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Salsify , Mammoth Sandwich Island

Tragopogon porrifolius, Vegetable Oyster plant, (circa 1860) - Slender parsnip-like dull-white root crop about 8 to 9 inches & tapers to a point. Roots have creamy-white flesh with a distinct flavour is somewhere in the overlap between asparagus & oysters with a hint of nuttiness that seems to improve if dug after frost. Over winter or store like carrots, tops are edible as young shoots, High in minerals, Very similar to Scorzonera in form (although Scorzonera is black-skinned) & in flavour although not closely related, Yellow Daisy like flower Late Spring into summer, Seed Count Approx - 40 avg
 
 SOWING - It is grown like Parsnips , 110 to 180 days.Sow from March to May. Germination can be erratic so it is best to sow 2-3 seeds flat in depressions 1-2cm deep, 10cm apart, with 30cm between rows. Thin to 22cm apart as they grow. Lift carefully in the autumn after frost and store in a cool place. Can be left in the ground through winter if need be. DO NOT plant in freshly manured ground

Price£2.00
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Scorzonera duplex , 'Black Salsify or Oyster Root'

Scorzonera hispanica, Perennial Purple Goat's Beard , (Circa 16th c) Perennial with heads of yellow flowers, closely resembles salsify in root shape & colour, but not related. The up to 12 inch root is black skinned (white inside) & fat twiggy looking. Vigorous & fine textured, similar to parsnip in style, with a unique flavour between artichoke hearts & Jerusalem artichokes (without the after effects), Leaves broad or oblong & eaten as a salad green. Clean & boil for 10 mins, peel outer skin off & serve with peas & carrots. Also popular served like asparagus in a white sauce , Seed Count Approx - 40 avg
 
Seeds sent outside the United Kingdom may incur Higher Shipping / Handling Charges

Price£2.00
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Skirret Seed , Crummock or Sugar Root

Sium sisarum, (Circa 1548 UK) Aromatic long white roots, The name Skirret comes from Dutch ‘Suikerwortel’ meaning ‘sugar root’, Chinese origin, cultivated in the UK since A.D. 1548, Small fragrant white flowers from late spring. However, its true potential is found within the sweetish, somewhat aromatic long white roots, used as a vegetable likes Carrots or Salsify & Parsnips. Cook like beets, boil, stew or roasted for soups & stir fry.  Pick shoots in spring & roots in autumn after a light frost for the best flavours. Said to have been given by Landowners to their peasant workers as a cheap source of prolific, high protein food. Days To Maturity 120-140, Can be slow to germinate, Seed Count Approx - 175+ avg
 
Seeds sent outside the United Kingdom may incur Higher Shipping / Handling Charges

Price£2.00
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Skirret, Sium sisarum

Of Chinese origin. Known as Crummock in Scotland. Cultivated in the UK since A.D. 1548 because of its tolerance to cold and resistance to insect infestation. Attractive in borders, boasting small clusters of fragrant white flowers from late spring to autumn.. Extremely hardy. Harvest the shoots in spring and most of the roots in autumn. The plant is then put back in the ground for next year's crop. Priced for: 1 litre pot

Use:  The sweetish, somewhat aromatic root is used as a vegetable in much the same manner as the oyster plant, salsify and parsnip. Skirret crisps are delicious.

Price£7.95