring on carrot” you’ll find various treatments of this story, with commentary ranging from incredulous negativity to comical puns (carats & carrots) to sappy romantic positivity and words like kismet. As an avid digger in the soil I have never found such a thing, but neither have I ever lost such a thing. I don’t usually take off my ring, even when working in the garden.

This photo doesn’t have much to do with the topic, except for the beauty.


  1. It’s hard to believe but strange things do happen. I’d like to believe it. i guess because I like weird and strange things. I don’t believe in fate or kismet though. I just believe that stuff happens.

    This kind of thing is very easy for me to believe. Agreed: no need to apply labels like fate or kismet, that’s just over-think. The way the carrot grew up into the ring is not a likely event, but certainly a possible one.

  2. What a cool little story. Nice little post too. Great pics (the aloe and your sunset header)! 🙂

    Thanks Peter. It came from a paper magazine no less. As magazines go I can highly recommend The Week.

  3. i wouldn’t have even thought of a carat joke. smart people out there.

    Yeah me neither. Some people have nothing better to do that to troll the internet thinking of smart crap to write.

  4. What a cool story! I have recently started wearing my rings to work again. I was always afraid of losing them but I think if i’m really careful they will be fine. I have something to put them in if I need to.

    Right? I should plug this story on FB. I wonder what they did with the little teeny carrot.

  5. I never take my heirloom rings off. that reminds me…. I must clean them one day. i think my mother used to dunk them in a glass of gin…..

    My wife’s ring belonged to my paternal grandmother, mine was my wife’s maternal grandfather’s. Pretty good symmetry isn’t it? Never really thought of that before. My wife and daughter occasionally clean their jewels in some kind of potion that comes in a red plastic jar from some jewelry store. Gin would be better, cuz I could drink it after they finished.

  6. Love the photo. The story is “old news.” You can do better! Step up old lad! Pip, pip!

    Honestly! I’m doing the best I can with the time I have. You know, YOU could do a better job of inspiring me. I bought 2 of your mate Tooty’s hamster books at iTunes. Pretty funny stuff!

  7. What is really amazing about this story is that anyone got carrots to grow.

    Right Linnie! It’s been a long time since I’ve grown a decent carrot!

  8. I have a bad cold, and I am slowly coming back to normal, but it is really slow, so slow that I have re-named the kitchen The East Wing, because it sounds like such a distant place, out of reach, make up your mind first or what. And no Bush Condi joke to meditate on. Somebody suggested “Don’t worry, be happy” as an alternmative, but it’s a “tad” too flat or trite or cranky. I also tried to meditate on the impossibility of translating “cranky” into Spanish. Cranky was used by Pfaff to describe some of Ron Paul’s ideas — or is it Paul Ron? . Cranky seems to be like self-reliance but seen from afar.

    Ha, that’s amusing. The East Wing. I hope you’re feeling better by now.

    I wonder if your Pfaff was referring to Ron Paul as a “crank”. In this usage “crank” describes someone with an odd set of beliefs. “Cranky” means something along the lines of irritable or ill-tempered.

    • Pfaff is very old and has been living in France for a long time. He used “cranky” rather logically as describing the ideas held by what you termed “someone with an odd set of beliefs”. But yes, I know, the English language does not try to be logical. “Do I contradict myself? So I contradict myself, I am large and contain many.” (Whitman, but from memory)

      Maybe this explains USA foreign policy. And its cost. And the inability to contain that cost or that policy.

      Hah! Thank you for this wonderful comment! It is large and contains much!

      You are too kind. NOTHING explains USA foreign policy. It’s a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in bologna.

  9. Sad story upstairs, not related to above, unless, indeed, the low interest policy persued by the Bush people to finance the housing bubble that would pay for the war….etc
    Upstairs two middle aged people, street cleanrs, and their son, a university graduate in engineering. The parents lost their jobs, but the son obtained a study grant. For a time the family lived off the study grant, and then the parents decided to go back to Colombia and look for work there.
    How much does it cost to fly from Madrid to Columbia?
    Now they are coming back. Here they have a flat and its mortgage. I think they do not yet understand the panorama, otherwise they woud by now try to get tenants at least for some of their rooms.
    There won’t be any work for 3 or 4 more years.
    Some people think there will never again be wealth in Spain. It was all a mirage (I buy a house, you buy the house from me, I buy it back from you, you buy it back from me, and each time we add 20%, and the bank will be happy to loan the money since it is backed by tangible asset).
    So soon they will lose their flat.

    That is very sad. They must be all the more in debt for having made that useless flight.

    It IS all a mirage. The banks have gotten better and better at protecting themselves. The Thieves are trying to take Absolutely Everything before their time is up.

    What is currently steaming me up is how the republicans are refusing to give the president any credit for the slight improvement in the US economy while simultaneously refusing to place any blame on the previous administration, which was in power when the shit hit the fan (to use another picturesque idiom). How can they expect any credibility from this stance? Don’t bother answering, that’s even more depressing.

  10. But the idiom of the shit and the fan I must have told you in its most recent use which was “capitalism hit the fan”.

    And yes, their debt. I have only recently found out that, maybe not these people, but others from the same background, who are perfectly illiterate and way too trusting while acting as if they were astute enough to realize it is all a big cheat — well, those people would sign papers at the bank to get a loan to buy a flat, and the bank would ask them to bring along some friends to guarantee the loan. Just a formality, see? And these people would of course cheat you or me, but they would never cheat each other, and only much later they find out that their friends will be liable for a debt of some 20 years’ salaries.

    Also, I think that the banks sell them relatively good stuff. That flat upstairs was a luxury 200 m2 place which the bank divided up to sell to these people and to some inlaws of theirs. Why would they sell good flats to the poor who likely won’t be able to pay, eh? It is because the far-sighted wise and resourceful bank thinks of its future when it will take the flat back and then will be able to sell it even in a depressed market.

    Capitalism hit the fan all right. The banks just get away with murder. Guess the “friends” are encouraged to sign things under the pressure of “friendship”. How nice of the banks to destroy friendships as well as livelihoods. Doesn’t it all run back to that axiom that business rules supersede all other human transactions? That kind of immoral thinking is fully justified to the corporate animals.

  11. I forgot to add what has been worrying me most, though, as I told you, I am not affected by this story, unless, of course, all of Europe goes down the drain etc.

    The sorry point is that this was false wealth created by the strong trying to live off the weak, and to some degree that has always been done. But in addition the old have been trying to live off the young! That must be new.

    Years ago I saw it explained in the IHT that advertisers had better change their spiel, because only the old were going to be able to buy extra clothes and trips abroad and houses in Florida.

    And now, until recently, you’d see these gangs of old American ladies looking and acting aggressively young climbing the steep little streets of old Toledo.

    Do you think that governments running huge deficits fits with this old living off the young scenario? Maybe when the extraterrestrials arrive all debts will be forgiven.

  12. Governments running huge deficits as an example of modern culture’s tendency to have the old live off the young? I hadn’t even thought that far, but of course that’s it.
    In Spain now kids haven’t got a chance. How can fewer kids maintain a growing population of old people who live longer and longer?
    And kids have a hard time trying to get the first job.

    Very depressing idea, is it not? I’m pleasantly stunned that you haven’t disagreed with me.

  13. Yes, but remember it is generally thought that the US debt won’t be paid off, but “monetized”. This is taken for granted by most. The sentence of “our grandchildren will have to pay” plays on old imagery.
    The debt is in fact what foreign countries invest in.
    I don’t think there is agreement concerning the meaning or the implications, whether China is gambling or whether both China and the US simply follow the path of the least resistance and cannot change direction anymore.

    Right. It is “mutually assured destruction” all over again, isn’t it? Economic brinkmanship. All the players at the table waiting for the next one to fold. Who will leave with the most chips? Old imagery.

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