Turnip, Wonnegold (Organic)
Brassica rapa. 75 days.
Beautiful creamy golden colored turnips. Flesh is the same color as the outside. Slightly flattened globes have mild radish-like flavor and are very winter hardy. Best sown early spring or fall. A very old heritage variety best used in sauerkrauts, stews and roasting. Seed originally from an Austrian Biodynamic CSA and seed farm called Ochsenherz (Oxheart). We picked up this seed at an Organic Seed Alliance conference seed swap in 2012 and knew we had a packet of gold in our hands. Name translates as “gold bliss” from German.
As required by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington Crucifer Quarantine, all Brassica family seed lots have been tested and found negative for blackleg (Phoma lingam) by an approved, certified lab.
Direct sow March through August in rows that are 1’ apart. When seedlings are 3” tall, thin to 3” spacing for turnips, and 8″ spacing for rutabagas. Don’t forget to eat the greens! In our area, rutabagas can grow through winter without protection as long as the mice don’t find them. Only some varieties of turnip have the same hardiness. Both can be harvested in autumn and stored for many months in root cellar conditions.
Collect seeds from 20 or more plants (to avoid inbreeding) in the second year when seeds have dried down. Cut seed heads, place on tarps to dry a few days, then dance to free seed. Winnow to clean. Isolate from other Brassicas of the same species by ½ mile for B. napus, and 1 mile for B. rapa (watch out for wild turnip!).