Mansfield, Missouri -- Hey, Turnip-head!

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I have, for years, endured the row of turnips. I recommended they be considered a good plow-down for our heavy, clay soils, if they even germinated. The ones I had tried tasted like cabbage cores. As long as we had peanut butter and celery, someone else could have the turnips. Turnips, new onions and new pototoes  Turnips are tasty with new potatoes & onions; pretty with the impatienx.  Just as yummy and nearly as pretty as Bob Sharpe's  Tomatoes-Part 2   It looks like Bob is setting up for some fried green tomatoes.

This year, we had turnips germinate like you wouldn't believe! They pushed their little purple tops right out of the ground. (in the past, the turnips and carrots loved to keep a strong root grasp, leaving me with a handful of tops.) I gave up and cooked some of them.

Then some more of them. We found we really liked turnips, new potatoes, carrots and onions with a little bacon. Potatoes and turnips made 'potato salad'. Turnips can be grated for a pungent slaw. When canned, using the directions for beets, they retain a crispy texture not unlike water chestnuts.

This week, we're going to be nutsy enough to try our first fall garden and plant some more. Growing guides say not to let them get too mature in the fall. I don't think that will be a problem.

Not everyone has a garden plot. Raised beds are a good thing; borders can produce green and food. Salad in a window box and other balcony or patio containers are a city option. I haven't tried turnips in a container, but have done potatoes. This year, we have put the rhubarb starts in a big tub. Smaller containers are supporting tomatillos, tomatoes, zucchini. There are pumpkins in my borders, watermelons and cucumber volunteers in my patio impatiens. I am testing a tomato in a gallon milk jug. And a few pots of very late tomatoes which I can keep close to the house when the weather cools off. Tomatos are so determined. I have some that I forget and with a bit of water, they just come back.

An invigorating facet of being green is growing a food producing plant where you can. Plants are made to serve at all levels, esthetic and temporal.

A year of rain and growing has made the Ozarks a lush, garden spot this season.  We were late getting the tomatoes and other plants into the first garden, but they are vigorous. My friends at Estrada's Mexican Restaurant are glad to know we can grow tomatillos here.  I've never tried a fall garden before, so am eager to get that going.  With my garden blog:  The Legacy Gardens  with the pictures and content on the rest of the site, I am now driven to try new things and keep track of what happens, then write about it.

Comments (4)


OH! Turnips...I could wax poetic. 

I hope you put some more photos up on this...and talk about how turnips play an important  part in community gardens and a sustainable community...I'm REALLY looking forward to a recipe, too.

Jul 28, 2007 03:32 AM
JudyAnn Lorenz
Bar JD Communications - Mansfield, MO
Virtual Marketing Consultant

Oh, boy watch out.  I wasn't sure if this was an appropriate topic, except to promote the area as a place to grow things. 

I have done some growing in high desert too -- that is very difficult.  the climate is why I have worms.

Jul 29, 2007 12:24 AM
David Helm
Helm Home Inspections - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp
Judy, As a kid, with a grandfather with a 175 acre vegetable farm, I always had good fresh vegetables to eat.  I loved everything, except turnips.  It turns out that maybe turnips require a more mature pallet.  Today I love them, both on there own, and as a background flavoring for stews.
Jul 30, 2007 05:42 AM
JudyAnn Lorenz
Bar JD Communications - Mansfield, MO
Virtual Marketing Consultant
I think that comes under acquired taste.  Someone told us to cook them with a little bacon and a side of cornbread. That cornbread made anything work.  We liked adding new potatoe and onions.
Jul 30, 2007 02:36 PM