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October Rutabagas

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October Rutabagas

Post  llama momma on 10/26/2014, 6:46 pm

Over the past 4 years I have badly wanted yellow fleshed variety of rutabagas.  Due to my learning curve(mismanagement) all I had was a couple puny ones that barely made one serving.

I harvested these guys and got that thrill of growing something I love.  Here is a couple of funny shaped but much beloved rutabagas that were planted a little close together.  Can't wait to dig in.  Smile  And there is ten more in the ground.  Life is good.

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  brainchasm on 10/26/2014, 6:55 pm


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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  sanderson on 10/26/2014, 9:34 pm

LM, I have never eaten one, don't even know if I have seen one before. How to you prepare them and what other flavor are they akin to? Nothing better than growing something you actually love. Very Happy

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  brainchasm on 10/26/2014, 9:43 pm

Are those Laurentian? American Purple Top?

sanderson, here is the excerpt about Laurentian in my heirloom veggie book:

"Golden, chubby, sweet, and misunderstood, if ever a vegetable were in need of a public relations campaign, it is the rutabaga.  Food writer Elizabeth Schneider claims that if the rutabaga had been given a name such as 'golden globe' it would be hailed as the queen of the root crops. 'Laurentian' rutabaga is creamy, sweet, and multitalented; even the greens have a kalelike lusciousness.  Rutabagas are thought to be a cross between cabbage and turnips, and 'Laurentian' definitely gets its greens from the cabbage side of the family.
This rutabaga is a beautiful pale, golden globe, blushing reddish0purple where it pokes its shoulders above the ground.  Rich in beta-carotene and low in calories, it is an improved version of the old standard 'American Purple Top', developed in the early 20th century. 'Laurentian' is at home in dishes from pickles to pies."

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  llama momma on 10/26/2014, 9:54 pm

BrainC, mine are American purple top.

Sanderson, To me rutabagas taste quite earthy yet there is a sweetness to it.  The only way I have ever eaten it is peeled then cut into chunks and boiled along with a potato to keep the flavor calmed down. Then its mashed with the potato and butter until creamy.  It was served at every Thanksgiving since I was a child and no other time of the year.  I like the taste, the orange color, and the texture.  It's tasty and is a colorful side dish on the Thanksgiving Day table.
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Turan on 10/26/2014, 10:13 pm

Good job! 
I have tried to grow rutabagas 3 times now with little to show for it.  I get plants but no delicious golden globe with purple top.

Do you have any tips to share?  Did you have trouble with cabbage moths?

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  llama momma on 10/26/2014, 10:25 pm

Thanks turan.  I'm sorry you've had trouble.
The seeds went into a box with my compost in Mel's Mix in the top half of the box and crushed llama beans (manure) in the bottom half of the 1 ft tall bed.  There was also 6 squares of broccoli right next to the rutabagas.  Once the cabbage moths found it I sprayed BT twice and covered it with tulle.  Then the leaf development really took off.
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  sanderson on 10/27/2014, 1:25 am

LM, Earthy like a beet?

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  llama momma on 10/27/2014, 6:55 am

Well, earthy like a rutabaga!  Razz
Other root crops like beets, carrots, radishes are distinctly flavored too.
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Post  llama momma on 10/27/2014, 10:31 am

Sanderson
Let me add that I am so surprised this morning how the freshness enhanced the sweetness.  I boiled those two this morning with a potato, then added a tiny bit of salt probably not necessary, and some butter.  Had two cups of this for breakfast. Even  my senior aged cat ate her small serving too.

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a tutorial

Post  llama momma on 10/27/2014, 10:50 am

Just found this!  It discusses varieties, nutrition, and several ways to cook it.

http://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/health-benefits-of-rutabaga/
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  sanderson on 10/27/2014, 12:08 pm

Most interesting read. I may try it. My only concern is that I really can not handle/stomach beets (unless pickled). Turnips and parsnips, yes.

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  brainchasm on 10/27/2014, 12:17 pm

@sanderson wrote:Most interesting read.  I may try it.  My only concern is that I really can not handle/stomach beets (unless pickled).  Turnips and parsnips, yes.
Theory is that 'bagas are a turnip/cabbage hybrid, and unrelated to beets. Smile

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Turan on 10/27/2014, 12:36 pm

Interesting article!  It made me wonder if I would have better luck with a different variety.  So I went looking.....
Now I do not know if I have a long enough season to grow this but isn't it cool!  Naone Gialle Cabbage Turnip

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Turan on 10/27/2014, 1:26 pm

Sanderson, Go find one at the grocery store to try out before growing.  My DH is not fond of beets or turnips or parsnips but he loves rutabagas.  So I keep trying.

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  sanderson on 10/28/2014, 1:23 am

Turan, you read my mind Very Happy

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Denese on 10/30/2014, 9:06 pm

I've never mashed my rutabagas.  Might have to give that a try.  Sounds delish!  I usually just boil them gently with salt till tender, then drain, add butter, and eat. My mother cooks the roots and greens together, but I prefer mine cooked separate.  I cook the greens the same way I cook mustard, turnip greens, and collards.  I'm from Georgia originally, so I cook them with smoked pork hocks, till they're VERY tender.  Serve with cornbread, and pour on the "pot liquor" and hot sauce. Yummm!  I also include them in my pasties.

This is my first year to grow them, and I must say, I'm very happy with the results.  I planted 4 squares with 4 to a square.  A few are small, but most are good softball size. These will definitely be in my fall garden again next year.

They taste nothing like a beet, although I love beets, too, especially pickled.  I think they're really sweet.
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  llama momma on 10/31/2014, 12:09 am

Turan

The variety you mentioned earlier looks huge.  Interesting looking. Hope it works out for you!

Denese,

 I never ate the greens because I never saw a fresh one until I grew it myself. I threw the tops in the compost heap.  As a child, my Mother only had access to the  monster size ones with the tops already  cut off.  The ones from the supermarket were the diameter of a big coconut and coated in wax.  The rutabaga was so hard to cut that I remember my Father using the biggest knife in the house to hack the thing into pieces.  Then my Mother would boil it with a potato because the flavor was kind of sharp.   I'm very pleased the ones from my garden are softer and very sweet.
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Turan on 10/31/2014, 12:32 pm

Llama Momma, I am not sure I dare try it, my season is surely not long enough.  But the temptation is there, especially if I end up making an order at Baker seeds of their selection of 7 varieties, the largest selection I have found.  I have Joan rutabaga seeds here and they might be too long season for my area.  Maybe I should do a comparative test of all varieties next year and devote much of my garden to descovering the secrets of rutabaga growing.  Some how I doubt I will though, but it is tempting.  We will see how the winter down time affects my thinking.  Laughing

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Turan on 7/25/2015, 9:54 pm

I am wondering when to pull my rutabagas?  For the first time ever in planting htem they are getting big.  Right now the bulbs are about 4" across.  Would they sweeten if left in the ground until frost like with parsnips and carrots?  Or should I pull them now before something comes along (like root maggots o horrors).  Are they nicest when pulled when young or when as big as possible?

I am growing Joan, the packet says 90-100 days.  That would be in 2-3 weeks.  Last year they did not really grow until October.

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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 7/25/2015, 10:44 pm

I bought Rutabaga seeds as well as parsnips, turnips and some other things I've never eaten. I think I'm supposed to plant them soon (we're too hot to grow them over the summer).  I'd love to see some pictures of what yours are looking like :-)
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  FRED58 on 7/27/2015, 6:22 am

Now you have me regretting not planting any rutabagas. My grandfather grew them when I was a kid. That was how my mom and dad got me to eat them (Don't you want to try a rutabaga? It's from Grandpa's garden). A coupe of frosts will sweeten them (I don't like cooked greens anyway). When I cook them (and the small ones are the best), I chop them into 1-inch cubes, boil them until tender and mash them with a little brown sugar or maple syrup.
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Re: October Rutabagas

Post  Turan on 9/6/2015, 1:25 pm

Here is rutabaga growing. I planted an 8" grid in a 2' x 6' bed, that makes 3 across and 9 down, so 27 plants. I started them at the same time as the broccoli in the spring in soil blocks and transplanted in May keeping them lightly covered for most of a month.


Here are some I just pulled. They weighed 1-2 lbs each. The tops are a couple feet long.

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