Arnold Swarzenegger-like Parsnips

Out of control Parsnips

In the past, I read that you should let your parsnips stay in the ground until after your first hard frost date.  Apparently the frost makes them sweeter.  In my case, I let them hang out until the first week in December, long past my first frost date.

As the end of my gardening season loomed in front me and knowing that  praying to the gardening divas  asking for yet one more day wasn’t going to work forever, I knew it was time to pull the parsnips. It was my first time to grow these babies, so every adventure with them was new.  (Kind of like first born children.)

As I struggled to pull out the parsnips, I felt like I was in an old  “I love Lucy” episode where the audience was laughing at me.  I groaned and winched and tugged and pulled and nearly fell on my butt.  What was wrong with me?  I go to the gym at least three times a week.  Was I lifting too little?  I am small but come’on, my efforts were down right pathetic. (Some would say comical.)

As I stood there near my parsnip patch,  I pondered what I was doing wrong.  I even tried to dig them out using my small trowel.  Nada.  Nothing.  Zippo.  Those parsnips were not coming out.  How could this be?  Aren’t parsnips just like carrots?

Carrots that look like Spiders

Then I thought perhaps the parsnips did the spider dance like my carrots?  Check out the above picture caused by my transplanting carrot seedlings.  Yes, a real conversation piece.

Finally exhausted from trying to pull out those darn plants, I went to my favorite Plan B.  The husband.  He loves to dig so I knew he would take on the challenge with “it’s a no sweat” attitude.

Well those parsnips gave him a run for his money. He took a regular shovel and dug to China he thought.  Finally, he came back into the house with 9 parsnips that looked like small trees.  When I asked him how deep he had to dig, he replied, “deep.”  Translated.  A lot of work.  He broke the side of the 3 by 3 raised bed which I was never particular fond of trying to get the ones close to the side out.

Out of Control Parsnips

I couldn’t help myself and took this picture of one of the parsnips. Doesn’t it look like the bottom of a woman?  I started to hum the song, “These Boots Are Made for Walking” by Nancy Sinatra. (Don’t remember the song or want to reminisce, see here.)  I know. I have my moments especially late at night when everything seems funny.

I was laughing so hard as I  looked around for something that would look like little boots to put on the bottom of the parsnips.  Now, if I only had a girl who played with Barbies…  (One of those “you had to be there moments.”)

How many days did I keep the parsnips in the ground?  I figure about 140 days which is only about 30 days more than average growing time.  The parsnips are heirlooms but this can’t be the reason they look like Arnold Schwartze’nips. (Get it?)

So, readers, do you have any ideas why my parsnips look this this?

Have any good parsnip recipes?

Any ideas what to do with the greens?  Are they poisonous?

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