4.3.12 Spring-dug leeks, carrots and parsnips

We’ve begun to clear the beds in preparation for new planting, and pulled the last of the over-wintered leeks. These are of the King Seig variety, which proved true their reputation for hardiness and good storing capability. The parsnips were originally planted late, and these more resembled their lengthier cousin, parsley root. We also pulled a few test carrots, with the pointy Napoli to the left of the stubbier Red Core Chantenay. These were still immature by the end of last season and left in the ground, and resumed growing sometime between now and then. They hadn’t yet acquired a full carrot flavor, but the heady smell of freshly turned earth mingled with their bracing scent more than made up for that.

There was plenty of new growth sprouting from the root vegetables and, this being the time of year we most crave leafy greens, I gave into temptation and nibbled on a bit of a parsnip leaf to see if it had any flavor. I decided to look it up before proceeding any further and, as it turns out, found that one should avoid ingesting either carrot or parsnip tops. No harm done, but note to self: google before sampling the unfamiliar.

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10 Responses to 4.3.12 Spring-dug leeks, carrots and parsnips

  1. Good grief-narrow escape there! I’ll make sure I don’t ever do the same now myself…

    BTW do like the straightness of your parsnips. I’m always envious of people who can grow carrots and parsnips as we can’t here. The soil is quite shallow before it hits rock as we are at the top of a hill and they don’t like being grown in containers…

    • leduesorelle says:

      When I saw that the parsnip looked like parsley root, I wondered if the leaves tasted like parsley and took a bite before thinking… I was actually chewing on it while reading about it, that is, until I got to the part about it being toxic! I’m still a little disappointed that it isn’t edible.

      We have similar problems with our soil conditions, and these were grown in a raised bed, which gives us deeper soil to grow in. Really haven’t had much luck keeping things going in containers, but keep trying since it’s a great way to create more growing space…

  2. The leeks are gorgeous! Just beautiful. I appreciate the bit of information about carrot and parsnip tops; I had no idea. In fact, I bought a couple of servings of some stir-fry from the coop hot bar a year or two ago, made with carrot tops and their little tiny baby carrots. They were so stringy and unchewable that I didn’t eat them anyway. I guess it was somebody’s impromptu idea to use them whole. I’m glad I didn’t chew on toward a tummy ache. Happy Spring! (not grumpy anymore…)

    • leduesorelle says:

      Thanks, Eleanor! There’s conflicting thoughts on toxicity of carrot and parsnip tops but that article convinced me to avoid eating them. It alarms me how much I see things made from carrot tops appearing on menus… and, you’re right, they don’t even taste good!

      Yes, with the weather coming back down to seasonal temps, it feels like we can finally get on with enjoying spring!

  3. maryhysong says:

    really nice looking leeks! I keep trying ;-) maybe this year…

  4. Liz says:

    Lovely photo. Must remember about not eating carrot tops – I’m sure I’ve seen the kids with them in their mouths…

    • leduesorelle says:

      It was nice to have some actual harvest to photograph again! I suspect the greens aren’t as harmful when young and eaten in small quantities, but still, best to be on the safe side…

  5. Norma Chang says:

    Your root crop is so beautiful. Some of my parsnip grew straight, but many did not and that’s because I did not dig the entire bed deeply and did not take the time to remove the stones, will not be lazy this year.

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