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Parsnips - How they’re Farmed, and what they do for you.
Parsnips are similar to Carrots, and they are native to Eurasia. They have been consumed since ancient times. The Greek and Romans are the first major source to write about it. In fact, in Europe, the Parsnip was used as a source of sugar before a cane was available. The plant made it to America along with the firsts colonists.
There are two main types of Parsnips, Gladiator and Javelin. Gladiators are plumper at the top, and Javelins are, as the name suggests, shaped more like a point. Parsnips are harvested almost year-round, being available for at least 11 months.
Parsnips grow best in more sandy soil. The soil is prepared by sifting out all of the stones and clumps of earth, to prevent any misshapen parsnips growing. The seeds are planted with the help of a drill, to ensure they grow in a relatively similar shape every time, to help later on in production. Harvesting them is quite simple, generally, they are just pulled out of the ground (like carrots, which are in the same plant family). The real question is the timing of which they are harvested.
The longer the Parsnip is planted for, the sweeter their taste. So farmers will be able to have a variable intensity of flavours for the parsnip, all by choosing when they decide to harvest the crop.
Parsnips can actually become even sweeter by keeping them planted over the winter. They can be covered up using Mulch or straw. Parsnips aren’t actually damaged by the winter cold, but it’ll be much harder to pull them out of the ground if the ground freezes. The covering helps keep the temperature a bit more consistent. Once the winter passes, you can harvest the parsnip. This means that they’ve been in the ground longer, so they’re bigger, and they also taste stronger.
Parsnips are then taken to factories to be packaged, graded and then redistributed to various retailers/sellers.
Parsnips have all kinds of benefits from consumption. It is packed with a whole bunch of nutrients, and a hefty amount of fibre, vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, Parsnips are rich in antioxidants, which help prevent oxidative stress, and will prevent damage done to your cells. It can also protect against cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Since Parsnips are low in calories, but very rich in fibre, it can be a good thing to consume if weight-loss is one’s goal. If that wasn’t enough, Parsnips help boost your immune system, to fight off illnesses.