Exactly 135 days after these javelin parsnips (a hybrid known for its slender root, hardiness, and resistance to canker) were planted, they were harvested.
Sure, just a couple of days ago POD was pretty certain they’d kicked it. After all, it seemed as though it rained almost non-stop between mid-August and late-December, this was one of the chillier Philly falls in recent memory, temperatures well below freezing and last week’s two feet of snow couldn’t have helped matters, and by November/December, the little blue deck sees all of an hour of direct sunshine each day (when the sun shines). Disaster, right?
But then it rained for two days, the soil thawed, and Sunday dawned bright and sunny.
Rare and precious sunshine means puttering around outside. Outside means the little blue deck. While cleaning up, transporting pots into the basement, and basically closing up shop, I decided to dig into the parsnip pots. And guess what? Underneath the freeze-dried and dead, dead leaves were creamy white parsnips.
All told, the perimeters of three five-gallon buckets produced just over a 1/2 pound of parsnips. Not bad for the first foray into parsnip planting. Definitely a do-again for next year. After all, what could be more satisfying than roasting up freshly picked vegetables in December?
A few weeks ago, in a fit of Chicken Little-like panic, fall garden planning began. This is a first for POD — usually the containers get retired when the last of the straggling cucumbers make their way onto a salad and the herbs have been hacked down and transformed into indoor pets.
Not this year, though! POD has visions of making the Thanksgiving trek to Michigan with armfuls of parsnips, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and maybe even some last-gasp chard. (There’s no hope that the wee parmex carrots will amount to much, but hey, it’s worth a shot.)