Monday, December 3

Daddy, Mummy and Baby Parsnip

We only visited the plot once last week and that was mainly a harvesting visit and to try out Martyn's new toy - the resulting video was posted in my previous post.

I did take a few photographs. I usually take my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 with me when we go to the allotment but, as this wasn't really a working visit, I took my 'best' camera which is a Sony Rx10v4. It's amazing how much better the photos are, even though I was very satisfied with the Panasonic and not really convinced that I needed a better camera when Martyn suggested it.

I'm not sure the better quality will be apparent at the size I post on my blog - you can view a larger image if you click on the photos - but I'll include some if only to show how empty the plot looks.
The cardoons are already putting on next season's growth but, in this part of the plot, the only crops growing are the red cabbage under the mesh in the far distance.
In the above part of the plot the only real growth are the two beds that were sown with green manure.
 The fruit bushes and trees are now leafless.
In the area above there is another bed of green manure and in the foreground is our bed of hardy annuals. In the distance the mesh is covering some very disappointing Brussels sprouts and some Purple Sprouting Broccoli plants. Under the straw are our carrots and parsnips.
The clump in the foreground is chard. Alongside the chard, just out of view, there are also a few beetroots and swedes
Above we have a bed of leeks and under the mesh we have more PSB, some cauliflowers and savoy cabbages which we hope to harvest next spring.

Now on to last week's small harvest which, as is usual for this time of year, was just the vegetables that we needed for this week.

We grew three varieties of carrots, Early Market, Flakee and Autumn King. Last week we harvested the last of our Early Market.
We only grow one variety of parsnip, which is Gladiator, and one of the roots harvested last week lived up to its name.
It was huge. As far as I can remember, it's the biggest parsnip that we have ever grown and has supplied more than one meal.
Even though it was so large it was as tasty as its smaller bedfellows. As you can see below we harvested a more 'normal' sized root and a small one. They were dubbed, daddy, mummy and little baby parsnip. I wonder why three seedlings, growing alongside one another at a equal distance apart and treated in exactly the same way, produce such different sized roots.
As you can see above we also harvested a few leeks which were used in a chicken, leek and mushroom pilaf.

The leeks are a variety called below Zero and have only produced small 'stems'. To be honest, we didn't expect them to produce a crop at all, as straight after they were planted  - which was later than we would have liked - the grass like plantlets were flattened by strong winds. We consider any harvest to be a bonus! We have two more varieties - Oarsman and Blue Solaise - to harvest after this one is finished, so it will be interesting to compare.


This week I am linking to Harvest Monday hosted on 

Dave's blog Our Happy Acres


21 comments:

  1. Wow, that is one big parsnip! I had similar varied results with a daikon radish I grew this fall. I thinned them to the same distance and I got a mix of small, medium and large ones. The cardoon is interesting. I've not seen too many grow them, and I've never tried them myself. I've failed in all my attempts to grow artichokes here.

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    1. We have a globe artichoke too, Dave. We inherited it but have moved it about. We don’t harvest from these plants, we really just grow as ornamentals and for the bees. The bees can’t get enough of the flowers.

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  2. What a surprise it must have been when you pulled that giant parsnip out of the ground! That is amazing. I too only grow Gladiator parsnips but I've never gotten one like that.

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    1. It was unexpected, Michelle. I winder whether any more will be as big? A recipe I was using called for 2 parsnips but I don’t think it was expecting something that size.

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  3. How I love PSB but the plants grow to a monstrous size in my garden. I really don't have room for them. I have grown them in 15 gallon pots but usually only about half of the plants produce sprouts. Any suggestions?

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    1. To be honest we are by no means experts eg52. This is the first year for a while that the plants look as though they may produce a harvest. There is something called Broccoli Raab that is a much smaller plant and similar to sprouting broccoli but I don’t think it tastes exactly the same. Chiltern’s Seeds have it and a description.

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  4. Are you sure you don't have a team of gardeners working away? Your extensive allotment is magnificent

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    1. Nope just us, Roger. It's a smaller area than you garden so do you have garden elves? Did all those dug over beds offend your sensibilities?

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  5. I don't get the parsnip size differential, which I've also experienced, either. Luckily they do usually taste as good as each other .

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    1. You are right, Julieanne it’s a case of size doesn’t matter when it’s on the plate.



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  6. Oh your allotment is looking in great shape Sue and all ready for a new season. Daddy Parsnip looks fit to grace a show bench. Did you measure him? Who tasted best - Daddy, Mummy or Baby?

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    1. No we didn’t measure any of them, Anna which we maybe should have done. All tasted equally good.

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  7. Holy parsnips, batman! Parsnips are not a mainstay here & I haven't grown them in a couple of years, but they are back on the list for next year...I do love those late season harvests, when not much else is happening.

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    1. Parsnips are a favourite in our household, Margaret

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  8. Just deserts for all your efforts! Variation in size is baffling, but as you point out, not a problem (unless you are selling to a supermarket). Usually it is a failure to detect multiple plants when thinning, but it is intriguing when the variation is progressive along a row. This year the parsnips thinned themselves - down to two or three. It always makes me laugh/cry when uneven germination results a whole clump of seedlings in three inches and nothing for another three foot. Such is gardening. Three types of leek - but no Musselburgh?!!

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    1. We had the best parsnip germination ever this year, Mal. As near as I could tell it was 100%. I sowed two seeds to a station and needed to remove one from each pair. In fact some stations has three seedlings. The seeds germinated faster than usual too. No Musselburgh I take it that is a favourite of yours.

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    2. It's the go to leek - especially if you live in Edinburgh (being right next door to it (Musselburgh))! Mind you Tender and True is the go to parsnip - without any geographical association.

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  9. That giant parsnip is a beautiful sight. And your cardoons are magnificent. I've tried growing cardoon and artichokes. The artichokes always die and the cardoon never get above a foot tall, I do think they hate something about our climate.

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    1. The cardoons grow into monsters, Phuong. It amazes me that they grew from a tiny seed.

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