Try something old — or new Growing both turnips and kohlrabi is pretty straight forward. They both like fertile soil, in a sunny well drained spot.
Are you keen to step it up in your vege garden this year and try something new? Then let’s talk about turnips. Turnips are basically so old I’m retrending them as new. But they’re one of those vegetables that may not be the first to spring to mind when plotting your garden. So this month I’m re-introducing turnips.
Turnips actually come in many different varieties. Purple top, orange, amber and baby globe. At Awapuni we stock white turnip. It produces a smooth, semi globe-shaped root with a tangy taste. It’s great for eating raw in salads or lightly steamed with plenty of butter and salt.
Turnips can be used in cooking much like you would use a potato. I like to cube turnips up and throw them into stews. Or julienne them (cut into raw matchsticks) and use them as a small side salad on my dinner plate.
Now that you’re reaquainted with turnips, let me introduce you to another member of the brassica family — kohlrabi.
This unusual-looking vegetable combines several features of its relatives. It resembles a swollen broccoli stem but grows in the shape of a turnip, sitting just above the ground. And like cabbage, its skin can be purple, red or green. You’ll find the purple variety available at Awapuni.
Given its resemblance to other members of the brassica family, it probably won’t surprise you to learn kohlrabi translates in German to ‘cabbage-turnip’.
Its flesh is always pale green and crisp like an apple but it tastes more like a cabbage, although sweeter and milder. And it also grows large edible leaves.
Kohlrabi confuses many as it looks like it should be a root vegetable, however it hovers just above the ground. Thanks to the way it grows and the fact it has multiple arms (leaf stems) protruding from it, it’s often referred to as an alien vegetable.
But be it alien or broccoli revolution, kohlrabi is certainly worth growing AND eating. Try it boiled, roasted, mashed or raw. Just like turnips, it is a great addition grated into coleslaw or chopped into sticks for salad.
And no part of the plant is wasted with kohlrabi. The leaves can be saute´ ed or used as a tasty alternative to cabbage, kale, silverbeet or spinach.
Growing both turnips and kohlrabi is pretty straight forward. They both like fertile soil, in a sunny well drained spot. Vege plots always benefit from a good digging over — and mix in mulch and some compost.
Grab your white turnip and purple kohlrabi seedlings from Awapuni Nurseries online shop and have them delivered direct to your door. We guarantee delivery and if you’re not entirely happy with your plants we will replace them. And, place an order in October and receive a free bundle of seedlings by using the code SPRING2018
Plant your turnips 20cm apart and harvest when they are 5-15cm in diameter (they will sit above the ground slightly). This will happen 30-60 days after planting your seedlings.
Plant kohlrabi 25cm apart and harvest it when the swollen stem is about 8cm in diameter.
This will take 45 — 60 days. They can taste a bit woody if left too long.
So here’s two (maybe less thought of) vegetables available at Awapuni Nurseries now. Go on, try a turnip and cook with kohlrabi this spring.