A favourite for win­ter roasts

North Harbour News - - HOME -

Parsnips have made a stun­ning re­turn to fashion. This re­vival in for­tune is largely due to the re­al­i­sa­tion that, if the plants are grown in the home gar­den and the roots pulled while they’re young and fresh, parsnips have a re­ally sweet flavour.

Then, of course, it helps if the parsnips aren’t boiled to within an inch of their lives as used to hap­pen in the good old days. Boil­ing re­moves much of the flavour and this method of cook­ing is no doubt re­spon­si­ble for the an­tipa­thy that so many of us bear to­wards this pleas­ant veg­etable.

Dig soil well be­fore­hand, as deep, welldrained soils pro­duce the best parsnip re­sults. Mix in some Yates Blood & Bone, wa­ter and, when the soil’s evenly moist­ened, cre­ate a groove and sprin­kle the seeds along the row. Cover, and wa­ter again.

It can be help­ful, es­pe­cially dur­ing warm weather, to lay a plank of wood over the row to help re­tain mois­ture around the seeds.

Check reg­u­larly and re­move as soon as there are signs of ger­mi­na­tion. When seedlings are four to five weeks old, thin out and dis­card the ex­cess.

Parsnips can take four or five months to reach ma­tu­rity but its im­por­tant that the plants are well set­tled in be­fore the re­ally cold weather ar­rives. How­ever, once the plants are es­tab­lished, frost is said to sweeten the flavour of the roots.

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