With Ali­son Green­halgh of Ground­work

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GREEN SPACES -

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

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