Most of us are now starting to call an end to our growing season. Some of our summer veg is dying back while other items may be succumbing to mildews or late season blights. For some of us we are thinking of season extending crops.
One of my favorite veggies to grow this time of year has to be Turnip. I remember vehemently turning my nose up to turnip as a child. As an adult I savor the taste of this easy to grow vegetable.
Turnips are quite hardy and will survive a moderate frost. They like a fertile, well drained soil. I grow mine in a raised bed filled with a mix of peat moss, compost and manure. The plants grow quite easily and require very little care. I like to harvest Turnips on the smallish side when they are no more then 2 inches across. I sow them approximately 2 inches apart as well at about a 1/4 – 1/2 an inch deep in rows 12 inches or so apart.
Young radish sized turnips are ready in about 30 days. I wait a little longer, possibly 35-40 days. Plants are normally fully mature at 50 days. Turnips are not meant for long term storage so eat them fresh or keep for a maximum of 2 weeks in a refrigerator.
When cooking these delectable little veggies I keep it simple. I quarter them, toss them in a little olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and roast them until golden brown. I normally set the oven at about 375° and start checking them in 25 minutes or so. I eat them just like this or toss them into a warm veggie salad. As an added bonus the slightly bitter greens are edible and are a nice addition to salads.
The Hakurei Turnip is my favorite to grow, producing consistently delicious produce.