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Friday, January 18, 2008

Pick a Post Friday: "Turnips" Win

Brought to you by popular vote, tonight’s “pick a post” is about turnips.

Brassica rapa. The common turnip. Why have I never tried to grow turnips in my garden? I’m an experienced gardener; I’m getting ready to start my 21st vegetable garden this spring. It seems odd that I’ve never tried to grow turnips.

I blame my Dad. He never grew turnips. I think. I’m pretty sure. I don’t remember him harvesting turnips from his garden and I don’t remember eating turnips when I was growing up. I don’t remember turning my nose up at cooked turnips or raw turnips or turnip greens. I just don’t remember turnips being part of my childhood or a part of my gardening heritage.

In general, I find that my vegetable garden is much like my Dad’s in terms of what I grow. Lots of tomatoes, some peppers, eggplant, green beans. He grew cucumbers and squash, so do I. Peas? Oh, I aspire to grow peas like he grew. Lettuce, spinach, radish, green onions. Just like my Dad.

I know what my Dad grew in his garden not because he kept a garden journal, he didn’t, and not because I was out there helping him plant it all, though I was.

I remember because I have his last batch of seeds.

That’s what’s in this box.


Dad’s last season of seeds. That’s where I got the seeds from 1986, though most of the seeds in the box are from 1987.

I refer to it to remind myself what he planted that I don’t. There are kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli and Swiss chard seeds in there, and I never grow those.

But there are no turnip seeds in the box and I don’t remember him growing turnips, so I’m pretty sure he didn’t grow turnips.

But all day I’ve been thinking about turnips. I went to a Scottish restaurant last night, the only one in the city that I know of, and my shepherd’s pie was served with sides of “neeps and tatties” which is mashed turnips and mashed potatoes.

Call me the adventurous eater. No, I did not try the haggis or Scotch eggs, but I ate all the neeps and I really liked them.

So now I’ve decided to get some turnip seeds and give them a try. I can have some turnip greens and sliced raw turnips in the spring and then in the fall, harvest turnips to cook and mash.

Who else is trying something new in their vegetable garden this year? If you aren’t, you should!
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I realize I only posted the "Pick a Post Friday" poll for a few hours. When or if I do that again, I'll provide more time to vote and maybe some hints as to what the topics are really about.

Here are the official results:

Turnips - 6 votes
My New Houseplant - 4 votes
A New Hoe Quote - 4 votes
Attack of GADS - Indoors - 5 votes

Not exactly a landslide for turnips, but a win is a win! Watch for "Attack of GADS - Indoors" in the very near future and the other two topics at some other time.

10 comments:

vonlafin said...

I grew turnips last year because my husband like to eat them raw. We got busy and forgot about them, when I pulled them this Fall they were the size of baseballs. I think I will pass on them next year. Maybe I will try eggplant, I have never grown them.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Your box of seeds is a lovely reminder of your Dad. Maybe you should frame the lot of seeds/packets and hang it in your sun room. It would be a great display.

Anyway...I don't have a vegetable garden. I have thought about incorporating lettuce, peas and tomatoes into the flower beds this year. I have a friend that has a huge garden every year and I am blessed with some of her harvest. She has encouraged me to incorporate veggies into my flower beds in different ways. So this year I plan to try.

My Mom and Dad grew turnips. I eat them raw. There is nothing like getting a nice smallish turnip out of the garden and eating it. Yummmmm My Dad also made Turnip Kraut. Have you ever tried that?? Probably not if you don't have some German in your genes.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

LOL, I see that we both decided to use the new blogger feature at the same time.

I don't grow turnips in my garden as neither of us here likes them. I'm trying the purple broccoli for the first time plus a new variety of courgettes and some other new stuff too. I think that gardening should be an adventure too, don't you?

Have a great weekend!

Kathy said...

Seems like I remember Dad peeling and eating turnips like an apple sometimes, maybe with a little salt? I have never grown them either. Maybe I will try them. Do rabbits eat them?
Kathy, the older sister

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Sadly I don't have a vegetable garden, but being from the south, I'm very familiar with turnip greens. I LOVE them. There is nothin' like turnip greens 'n' cornbread!

My grandparents used to grow them in their garden and they were so tender and delicious. I don't particularly like the turnip though, just the greens. I also detest washing the greens, as I am very particular about eating clean greens.

While I don't have a veggie garden, I am going to grow my own parsley this year for the black swallow tails.

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

We were in Scotland last summer and enjoyed both neeps and tatties and the haggis. The haggis is very rich. Apparently these days there is even vegetarian haggis. I thought it was a strange concept; on the other hand, my favorite chili is from a vegetarian recipe which would make a few old cattlemen raise an eyebrow.

Molly said...

I love turnips, although I found them inedible until I tasted them just barely cooked several years ago. Overcooked they smell like puppy breath. Sadly I get root borers when I try to grow them now.
My first time vegetable this year is broad beans (aka fava beans).

Curtis said...

I have had turnip greens. Mmmmm. I will have to look into growing these this year. Don't know what to do with the bottom part though. Barely cooked like molly said sounds like a safe approach.

Kylee said...

I've never grown nor eaten a turnip. Does it taste similar to anything else?
I always try to grow something new every year in the garden. This year, it's garlic.

Salix Tree said...

I have been growing turnips for years. They are very easy, and can sit in the ground most of the winter until I pull a few for the stew pot.
I hope you enjoy them as well.
Last year I grew peas for the first time, and I was wowed by the taste of fresh peas! I must have more this year!
Oh, and do try haggis. We went to Scotland years ago, and the waiter talked us into trying it. Then, at every restaurant we went to on that Scottish holiday, the 3 kids ordered haggis each time!