When root vegetables were cultivated as much for livestock feed as human food, the parsnip was horse candy. Sweet, distinctive tasting, and nutritious, it had been standard garden fare in Europe since antiquity. When consumed by cows, as in the English channel islands, they gave richer milk in greater quantity than any other foot and butter noted for its piquant sweetness. When farmers fattened pigs or beeves for slaughter, they often fed the creatures on barrows of parsnips. For the table, parsnips evolved a variety of uses over the centuries. It was roasted, fried, stewed, pureed, mashed, and fermented into beer and wine. In the Catholic countries of southern Europe, the vegetable’s original home, it traditionally paired with salt fish. In England it gave rise to a lustrous winter soup.
Good source of energy boosting carbohydrates. High in vitamin C and potassium.
Spacing: 3” to 5”
Height: 12” to 14”
Optimum Soil Ph: 6.05 to 6.5
Days To Maturity: 95-110
Sowing Method: Outdoors
Sow in shallow furrow and cover with ¼” of sifted compost or light sand. Best fall planted, but can withstand cooler summers, germination can take up to 3 weeks. Careful weeding is important because of the long germination. Needs consistent watering and loose soil. Not happy when transplanted, best direct sown.