Remembering the Roots: How to Grow Salsify and Scorzonera?

By: organicfarmingblog , 12:00 PM GMT on March 29, 2013

Salsify and Scorzonera Remembering the Roots: How to Grow Salsify and Scorzonera?
Do you know that there are vegetables that are not that pretty externally but have a lot of potentials in the kitchen? And do you know that their secrets lie on their roots? We are talking about root vegetables.

It is important for an organic farm to rediscover these root vegetables. If they manage to re-learn the value of these magnificent plants, their organic farm will surely benefit. One good advantage that will attract buyers are their great culinary possibilities.

Now, this article will tackle about two important root vegetables: Salsify and Scorzonera.

These root vegetables are very ideal in the kitchen because their young leaves are palatable. Aside from this, their flower stalks are easy to blanch and serve just like an asparagus. Nonetheless, though these parts are very helpful, the roots are the most precious.

Salsify delivers pale-skinned roots, while scorzonera produces roots like frightened brown carrot (that’s without taper). Both roots can natively be found in Europe. However, they are vastly cultivated in the United States of America, especially in the 18th century–although these are commonly absent in seed catalogs nowadays. Today, they are commonly bought in Europe during fall and winter.

For organic farmers, it is very important to know more about these root vegetables in order to maximize their potentials. They should know even their scientific origins. Salsify is scientifically known as tragopogon porrifolius while scorzonera is  scorzonera hispanica. They are members of the family of asteraceae–flat leaves are their common denominator.

Scorzonera, in particular has a pleasant flavor which resembles that of artichoke heart. If you will come across an old cook book, you will definitely encounter this root vegetable in the recipe. Most commonly, these vegetables are buttered, stewed, scalloped or grated.

On the other hand, salsify is known for its oyster tasting. Because of this, some people call this oyster plant. This vegetable had also become popular because of Thomas Jefferson. He used to grow some salsify at Monticello.

The best thing about these root vegetables is that anyone can easily grow from their seed.


Now, these are the ways to grow salsify or scorzonera:

1. The ideal soil for these root vegetables is that moderately rich and on the sandy part.

2. If you have poor soil, make sure that you amend it with well composted leaf mold or manure. (9 inches)

3. During the spring, sow them in the farm.

4. Make sure to place the seedlings 4 inches apart from each other.

5. In order to protect them from weed, put mulch between rows.

6. In October, when the plants have completed their growth, use a fork to lift up the roots.

7. You should dig them with care because their roots are delicate.


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