SALSIFY or VEGETABLE OYSTER

The edible, cream-coloured roots of this vegetable are shaped like parsnips, but the flavour is more appetising. Note that as with carrots, parsnips and most root crops freshly-manured soil is best avoided, as it may cause the roots to fork. Sown in deeply worked soil in April and thin to about 10 in. Lift in late October and store in dry soil or in a cool shed. Alternatively, the plants can be allowed to remain in the ground being lifted as required (in cold, northern gardens do not leave in the ground). Where salsify is left over winter the flowering shoots which push through in spring can be used green when about 5 in. long or blanched like the summer growths of globe artichokes — see ARTICHOKE. They are then referred to as chards.

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