Back in December, I took the infamous Bags Of Leaves that I'd gotten from my dad and put them on top of the Parsnips and the Carrots and just left everything in the ground. Since then we've had a really intense cold weather/wind spell, and I had no idea what to expect. I took our long shovel and went to do some digging about 2 weeks ago.
It turns out there was no need to worry! The carrots pulled right out! The ground was so soft and nice. It was a bit frozen where two bags would meet, where there wasn't so much insulation, but still.
Parsnips did need digging but not because the soil was frozen. They needed digging because of the size. Last year my parsnips looked like this. This year? A couple of them were bigger. Two were at least 4 inches across the crown and 16-18 inches long. I kid you not.
Which leads me to a really great story. Matt scrubbed everything up (thank you dear!) and I bagged the larger parsnip up in a clear plastic bag, put a twist-tie on one end, and I took it to work for my coworker.
She didn't come in until around noon, so I sat the parsnip on her windowsill, pointy end up, behind the curtains where it would keep cool.
One of the federal employees came in, like he usually does at lunch, to do some research for a project he's working on. Two things you should know about him: 1) he is known nationally as Mr. Emergency Management (seriously, he is THE go-to guy for this stuff), and 2) he has a reputation for being rather, um, arrogant, but really it is just natural shyness. It's been years before we finally broke the ice.
So, he asks me if I had a nice weekend. I told him I did, I dug some carrots and parsnips. He looked at me and said, "Parsnip.....what's a parsnip?" And I said "Hold on, I have one here," and (smiling to myself devilishly) I went over to my coworkers desk, reached behind the curtain and pulled out The Monster.
He had been following me over and literally jumped back two steps when I showed it to him. His eyes went W I D E. His jaw dropped.
"HOLY MOLEY!!" He said. "Is that normal?!?! You could kill someone with that thing!!" He tentatively took it from me. He wielded it like a club.
"Does the TSA check for these at airports?!?! This is a serious weapon!"
About then my coworker came in. She sized up what was going on and said "I'm not going to ask what you two are doing."
Mr. EM went on in this vein for about 10 minutes. He was seriously impressed. He did say at one point, "Did you notice my first thought was of destruction? Yeah. It's what I do."
So, frequent fliers beware!! They're going to start carrying parsnips soon.