Hakurei Turnips


I never really loved turnips until we started growing these perfect white miniature globes (and I know why big grocery store turnips are used as animal feed in UK). But these baby Japanese turnips are excellent! Here is Martin with a bumper crop (below). Turnips are in the cabbage family, although they don't really resemble other brassicas in taste. The origins of this crop extend beyond the roman empire, even before the Etruscan Empire -- probably around 15 BC. A Greek poet wrote of his lover in terms of this vegetable (Sappho writes of his sweet "turnip") --  one can only wonder why. The Romans ate many turnips and later in India, the seed was used as a valuable oil crop ("shalgam" in Hindi). Pliny the Elder, in his writings, spoke of the turnip as being almost as valuable as grains or beans. We know that two important cousins were first cultivated in the far east: radishes and mustards -- but the mystery of where turnips first began its their distribution is somewhat of a mystery. I love these sorts of things!