I planted them out in a raised bed in March. They looked so tiny, that I thought the slugs and snails would devour them overnight. As a precaution, I covered the surrounding soil with broken egg shells to deter the munching molluscs. Apart from watering them, they have just been left to get on with it. Nine months later and they are still there, uneaten by the bugs. So on Saturday we made a trip to the allotment to harvest them with Magoo.
Now I know people who are experts at growing vegetables will be horrified by my curly parsnips. On reflection, I think they should not have been grown in a raised bed. We didn't prepare the soil very well in our raised beds this year. I know that when root veg hit something hard like a stone, they grow away from it and end up twisted.
A few weeks ago I was watching Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's War on Waste. They highlighted the mountains of vegetables rejected by supermarkets because they aren't 'perfect'. In particular, they visited a farmer who grew parsnips. This particular Norfolk farm had to bin 20 tonnes of freshly dug parsnips because they were deemed 'wonky'.
I think if a supermarket buyer saw my parsnips, they would pass out. We've all been trained by the supermarkets to expect our veg to be free from mud and perfectly formed. Some of the things we grow on our allotment are pretty odd looking, but shouldn't it be more about what things taste like?
I haven't been put off growing parsnips. In fact, I will definitely be planting more next March. This time we will dig a deeper trench in the main beds of the allotment. This will give the parsnips a chance to grow bigger. I'm not bothered about the shape of them, but it would be nice to have some larger ones.
Having said all that, I am proud of my first crop of parsnips. We roasted them last Sunday and ate them with some slow cooked beef. And do you know what? They tasted bloomin' delicious.
This week I am linking up with these lovely blogs:
Country Kids over on the lovely Coombe Mill blog
Let Kids Be Kids over on letkidsbekids.co.uk
How Does Your Garden Grow? over on mammasaurus.co.uk