With Alison Greenhalgh of Groundwork
HE time of year has finally arrived for lifting parsnips! This delights me in a probably totally irrational manner because they are a family favourite and reminiscent of my childhood.
Well into her 70’s, my lovely Dorset granny used to grow her vegetables in a beautiful sandy loam soil near the backwaters of Poole harbour. It was perfect for root vegetables as it was stone free and dug easily, producing straight and near perfect parsnips and carrots. Nan was adamant that the parsnips needed a frost before lifting to make them sweet. And boy did we savour the fruits of her labours!
To this day, they remain a favourite and much-anticipated winter vegetable.
Down at my allotment, there are four rows of two different varieties ooking ripe for the picking.
The (in my head) unexpected frost last week means we can now begin the harvest and I can’t wait.
Pastinaca sativum predate potatoes in Europe as a source of