Organic Parsnip: Tender and True. Pastinaca sativa ssp Sativa.
This variety has large roots that really do stay lovely and tender. They stay in the ground well and also are good for storing. This was my go-to parsnip for the veg box scheme, really reliable and great tasting.
How to grow:
Use fresh seed is important. Sow thinly direct in rich, (but not fertilised with farmyard manure), soil in rows about 30 cms apart from April to May. Less stones will allow straighter roots.
Keep slugs off when young. Parsnips can get canker, a fungal disease in the root giving brown patches. You can rogue any out as the growing season progresses as it often affects the crown which you can often see, this keeps it at bay a bit, and when cooking just cut those bits out.
Favourite ways to eat them:
Roasted in honey is hard to beat or in carrot and parsnip mash. Added to stews, curries, soups and casseroles, they’re very versitile.
Native to Eurasia it was used as a source of sugar before cane and sugar beet became available.
Avg contents: 2.5g (~500 seeds).