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.

Manawatu Guardian - - SERVICES DIRECTORY -

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.

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