I’m almost finished harvesting my turnips. This was my first ever attempt at growing them, and I’m astonished at how easy they were to grow! It just amazes me that a tiny little seed can turn into something so big! I guess that’s why these were a staple food during so many times of famine.

Harvesting them is simple. When the tops of the turnips are about 3 inches across, just pull those babies right out of the ground. Bigger isn’t better- they tend to get a woody flavor when they stay in the ground for too long. The greens can be eaten also, though I don’t like turnip greens so my chickens get to enjoy that part.

We really don’t ever eat turnips. I don’t even think I’d ever eaten a turnip before last year when my neighbor gave us some from his garden. But I’ve been experimenting with our harvest, trying to find ways to cook them that my family enjoys. So far, Jerry likes them sliced and sautéed with onions. I made Amish Turnips the other night, and the kids liked those best.

I have a friend who cans them, and uses them like mashed potatoes. But I’d love to hear from any of you who have a favorite way of preparing turnips!

The first few turnips I tried cooking were terribly bitter. So I looked it up and learned a new trick to remove the bitterness.

Can you see the yellowish line about a quarter of an inch or so down from the surface of the skin? That’s the bitterness line. Peel the turnip just past that line, and the bitterness will be gone.

I’ve also heard that if you boil them with a chopped up potato that’ll take the bitterness away as well.

I plan on planting more of these in the Fall. What about you? Do you grow turnips, and do you have a favorite recipe or tip to share?