2 seasonal favourites for taste and sheer winteriness are celeriac and parsnip. The root veggies are, in January generally at their best. By this stage you would hope to have had a few hard frosts and this starts the transformation of the stored starch in these vegetables into sugar. Anybody who has tasted a parsnip after the first frost will attest to the enhanced flavour.
Celeriac is a slightly unusual, and not a very well known, vegetable but is one that really is worth trying if you haven’t had the pleasure yet. It is a relation of celery, if you don’t like celery you don’t need to worry as its taste is very different. I like to think of it as a cross between parsnip, turnip and celery.
It is always interesting to think that the vegetable we are harvesting now, in some cases started their journey this time last year. In fact the first celeriac seeds were planted towards the end of February 2009 and are still being harvested now a full year on. They do require a warm summer to really thrive and we haven’t really experienced this over the last 2 years. From September onwards the root begins to swell, and all things going well, you can be harvesting this root crop from November onwards. We only started putting them into the boxes in December due to the cold summer and the roots are a little on the small size but still delicious.
Celeriac has another unusual attribute; it is in fact an extremely ugly vegetable! It has large knobbly roots, and it really isn’t endearing to look at. All these knobbly bits need to be peeled off, but if you can get past this and you can find it, it is well worth a try. You will not find celeriac in your average supermarket, farmers markets are a good bet at this time of year. We have it on our stall in Oranmore and Moycullen. Alternatively we will be including it on and off in the boxes up until March.
Green Earth Organics is based on a family run farm in Corrandulla. We run a box scheme that delivers fresh organic produce all over the Galway area and we also have a stall at the Oranmore and Moycullen market. If you are interested you can get more information by contacting Jenny at [email protected] or phoning 091-793768.