Running a seasonal veg box system is like running a giant social research experiment. While everyone has their own preferences, we’ve slowly learnt some general patterns around what people like, and what they don’t like.What’s interesting are the veggies that people love… but have limited tolerance for.
In the winter of 2015, we learnt this lesson the hard way. We were still in the experimenting stage of our cropping and discovered that, while our carrots were floundering and forking, and our beetroots were rotting (we had a flood that year), the turnips we planted were jumping out of the ground, just asking to be harvested.
When we added turnips to the box, we got awesome feedback such as:
“We loved the turnips this week! It’s so lovely getting vegetables that match the season we’re in, and the turnip gave us a warm wintery feel”. -So, we thought “Great, people love Turnips”.
So off we went and sowed a whole area of turnips for the winter ahead. But within a few weeks, we started noticing a lot of customers had begun to exclude turnips from their box, and we began receiving a lot of feedback that our boxes were a bit too turnippy.
We’ve learnt a lot since then, and have put a lot of work into curating our boxes so that there is a good mix of conventional and unconventional veg.
We still want to push people out of their comfort zones and honour the veggies that grow well under organic methods in the Illawarra, within a given season. But we also know that food is a very personal thing, and having a balance is important.
But this week we’re celebrating the turnip! This White Japanese Turnip is our favourite to grow. It lacks some of the bitterness that people find distasteful in the classic purple-tops, but still has a creaminess that can thicken up that winter soup or stew.
Green Connect Farm Manager
What’s that in my box??
Turnips: As Cal mentioned above the Japanese turnips that we grow are small white turnips with a gentle mellow flavour and work great roasted whole or in quarters, added to stir-fries and in soups. The leafy tops are highly nutritious and contain a large number of antioxidants and are a great substitute for Kale or Spinach. Although slightly bitter when eaten raw, if you blanch them quickly in boiling salty water they are a lot milder and tastier.
Roasted turnip and white bean soup
1 bunch of turnips
1 Brown onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup white beans (cooked)
2 cup vegetable stock
1tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 190°C
Peel and chop turnips into same size pieces. Place it onto a lined baking sheet along with onion and garlic cloves. Drizzle everything with oil and season with salt and pepper.
Roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping the turnip halfway of cooking.
When turnip is done and nicely caramelized, remove it from the oven. Peel the garlic and add it into a blender cup together with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until super smooth.
Pour the soup into a pot and slowly bring to a boil. Taste for seasoning, adjust if needed and switch off the heat.
Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil, mixed seeds or croutons.
Recipe from http://www.slavicvegan.com/2020/02/29/roasted-turnip-and-white-bean-soup/#tasty-recipes-986