Deeper & Down

IMG_20141105_132114There was some ice on the windscreen yesterday morning first thing; therefore I decided to try digging up some parsnips to see if they had sweetened up yet. I tried this a couple of weeks ago; and the parsnips were ok and edible, but when roasted they simply turned to a sadly starchy mush – still fine to east, but not as sweet as when they’ve had a good frost, and the cold converts the starch in the roots to sugars. When this happens, they become sweeter than carrots – and still full of super healthy anti-oxidants, dietry fiber, potassium, lowers colesterol...

Now they are sweetening up nicely; and if the frost forecast tonight is anything to go by (1-2C!), they will be perfect to dig up from tomorrow onwards; the only snag at the mo is the mud, which make digging them up by hand a chore (and means more forked roots too); whereas when it dries out a bit, digging will be easier and washing them much nicer. Some are whoppers too, although they tend to get forked because they are about twice the width of the gap in the fork tines. These parsnips went in the ground in April, had a good weed in the summer (using the weeds as a mulch to help keept the ground moist-ish during the drought), so have been around for a while. The long tap roots have obviously been busy over the drier months (see photo), pulling up moisture and nutrients from deep down. This is good news all round, since the root ends and leaves go back on the ground as I pick & trim them, meaning more organic matter and nutrients going back into the soil for next year, and the next crop.

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2 thoughts on “Deeper & Down

  1. Dug a few of mine last week and used one for spicy ‘snip soup. Seemed OK, but like you my clay-soil patch is now murder to work. There was frost on the roof this morning so they might be tasting even better but getting them out is going to be tricky.

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