The garden survived my absence. A few of the strings were down, but nothing was trampled and nothing was eaten. The soil was dry, that’s all. Well, that and the plants were substantially bigger. Perhaps watched plants have attitudes like watched pots.
No one told me that turnips are vegetable egomaniacs. “Look at me! Look at me!” their sprawling greens scream. I planted them like most of the other veggies, with rows about 12 inches apart. Apparently,I didn’t read the seed packet closely enough; it recommends 16-24″ between rows. As it is, the turnips are overwhelming a row of carrots and a row of beets. The turnip thinnings that I transplanted amongst the chard are trying to do the same, but the chard scoffs at the attempt and grows taller.
It wasn’t my idea to grow turnips. Who grows turnips? Who eats turnips? Who does anything with turnips? I know I like carrots, but the chances of getting any under present conditions are slim. So I pulled a tester turnip today to see if I like it and to decide if I should pull out the ones hindering the carrots.
Most vegetables as ancient as turnips (more than 4,000 years old) have been in and out of favor half a dozen times. Not so turnips. They’ve never been particularly popular and only today are we beginning to appreciate their gingery piquancy.
Well, actually, they are kind of lovely–to look at, anyway.
The turnips pictured on the seed packet are Christmas-ball round. The one I pulled today is carrot-like. Maybe the carrots are fighting back after all, exerting their influence the only place they can–underground.
According to the recipes in the cookbook, turnips are prepared much the same as potatoes, with the exception, perhaps, of mashing. I think I will roast this bugger with some onions and potatoes and carrots and fresh thyme. I’ll let you know what I think.