Wednesday, 29 July 2009

snowball turnip, harvesting, food

Today I harvested my first, sweet, peppery Snowball Turnip. Doesn't it look cute? You can see why it was so imaginatively named, can't you? A globe varying in size between a golf ball and a tennis ball, white, and ball shaped. Yes, you can see the struggle they had to name it!

Look at all that greenery to produce such a small ball of flavour. The beds that David has built me are full of greenery now, and much of it is of these little treasures. They are a quick crop, and so verdant that they help to suppress the weeds which would otherwise try to muscle in on the act.

These little gems are delicious in salads, if finely sliced, or, of course, you can cook them in the way you would any root vegetable. But don't over-cook them. They are largely comprised of water, so don't boil them until they are positively soggy.
Try steaming them lightly to retain some of the crispness, then just drizzle with a little cold-pressed oil. Balsamic vinegar, just a little, also works well, as they are quite sweet, and there's that lovely contrast of colours.
It's so wonderful, the pleasure I get from the first harvesting of a particular vegetable or fruit. The novelty of that fist taste of the year of MY organic produce.
I'm so lucky that I had a mum who grew up in a village in a small house with a huge garden, where her father grew vegetables. As I was growing up we always had a small compost heap, and some sort of vegetable growing. Thanks to her, I think of it as natural to grow my own. From my very first house back in 1975 I have always grown something. I'll never be self-sufficient, but I can't imagine a day when I don't grow some sort of food.

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