Parsnips & Turnips

Wild forms of turnip were found cultivated in Asia 4000 years ago. Both the Greek and Romans thought highly of this vegetable. Was used as a popular livestock food for over 600 years in Europe. Very poor history records were ever kept of this health giving vegetable variety. When introduced by settlers to the N. A. continent, was considered as a “poor man’s” food. Obviously the “poor man” ate better than his “rich man” counterparts!

“A Rutabaga was called a Swede or Yellow Turnip, until 1967 when its name was changed to avoid confusion with the turnip. Rutabagas are larger, yellow fleshed with a purple top and are usually waxed for winter storage. A turnip is a smaller cousin of the rutabaga.”

Grows well in nutritional deficient soils, where other varieties would be struggling. Resistant to frost and mild freezing. Their roots keep well into winter if air and coolness is offered. Roots are high in Vit. C. Their greens are a great source of Vit. A, Vit. C, Vit. K, calcium and lutein (carotenoids).

Will remain online for educational purposes. Operating on a “Hobby” basis.   

Occasionally we may have “extra” seed. Prices marked below. If nothing marked…then it is “N/A”.

  1. Parsnip Andover – Delicious cold-weather vegetable is one of the hardiest root crops. Delicate sweet nutty flavor complements any meal. Par-boil, steam, pan-glaze, scallop or mash. Soak for 24 hours to enhance germination. Keep the row moist till the seedlings break through. Rich dietary source of fiber, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, B, B-12, and Niacin. 70-90 days   
  2. Parsnip Cobham Marrow – Open pollinated. Outstanding large roots that can grow to 10″ long and more wider at the top than other tapering var. Because it develops later, its taste improves, due to increasing sugars that form due to cooler weather conditions. Skin is also smoother and taste is absolutely yummy! 120 days
  3. Parsnip Half Long Guernsey – ( aka Guernsey Half Long) Introduced into England in 1826. Shown to grow only half as long and more chubby like a Chantenay carrot. This making it ideal for heavier soils that refuse penetration of roots that grow beyond a full ft! Said to be an early variety that is also a good keeper.  Pkt…$3.00
  4. Parsnip Hollow Crown – a heavy yielder of tapered roots…12” long with broad shoulders. Sow as early as the ground can be worked. Fall frost improve the flavor. Maybe sown in late summer, for fall crops in areas where falls are long. A standard in this variety. A heirloom of 1820! 95 days   
  5. Parsnip Kral Russian An old variety from the USSR. The roots look much like the old “Turnip Rooted Parsnip” in Fearing Burr’s “Field and Garden Vegetables of America”. Because this white-skinned, rooted veggie is more turnip-shaped (oval) and tapered (see above). Excellent in shallow or heavy clay soils. Be prepared for more top showing. Rare 75-86 days   Pkt…$3.00
  6. Parsnip Short Thick – Unusual as these will not be as long as other standards and will taper suddenly from very thick shoulders. The thickest part of the root will be from 4 to 8″.
  7. Rutabaga Wilhelmsburger Gelbe Said to have originated from a gentleman, Wilhelmsburger Hartmann of Germany in 1935. Further sources found this one marketed commercially in areas of Northern Europe after that time. Large roots are generally white skinned, bearing green shoulders and yellow flesh. Depending where you live, this var. could be more insect resistant than other turnips.
  8. Turnip Boule D’or – (aka Jaune Boule D’or, aka Golden Ball) A heirloom grown and still maintained in northern France since pre-1865. Roots are more flattened than some others, having golden yellow skin and deep golden yellow flesh. Flavor is finer, sweeter and milder than most other white varieties…with some saying it reminds them more of rutabagas than actual turnips.       
  9. Turnip Early Flat White – (aka Navet Blanc Plat Hatif) (c/o BC seeds…as quoted by Vilmorin…”Root exceedingly flat, like a broad disk shape, four to five inches in its greatest diameter, flesh white, tender of good quality”) Couldn’t have said it better… Top parts are drenched in a beautiful green, gradually fading to white on their bottom half. Just love the shape of these! 
  10. Turnip Gilfeather A Vermont heirloom developed by John Gilfeather in the late1800’s. Its parentage is believed to have come from Germany. This turnip is shaped like a “top” with creamy white roots which are knobby. Excellent, when eaten raw. Likes cool weather. The white roots come with green shoulders and white flesh, which remains tender even when the roots are large. 78 days    
  11. Turnip Golden Globe – A turnip variety that offers light golden yellow flesh that is tasty, sweet and fine tasting. Medium sized roots are more roundish overall, unlike some others having a flattened shape. Plant in early spring for greens and nice roots for winter fare.   
  12. Turnip Navet des Vertus Marteau – an old fashioned French heirloom from the 1800’s, grown by market gardeners. This seed was imported especially for Mandy’s customers. Roots are tender, white, cylindrical…5-6” long and 2” wide, with mild, sweet flavor compared to most others. Prolonged hot weather makes turnips woody…so keep all of them moist and cool-rooted, by heavily mulching the soil surface. Love the name! 
  13. Turnip Petrowski – A lot of history can be found on this fine variety. According to Burpee’s vegetable catalog of 1916…”A most distinct variety of early maturity. The flattish roots average 2 1/2″ to 3″ in diameter and the skin is a rich, deep orange-yellow, very smooth and entirely free from small rootlets. The firm solid flesh is fine-grained, crisp, light orange-yellow and having a flavor…richer & sweeter than any of the white fleshed sorts.”  c/o..BC 
  14. Turnip Purple Top White Globe – Much in use before 1880’s…the traditional American turnip. Strains have been selected from the southern US. These are smooth, round, 3- 4” when mature with white below and bright purple above. The leaves are large, lobed and dark green. When grown organic they offer lots of antioxidants! 50 days
  15. Turnip Round Red An oriental favorite, producing tender perfectly round shaped roots with dusty rose skin and white flesh. Leaves are green with reddish stems.
  16. Turnip Scarlet Ohno – according to PG seeds, this variety has traveled here from Japan. All parts are edible and it is usually pickled. Beautiful roots are scarlet red skinned with a roundish flat form. Greens can vary from green to scarlet to almost purple in shading.   
  17. Turnip White Egg – a pre-1880’s heirloom. A smooth skinned white variety that bears mild sweet flesh and is easy to grow. Seen as one of the top selling turnip varieties at farmers markets in the US. Early.