Digging Parsnips in the Rain

Tomorrow is our next-to-last market in Vermillion, so I thought I’d get out and dig those parsnips now that we’ve had some frosts and freezes.  There are still leeks out there, too, and I took in about twenty more of the biggest ones. I dug some horseradish, too.

parsnips and leeksI was whining on Facebook the other day about how it seems I’m always cleaning my house, but it never seems to actually get clean (and certainly doesn’t stay that way even if it gets close).  This may be why: a constant influx of muddy produce.

Actually, the leeks and parsnips are still sitting outside in the rain where I took this image.  I’m going to pull out one of my produce “dish tubs,” transfer the parsnips to it a few at a time, and attempt to wash some of the mud from them in the sink.  Then I can dump the muddy water out the side door instead of standing in the cold rain washing them outside.

I don’t know how many of these parsnips I’ll bring to the market tomorrow–I scored many of them with my digging fork while trying to get the super-long roots out of the saturated ground.  A few of the nicest ones will go to my one CSA member, and I get to keep some too!

Apologies in advance to my regular customers if you don’t get any parsnips from me this year–they were a trial crop after all.  I have seen some nice, freshly-dug looking parsnips showing up in the produce section of Jones’ lately.  They look a lot better now than they do after sitting around in their wax coating for months.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the parsnip harvest I got (not having planted many, and having “weeded” a number out, not realizing how long they took to germinate), and I’m planning to grow quite a few more of them next year.  Their hardiness, late maturity, and (of course) tastiness make them a good addition to my list of major crops.

Even though it’s recommended to give them a deep, friable “carrot soil” when planting, they’re a lot better than carrots at plunging deep in our clay-heavy loam.  Of the two new carrot family crops I grew this year (the other being celeriac), parsnips seem to me a better bet in terms of a long-season fall-harvested crop.


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