Sunday, October 20, 2019


October 20th, 2019

Turnips for supper
(or Rutabaga if you must...)

I love their sweetness!

One year, when we were still farming 

and into planting vegetables,

as well as harvesting fruit,

we planted seven miles of rutabagas...

up one row and down another,

up another, and down the next

until we had completed seven miles of turnips.

We got a good price for them, too!

It was late in the season when we planted them,

probably  the end of July,

and we harvested them with the first frost.

Some in the family don't like turnips,

but I love them.

Somewhere I have a picture of Charles

cutting and tailoring the Rutabaga for market

to lend a bit of elegance to this homey vegetable

(I think perhaps it was on the movie camera  -

I seem to remember his movements, his grin,

and Candy, our favourite dog, coming to see

what he might be doing)

I ran across this little poem tonight,. by Laura Grace Weldon

who I think might have had the same fondness for 

rutabagas as I had, and that I encouraged amongst the children

although there are still some whose face goes

all funny when you mention 'turnips'


 "you darken as my knife slices
blushing at what you become
I save your thick leaves,
your purple skin
to feed the cows.

A peasant guest at any meal
you agree to hide in fragrant stew
or gleam nakedly
in butter and chives

Though your seeds are tiny
you grow with fierce will
grateful for poor soil and dry days,
heave up from the ground
under sheltering stalks
and wait to sweeten with the frost.

Tonight we take you into our bodies
as if we do you a favor,
letting your molecules
become as higher being,
one that knows music and art.

But you share with us
what makes you a rutabaga.
Through you we eat sunlight,
taste the soil's clamoring mysteries,
gain your seed's perfect might."

There is enough left for supper tomorrow night..

mashed, and maybe heated with a

little butter and brown sugar.


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

They are called "swedes" here, which comes from Swedish turnips. They were introduced here when white turnip crops were badly affected by some disease or other. I like them very much - though perhaps not enough to break into verse about them.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Hildred, Rutabagas and Turnips are two different vegetable in our family. Turnips are round and white with purple. Rutabagas are light yellow. So it looks like that is what your turnips are... now I have to go and google both veggies! Whatever they’re called, , I’m hungry for thevyellowish ones now.

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