This page is an open source resource guide for parsnips. It is for growing and maintaining the most bio-diverse, delicious, and broadly applicable parsnip selection possible. It contains cultural considerations, planting guidelines, descriptions, and the best places we’ve found for purchasing the species we’ve listed. As part of the One Community Highest Good food component of global transformation, this page will continue to evolve indefinitely to contain maintenance and care tips, accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model, and even recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property.
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Parsnips (Pastinaca sativa)
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Parsnips are a root crop similar in shape to carrots, but with a very different flavor. They are tender, sweet and have a slightly nutty flavor, and are a great source of potassium, vitamin C, niacin and dietary fiber. Parsnips are eaten cooked, and can be pickled, canned, or dried. They store well in a root cellar or in ground under mulch.
- Parsnips are heavy users of calcium
- The plants grow best in deep sandy soils
- Parsnips germinate best in moist conditions
- Excessive nitrogen is detrimental, causing hairy roots
- Parsnips are best sown thickly, then thinned after germination
Parsnip seed is much larger than carrot seed, and can be handled individually. Plant the seeds in groups of 2-3 every 3-6 inches; thin after emergence to the strongest seedling. After stand is established, mulch to conserve soil moisture and to provide extra organic matter. Parsnips require a growing season of 16 weeks, but can be left in the ground until a few frosts have occurred; this sweetens the roots. If overwintering in the ground, mulch heavily before ground freezes.
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Wikipedia – Parsnips
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GPa#1 :: Andover Parsnip
Andover is a parsnip with vigorous tops, a slim-tapered smooth and firm root, raised crowns, and rounded shoulders. It has a very sweet taste, and is best fried, boiled, or creamed. This variety develops a long yellow root that looks like a carrot, and stores up to 4-6 months. Andover is canker resistant and matures in 120-130 days.
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GPa#2 :: Cobham Improved Marrow Parsnip
Cobham Improved Marrow parsnips have a medium sized refined tapered shape with smooth skin and a fine flavor. They are high in sugars with roots growing to 8 inches. This variety grows as abiennial like other parsnips and is resistant to canker. Cobham Improved Marrow holds well for a late harvest and grows best over the course of two years.
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GPa#3 :: Guernsey Parsnip
Guernsey (or Guernsey Half Long) is a heritage variety which originated in France before 1826. It has been cultivated for generations in Guernsey where it’s considered a nutritious root by farmers, superior to potatoes and carrots. This parsnip is easy to grow and shorter than many of today’s long hybrids. It has a full-flavored sweet taste and broad shoulders, with smooth, white skin. Guernsey parsnips can be braised, roasted, or raw.
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GPa#4 :: Halblange Parsnip
Halblange is a traditional German variety parsnip which has long been a winter staple in Northern Europe. It is a half-long aromatic, white root of amazing quality that grows to 4 inches at the shoulder and 10 inches long. It is also known as Halblange Wiesse, which is German for, “half long white.” This parsnip has a nutty flavor with a hint of carroty sweetness. It is great as a stock vegetable, mashed, fried, baked, or fresh. Halblange is frost hardy and grows well in harsh soils.
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GPa#5 :: Harris Early Parsnip
Harris Early is known as a standard for other parsnips. It has a sweet, nutty flavor, heavy 3½ inch shoulders,12 inch long tapered white roots, and smooth, fine-grained skin. This variety is also core-free and has white tender flesh, with little side shoots, and is easy to harvest. Harris Early parsnip matures in 95 days.
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GPa#6 :: Hollow Crown Parsnip
Hollow Crown, a parsnip popular in the 1820’s, has a mild, white fine-grained flesh with long roots. It has a sweet, nutty flavor after frost and contains no side shoots. The roots of this variety are generally 10-15 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. Holly Crown matures in 95 days in most cases.
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GPa#7 :: Kral Russian Parsnip
Kral Russian is a rare, unique heirloom Russian parsnip, with a beet-shaped root. The bulbous root makes it easier to harvest because it can be pulled out of the ground by hand. This variety has smooth, off-white skin and a sweet flavor, and is cold hardy and tolerant in heavy soils. Kral Russian’s original seed was given to the Seed Ambassadors Project in 2007 by Heritage Seed Library in Ryton, England.
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GPa#8 :: Tender and True Parsnip
Tender and True is an old variety with long white roots and sweet flesh that is almost coreless. It has a strong flavor, broad shoulders, and long 10-12 inch tapering roots with good resistance to canker. This variety grows attractively straight in stone free soil and matures at various times.
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GPa#9 :: The Student Parsnip
The Student is a classic parsnip dating back to the 1800’s. Still popular today, this off-white variety has a creamy flesh with a mild and pleasant flavor. It produces long broad-shouldered tapering parsnips with a smooth skin and narrow core. The Student has a good resistance to canker.
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GPa#10 :: Turga Parsnip
Turga is a vigorous and productive parsnip with a sweet, crisp, nutty taste and smooth, snow-white skin. This variety has short, extra wide roots with minimal tapering and no forking. It grows well in heavy, clay soils reaching 5-7 inches in height and matures in 100-110 days.
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GPa#11 :: White Spear Parsnip
White Spear is one of the most productive parsnips; reaching up to 36 inches if left in the ground. This variety has a solid white color, a uniform shape, and shallow lenticels. Its tapered white roots have hefty shoulders and refined, smooth skin. It has a wonderful flavor and is best roasted or in winter casseroles. Late crops of this parsnip will perform well if they are sown in the spring or late summer, maturing in 120 days.
We will also be growing the following additional parsnips:
Parsnips (Pastinaca sativa) :: GPa#12 -GPa#13
12. Kingship 13. Offenham
Parsnip Plant Material/Seed Providers:
Parsnip Purchase Details
|REF # ||VEGETABLES ||VARIETY ||SOURCE ||QUANTITY ||UNIT COST ||TOTAL COST |
|GPa#1 ||Parsnip ||Andover ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#2 ||Parsnip ||Cobham Improved Marrow ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#3 ||Parsnip ||Guernsey ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#4 ||Parsnip ||Halblange ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#5 ||Parsnip ||Harris Early ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#6 ||Parsnip ||Hollow Crown ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#7 ||Parsnip ||Kral Russian ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#8 ||Parsnip ||Tender and True ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#9 ||Parsnip ||The Student ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#10 ||Parsnip ||Turga ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#11 ||Parsnip ||White Spear ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#12 ||Parsnip ||Kingship ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
|GPa#13 ||Parsnip ||Offenham ||SSE ||5pkt. ||$4 ||$20 |
OTHER PARSNIP RESOURCES
We are seeking awesome parsnip resources. If you know of one, please click here to share it with us so we can make this page better.
PARSNIPS AS PART OF THE BOTANICAL GARDEN MODEL
This section will evolve to include accessioning and plant breeding and sharing information as part of the One Community open source botanical garden model.
PARSNIP PREPARATION, PRESERVATION, AND RECIPES
This section will evolve to include testimonials, recipe’s, preparations, and preservation methods used on the property first, and then later with additional information from other Highest Good collaborators and teacher/demonstration hubs.
Spicy Parsnip Soup
Recipe courtesy of: Recipes for a Normal Mum
|Total Time: 1 hour |
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 40 min
|Yield: 4-6 servings |
- 4 huge parsnips (about 16 average size parsnips from the supermarket)
- 2 red or white onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- lots of boiling water
- 1 tbsp bouillon powder or a veggie stock cube
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Heat the oil and salt in a large saucepan on a medium heat (use a stock pot to be on the safe side).
- Add the onion and stir with a wooden spoon.
- Peel and chop the parsnip into pieces about 2 inches long. Throw into the pan with the onion and stir.
- Turn the heat up and add the ginger and cumin (add any spices you have here – curry powder, ground coriander, etc.).
- Fry until the parsnips are starting to brown.
- Add boiling water until it just covers the parsnips.
- Then add the Bouillon powder. Cover the pan and leave to simmer until the parsnips are tender.
- Once cooked use a handheld blender (or free standing one actually but handheld is the preference at Camp Bell to reduce washing up) to whizz up until smooth.
- Add more water if it resembles purée too much. Lastly, add the lemon juice. It seems to work rather well, cutting through the texture of the parsnips.
Serve with warm, crusty bread or naan (this freezes really well).
Recipe courtesy of: Mason Dixon Kitchen
|Total Time: 50 min |
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min
|Yield: 4-6 servings |
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter or oil of your choice
- 2 pounds parsnips, washed, peeled, and sliced into approximate one-inch pieces
- Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons Poppy seeds
- 1 tablespoon smoked Paprika
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Prepare parsnips by washing, peeling, and then chopping.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter or oil. Keep an eye on it, and once the butter starts to brown immediately add parsnips. Add in salt and pepper and stir.
- Then add in Poppy seeds and cook until parsnips are mostly cooked through, or caramel-colored in spots (about ten to eleven minutes).
- Mix in smoked paprika and stir. Turn up the heat and immediately pour in vinegar. It will cook off very quickly. Continue cooking parsnips for an additional three minutes, or until parsnips are cooked through and tender with a slight bite. Check seasonings – you may need to add more salt. Enjoy right away!
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