These photos kindly supplied by Romana’s husband, Charles, give clear evidence of true carrot madness. Her collection has now over 2036 carrots and is still growing! Romana runs the famous Armistead Cottage in Rhode Island where you can visit and stay in the Carrot Room.
Yes you can collect almost anything with a carrot emblem which the World Carrot Museum calls “Carrotabilia”. Romana’s extensive collection includes:
Toothbrushes, Cars, a Canoe, stampers, cards, seed packets and plant signs, candy, chocolates, dog toys, clocks, a wild bunch watch, neck ties, a pair of slippers, salt ‘n pepper shakers.
Cat nips, wooden people with carrots, napkin rings, teddy costume, light switches, ceramic bowls, tiles, pens, jars, eraser, sequins, trivet, ceramic shoe, pictures on silk and wood, a birdhouse.
A carrot strainer, cookie cutter, sugar creamer, fishing lure, timer, teapot, brushes, tissues, a wheelbarrow, glasses, jewelry, pencil sharpener, soap dispenser, decanter, mugs, forks, knifes, peelers, T-shirt, pillows, stuffed animals.
Mouse mat, Easter lights, aprons, jailbird, handkerchief, plates, basket, underwear!!, papier mache boxes, hand puppet, soap, measuring cup, door handles, peg board, licence plates, carrot treats for guinea pigs, piggy banks, recipe cards.
Candle holders, candles, candle sticks, a carrot patch (from Holtville), Tybo the Carrot man from “Lost in Space”, Carrot highway video, jump rope.
Newport newspaper Article here:
Romana Zawarti has a cacoethes for carrots. Claiming what anyone can tell is the world’s largest collection of carrot paraphernalia, or “carrotobelia” to the trade, she has taken affinity for root vegetables to an entirely new level. She has carrot statues, carrot tableware, and even kids’ carrot Crocs. The walls, ceiling, and yes floors, in what used to be a butler’s pantry, are covered in carrots large and small. What began just over 15 years ago as a simple purchase while Down East has put her atop the carrot collecting world. (Yes, there apparently is one). Describing herself as a purist – she collects carrots and only carrots – Ms. Zawarti’s collection is the gold-standard in carrotology. She doesn’t do bunnies, refuses to mix her veggies and has even served as an arbitrator for a pair of Greek towns gunning to be that country’s carrot capitol. More importantly, her light-hearted nature and ironic self awareness makes a visit to her carrot museum one Newport’s more unexpectedly charming treats. Currently, her collection of carrot paraphernalia tops more than 2,000 individual pieces. We caught up to her at her one of kind B&B, the Armistead Cottage.
“I bought my first carrot piece in 1993. My husband and I went on a trip to Maine. There were lobsters everywhere – and blueberries. So I bought carrots.”
What is it about collecting these little root vegetables that makes you do it?
How many pieces of “carrotobelia” do you have? I’m up to 2,036. They’re all catalogued by number, date, location purchased or by who gave them to me. (And for the record: Duplicates only count once). How often do you look for new pieces? “I just began picking up one here and one there. By the time I knew it, my kitchen was full of carrots, so I began logging them. When we moved (from New York City), I had somewhere between 600 and 700 carrots. That was 10 years ago.”