Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter vegetables

Turnips and turnip greens are staples of southern vegetable gardens.

I've grown lots of kale, collard, and mustards, but hadn't grown turnips myself, but Kathy Bridges sowed some Purple Top turnip seed late last summer in the Snell Vegetable Garden next to the visitor center.

We've harvested quite a few of the greens already to contribute to our local food bank, including many of the turnips, which had sized up nicely last fall, as have the Master Gardeners in their Plant-a-Row for the Hungry in the Heirloom Vegetable garden site.

But, a number were left in the ground (supposedly, turnips 'sweeten' with frost), and this was the largest of the bunch, harvested yesterday afternoon.

Turnip on grocery bag
 Yikes, this turnip is on a LARGE grocery paper bag (not a lunch bag).  It was big.
An extra-large turnip
But amazingly, it wasn't woody, and roasted, it was quite tasty (I figured that I'd better see if it was edible before taking it over to Clemson Community Care.

Summer turnips are often fibrous and bitter, but not this one, and its greens were very tasty, too, in spite of their size.   We'll be able to harvest the rest for the food bank, after all!  And, we've also got plenty of arugula, purple mustard, and broccoli to contribute, as well.

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