Seed Saving: Beginners
Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)
Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa): very ancient variety used instead of potatoes until the 1700s, it almost completely disappeared in the following century as it was cheaper to produce potatoes, however the nutritional properties of both varieties are not comparable. Parsnip has lots of fiber, up to 15%, it is rich in minerals, and low in calories. It also contains a large amount of inulin, which softens the root, is easily processed by the pancreas, and has prebiotic functions for the intestine.
It is sown from February to September, on loose ground or seedbeds. It is harvested from autumn to winter, it loves the frost which increases its taste and improves its consistency. It is a biennial plant, so to harvest the seeds you will have to wait until the spring following sowing. It is very similar to carrots but a bit sweeter. Grow it at home to rescue tradition and harvest an ancient solanine-free variety.