Surprise parsnips

My mum and I made a trip up to plot 31 today despite it being freezing. I wanted to tidy up and get rid of some of the old crap that was left by the previous plot holder. We bundled some of the old pots, broken wood and holey netting into the car and headed off to the local recycling and waste centre.
Back at the allotment I made a start on digging over some of the beds on the newer half. I made a start on this last summer, clearing about half of it of weed and planted some squashes and corn to fill the space and smother the ground. I have been dreading weeding the top half, it has every weed problem you could think of: couch grass, bindweed, horsetail, creeping buttercup – you name it, we have it…and because it hasn’t been worked for 3 years the weeds have had a field day. I managed to hoe 2 beds and dig over one of them. Absolutely backbreaking.

Beaten by the creeping buttercup and the dark clouds over head we decided we decided to call it a day, but before heading home I wanted to take some of the leeks I had overwintered. The leeks have done really well and still have 2 rows left. Whilst digging them up I noticed the top of  a parsnip peeping out next the the row of leeks. I had sown and harvested a row of parsnips on the other side of the onions but had completely forgot about this row I had squeezed in here. They are huge. The smallest were about the size of a supermarket carrot. However, I found 3 monsters – here is one of them.
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Unfortunately, the canker has got to a few of them, indicated by rusty orange patches on the skin invading into the root and turning the flesh into an orange mush. However, the rest were fine so I dug up the row, picked the non diseased ones and sent them off to family alongside some leeks.

 

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