Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member

    Apr 8, 2007, 08:09 PM
    Who else plants parsnips?
    I recently dug our parsnips. They are best left to be softened up over the winter with freezing and thawing, and then dug in the spring before they start to grow and turn woody. Tonight we had butternut squash saved in a cool space and black raspberry cobbler with raspberries from the freezer.

    A few years ago our son in law had to comment when we served him parsnips. He had been finding the vegetables served here a little different, yellow beans, squash, and finally the parsnips. He had never been served any of them. In fact, his family were real meat and potatoes people, not even eating much green beans, carrots, and peas.

    My wife and I grew up in families that gardened, and we always planted yellow beans, squash, and parsnips. I have realized that you seldom see squash and never parsnips in a restaurant or supermarket. I had just never noticed the absence of yellow beans other than in 3 bean salads.
    Clough's Avatar
    Clough Posts: 26,677, Reputation: 1649
    Uber Member

    Apr 9, 2007, 01:40 AM
    I have not yet planted parsnips. But, I plan to! I am an avid gardener who has tried many things.

    The following link may be of use to you. I hope that it is helpful to you.

    Lucy's Kitchen Notebook: Uses of Parsnips

    Secretary, Rock Island Horticulture Club
    TheSavage's Avatar
    TheSavage Posts: 564, Reputation: 96
    Senior Member

    Apr 9, 2007, 02:47 AM
    Lol I just dug the last of my parsnips yesterday, Still have leeks and brussel sprouts to harvest the last of
    This is a little (actually big) list of the vegetables my family raised on the farm in Clifton that my uncle made up a few years ago.

    For early spring crops, seeds were sown under the sash in January and February and straw matts (actually salt hay) were used to cover the glass at night for protection from the frost. There were always lettuces – Boston, iceberg, romaine; cole crops were sown, too – cauliflower and cabbage – several varieties of cabbage – Round (Flat?) White Dutch and there was a pointy headed variety, too, Savoy, red cabbage, also cauliflower and kohl rabi. I don't ever remember broccoli or Brussel sprouts but they were more fall crops. We also had tomatoes – Rutgers and Italian paste – probably Roma and I know two or three more varieties because we would sell the plants in the spring to men who had home gardens. There was also eggplant and peppers for our use and some to sell. I loved this because if I sold the plants, I kept the money. Tomato plants were 25 cents a dozen. We wrapped them in newspaper and for every dozen 3 or 4 extra were “thrown in”. We also sold the lettuce and cabbage plants and Dad would always grow some flower plants for Mom to plant around the house and down the front walk and extras of those were for sale, too.

    In February the lettuces were planted in the frames (where leeks had been removed and marketed in December and January). Also some frames were used for cauliflower. Lettuce was planted close, in nine or ten inch squares but cauliflower was about eighteen inches apart each way. This
    left a lot of “wasted space” so two rows of radishes were sown between each row – mostly red but some white icicle also. These were bunched and sold long before the cauliflower had grown enough to cover them and certainly long before the sash was removed and piled in the spring. Growing the lettuce and cauliflower this way insured that they were early crops and would thus bring a premium price at the market. Remember, this was before vegetables were trucked in from Florida and California and the consumers were ready for the spring crops – no year round lettuce or tomatoes or corn. In those years a person ate vegetables in season and at their peak in flavor.

    In later years we would get escarole and chicory plants from Florida. We could not grow these. I'm not sure but it might have been because our days were shorter and these plants needed a longer period of sunshine as they first grew or they would bolt to seed. I do know that we had no trouble growing these seedlings for a fall crop. The first year we got these plants from Florida Dad had gone there early in the year with BJ Sieban and another farmer and Dad had actually sown the seeds. I don't know where in Florida this was but BJ had dealings with the farmer in Florida so he knew him. When it was time to plant these seedlings they were shipped to BJ in Virginia (actually to the farm near Jamesville which Dad and Mom later bought from him). That was pretty good because Dad had to drive to Virginia to pick up these plants and I got to go along. BJ kept some of the plants to plant on his farm and we got some also. I don't know if it was the first year we got these plants or the second year but Grandpa had retired and Dad and Uncle Charlie were farming. Dad had taken a huge load of escarole and chicory to the New York market and he called and said, “This stuff is selling like hot cakes and bringing a huge price. Cut some more.” Uncle Charlie, Aunt Dot, Patty, Grandpa, Mom , Helena and I started cutting and packing. Mom called in some reinforcements, I think Eleanor Kacmarick and her girls and we had another load ready when Dad got home from New York. He turned around and went back.

    Another early crop was dandelion grown under sash. This was nothing like lawn dandelions. This stuff would grow eight or ten inches tall and it would be cut and packed in liberally papered (newspaper) strawberry boxes – the old fashioned kind with the lid on hinges. After it was cut it would be brought into the market house and the boxes would be dipped into a tub of water until they were full, Then they were hauled up out of the water and left on the edge of the tub so the water could drain back into the tub. This was to keep the dandelions “fresh” but actually, I think, it was to soak the paper so the buyer would think he was getting a good heavy package and he was. The package and packaging were heavy. Just the product inside was not. This dandelion was sown in August. We usually had fifteen to eighteen 6 x 150 foot beds. After the beds were tilled, raked and drilled in rows about seven inches apart Dad would sow with the long handled seed drill and I would tamp the seed in and then it would be raked lightly to cover. After that all it needed was water until after the first few heavy frosts. Then the lousy work started. It had to be raked with iron rakes to pull as much of the old foliage off as possible. Those leaves did not want to part with the roots. It was pull and haul, rip and tear. The idea was to get as much of the old tough foliage off so when it was cut in the spring there was all tender young growth. After this was done sash was carried on to the frames and then watched to see when the dandelion would be ready to cut. The down side of dandelion was the roots stayed in the soil for years. After tilling each broken part of root segment would send forth it's own rosette of leaves to grow, hopefully, forever.

    We saved our own dandelion seed. This meant walking through our two rows of dandelion with a paper bag (three or four times a day) and picking any dandelion puffs before they blew away. One year BJ decided he wanted to grow dandelion in Virginia but needed 100 pounds of seed. He asked if Dad could supply it. Dad sowed a larger field. Twenty-five or thirty rows. Helena, Mom and I picked and picked. Dad and others also picked but Helena and I were the primary pickers. I do remember one night there was a full moon and we had returned from a family visit. Dad saw dandelion puffs in the lawn and decided “times a-wastin'”. He got us down to those dandelions with bags and the four of us picked. It was a nice family memory.
    The dandelion seed was cleaned and the silk blown away. It was run through a sieve to let the seeds drop and keep the little pod-like thing that the seeds are attached to out of the clean seeds.
    We had a stainless steel tub (same one we dipped the crates in to fill with water) six or seven feet by three feet by three feet and this was filled to the top with dandelion seed.

    During the summer the crops were more varied. Lettuce was raised in the fields but this was cut and gone before the heat of the summer was bad. I recall Helena and I waking down the farm road' with crops on each side and picking or pulling whichever vegetable appealed to us. We loved romaine lettuce but would discard the outer leaves and as we walked like Hansel and Gretel we would leave our trail to follow home, but our trail was lettuce leaves not bread crumbs. Grandpa used to raise celery but when it started to be shipped from California the price dropped. I can remember growing it when I was smaller and even cultivating it with the horse, but in later years it was not grown. There were tomatoes (always in one of the fields closest to the woods and farthest from the farmyard.) Carrots, beets, Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard, radishes (which were either sowed in rows two or three inches apart or sowed broadcast),flat and curly leaf parsley which was sowed in rows eight inches apart then one row was skipped so there were double rows of parsley spaced in the field. This was done to facilitate cutting and bunching because it would regrow and be cut and bunched again. There was also spring bunching onions grown from sets. The sets used to be laid out in the highest barn loft to dry and store before planting out in early spring. There was dill (bunched when six to eight inches tall or left to make seed flowers and bunched then for pickling. Mom's mother would make dill pickles and several gallon jars were sent to the farm to share. One year Dad grew basil. He had some short frames over toward Rowe's farm and there was a square of field about thirty by thirty between the frames and the shed. I loved that little field of basil. It smelled so good just walking past it and when we bunched and packed it really was a great treat. Cabbage, white, red, savoy and kohl rabi were other crops. Another thing was peppers. For more than one year Dad raised pimento peppers because I remember Mom pickling them. I also remember sour grass (sorrel). That was raised when I was really small and later not grown anymore. For the animals (horses, pigs, chickens) there was field corn and a field of timothy hay for the horses. These were also in the farthest fields down – near the woods. The hay was cut twice in the summer, raked and turned to dry. Then it was stored in the lower loft, right above the stable. As it was put in the barn salt was strewn on it. When we had a cow grandpa grew some cow beets and I can remember chopping one or two every night to feed her. The cow beets were stored in a pit for winter use.
    TheSavage's Avatar
    TheSavage Posts: 564, Reputation: 96
    Senior Member

    Apr 9, 2007, 02:48 AM
    There were other crops that were in the ground for winter sales. Leeks (in the fields for sale before the ground froze and at least thirty cold frames – 150 feet long for winter sales), turnips, parsnips, collards, kale, oyster plant (salsify), knob celery (celeriac) plenty of knob celery. In the fall that would be pulled, the leaves cut off about a inch above the knob and then buried in pits that were about two to two and one half feet wide, one foot deep and 100 or so feet long. The knobs were dumped into the pit, mounded up slightly and a light thatching of salt hay was applied. Then they were covered with some of the dirt removed from the pit. About every eight to ten feet a salt hay chimney was stuck up through the dirt cover to prevent condensation from building up in the pit. I can remember years when the ground was so frozen that the celery knobs were removed from the pit and the dirt “roof” remained in place. Another winter crop was field salad. We grew about ten cold frames of that. It was sowed like dandelion – Dad sowing, me tamping and raking the seed in. It was watered and the glass put on immediately. That was cut and packed, like dandelion, in liberally papered boxes. In this case, grape boxes (small not very deep crates). The field salad weighed absolutely nothing. We would cut a row, put half the row in the box, down the center lenghtwise and then another half row on each side, on top keeping the roots turned a little toward the outside of the box so no dirt would sift down onto the bottom greens. The paper was folded over the top – two lath were nailed on to hold it and then it was given the water treatment same as dandelion.

    There were always one or two rows of leeks raised for seed. Dad would go through the beds of leeks and pick the ones with a good size that had the best blue color. He would dig these and plant them under an irrigation pipe. All our irrigation was inch pipe on three foot risers. As the leeks grew and bolted to seed the seed stalk would be tied to the pipe so it would not accidentally be blown over or otherwise knocked into the dirt. The bees loved the leek blooms and after they had pollinated them and the seed balls were ripe they would be cut and the seed cleaned and harvested.

    We always had a row of strawberries for our use and rhubarb, too. Grandma made pies with the rhubarb and also served it stewed.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions


Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.

Check out some similar questions!

I need to plant in direct sun under a window [ 2 Answers ]

What is a good plant to plant in the south west corner of a home under a window

Respiration of plants [ 3 Answers ]

How does temperature affect the rate of respiration in a plant?

Cucumber plants [ 1 Answers ]

I planted cucumber plants a week ago and now the leaves are turning white. Is this normal?

Plants [ 1 Answers ]

Why have flowering plants been so successful in surviving in a variety of habitats?

View more questions Search