We are never very good at growing parsnips, but we have been getting better in recent years. With our allotment getting flooded six times this year we were not hopeful of success with our root crops. When the seedling carrots, beetroots and parsnips were just a centimetre or so tall and very delicate they found themselves underwater. When the water drained away the little seedlings just shrugged the experience off and carried on growing. The season carried on with the crops periodically under water. Imagine our surprise when we began harvesting healthy young roots of carrot and beetroot. Once frost had sweetened the parsnips and celeriac we began harvesting them too. By Christmas they were most impressive! I included my secateurs in the pictures to give an idea of scale.
We haven’t used excessive amounts of fertiliser to get them to this size just simple organic gardening techniques. Lots of manure dug into the ground, deep mulches of garden compost and feeding with comfrey feed made from our own comfrey plants. Not root crops these but they did delight and surprise us with their size and flavour. Elephant Garlic is not garlic at all but more closely related to leeks. We eat them roasted when they taste of sweet, delicate garlic.
Now we definitely have something to live up to next year. Perhaps the weather will be nearer normal next year and we might even avoid the floods. Mind you of course, the crops above might have excelled because of the floods rather than in spite of them.