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I didn't know the pumpkins were really turnips

 
 
Reply Mon 10 Dec, 2012 04:21 pm
Pumpkins are native to the Americas. This is why the original jack-o'lantern was a turnip.

Pumpkin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae (which also includes gourds).[1] It commonly refers to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata, and is native to North America. They typically have a thick, orange or yellow shell, creased from the stem to the bottom, containing the seeds and pulp. Pumpkins are widely grown for commercial use, and are used both in food and recreation. Pumpkin pie, for instance, is a traditional part of Thanksgiving meals in the United States, and pumpkins are frequently carved as decorations around Halloween. A pumpkin that has a little face carved in it and hollowed out and decorated with candles inside is known as a jack o'lantern; these are often used at Halloween, for example, to decorate windows.

In Australian English, the name 'pumpkin' generally refers to the broader category called winter squash in North America.

Description

The word pumpkin originates from the word pepon (πέπων), which is Greek for “large melon". The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British changed to pumpion and later American colonists changed that to the word we use today, "pumpkin".[2] The origin of pumpkins is not definitively known, although they are thought to have originated in North America. The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BC, were found in Mexico.[2][3] Pumpkins are a squash-like fruit that range in size from less than 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) to over 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms).[4]

Since some squash share the same botanical classifications as pumpkins, the names are frequently used interchangeably. In general, pumpkin stems are more rigid, prickly, and angular (with an approximate five-degree angle) than squash stems, which are generally softer, more rounded, and more flared where joined to the fruit.[5][6]

Pumpkins generally weigh 9–18 lbs (4–8 kg) with the largest (of the species C. maxima) capable of reaching a weight of over 75 lbs (34 kg).[7] The pumpkin varies greatly in shape, ranging from oblate to oblong. The rind is smooth and usually lightly ribbed.[7] Although pumpkins are usually orange or yellow,[6] some fruits are dark green, pale green, orange-yellow, white, red and gray.[8]

Pumpkins are monoecious, having both male and female flowers on the same plant. The female flower is distinguished by the small ovary at the base of the petals. These bright and colorful flowers have extremely short life spans and may only open for as short a time as one day. The color of pumpkins is derived from the orange pigments abundant in them. The main nutrients are lutein and both alpha and beta carotene, the latter of which generates vitamin A in the body.[9]

Taxonomy

Pumpkin is the fruit of the species Cucurbita pepo or Cucurbita mixta. It can refer to a specific variety of the species Cucurbita maxima or Cucurbita moschata, which are all of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae.[1]

Distribution and habitation

Pumpkins are grown all around the world for a variety of reasons ranging from agricultural purposes (such as animal feed) to commercial and ornamental sales.[10] Of the seven continents, only Antarctica is unable to produce pumpkins; the biggest international producers of pumpkins include the United States, Canada, Mexico, India, and China.[11][12] The traditional American pumpkin is the Connecticut Field variety.[2]

Ecology

As one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds (680,000,000 kilograms) of pumpkins are produced each year.[13] The top pumpkin-producing states include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California.[14]

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, 95% of the U.S. crop intended for processing is grown in Illinois.[15] Nestlé, operating under the brand name Libby's, produces 85% of the processed pumpkin in the United States. In the fall of 2009, rain in Illinois devastated the Nestlé crop, resulting in a shortage affecting the entire country during the Thanksgiving holiday season.[16]

Pumpkins are a warm-weather crop that is usually planted in early July. The specific conditions necessary for growing pumpkins require that soil temperatures three inches (7.6 cm) deep are at least 60 °F (15.5 °C) and soil that holds water well. Pumpkin crops may suffer if there is a lack of water or because of cold temperatures (in this case, below 65 °F (18.3 °C); frost can be detrimental), and sandy soil with poor water retention or poorly drained soils that become waterlogged after heavy rain. Pumpkins are, however, rather hardy, and even if many leaves and portions of the vine are removed or damaged, the plant can very quickly re-grow secondary vines to replace what was removed.[4]

Pumpkins produce both a male and female flower; honeybees play a significant role in fertilization.[13] Pumpkins have historically been pollinated by the native squash bee Peponapis pruinosa, but this bee has declined, probably due to pesticide sensitivity,[citation needed] and today most commercial plantings are pollinated by honeybees. One hive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If there are inadequate bees for pollination, gardeners often have to hand pollinate. Inadequately pollinated pumpkins usually start growing but abort before full development. An opportunistic fungus is also sometimes blamed for abortions.[citation needed]

Giant pumpkins

Main Article: Atlantic Giant

The largest pumpkins are Cucurbita maxima. They were cultivated from the hubbard squash genotype, crossed with kabocha-pumpkin types by enthusiast farmers through intermittent effort since the early 19th century. As such germplasm is commercially provocative, a U.S. legal right was granted for the rounder phenotypes, levying them as constituting a variety, with the appellation Atlantic Giant. Eventually, this phenotype graduated back into the public domain, except now it had the name Atlantic Giant on its record (see USDA PVP # 8500204).

Weigh-off competitions for giant pumpkins are a popular festival activity. The world record held at 460 pounds (208.7 kilograms) until 1981, when Howard Dill (of Nova Scotia) broke the record with a pumpkin weighing 493.5 pounds (224 kilograms). Dill patented the seeds used to grow this giant pumpkin, deeming them Dill’s Atlantic Giant seeds, and drawing growers from around the world. Dill is credited for all of the giant pumpkins today, most of which are borne from crossing and re-crossing his patented seed with other varieties.[17] By 1994, the Giant pumpkin crossed the 1,000-pound (453.6-kilogram) mark. The current world record holder is Chris Stevens's 1,810-pound Atlantic Giant pumpkin, which in October 2010 surpassed Christy Harp's previous 2009 record of 1,725 pounds.

Uses
Cooking

A can of pureed pumpkin, typically used as the main ingredient in pumpkin pie.
Pumpkin, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 109 kJ (26 kcal)
Carbohydrates 6.5 g
- Sugars 1.36 g
- Dietary fiber 0.5 g
Fat 0.1 g
- saturated 0.05 g
- monounsaturated 0.01 g
- polyunsaturated 0.01 g
Protein 1.0 g
Vitamin A equiv. 369 μg (46%)
- beta-carotene 3100 μg (29%)
Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.05 mg (4%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.110 mg (9%)
Niacin (vit. B3) 0.6 mg (4%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.298 mg (6%)
Vitamin B6 0.061 mg (5%)
Folate (vit. B9) 16 μg (4%)
Vitamin C 9 mg (11%)
Vitamin E 1.06 mg (7%)
Calcium 21 mg (2%)
Iron 0.8 mg (6%)
Magnesium 12 mg (3%)
Phosphorus 44 mg (6%)
Potassium 340 mg (7%)
Sodium 1 mg (0%)
Zinc 0.32 mg (3%)
Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

Pumpkins are very versatile in their uses for cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. In the United States and Canada, pumpkin is a popular Halloween and Thanksgiving staple.[18] Homemade pumpkin purée can serve the same purpose.[19]

When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. In its native North America, it is a very important, traditional part of the autumn harvest, eaten mashed[20] and making its way into soups and purees. Often, it is made into pie, various kinds of which are a traditional staple of the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holidays. In Canada, Mexico, the United States, Europe and China, the seeds are often roasted and eaten as a snack.

Pumpkins that are still small and green may be eaten in the same way as squash or zucchini. In the Middle East, pumpkin is used for sweet dishes; a well-known sweet delicacy is called halawa yaqtin. In South Asian countries such as India, pumpkin is cooked with butter, sugar, and spices in a dish called kadu ka halwa. Pumpkin is used to make sambar in Udupi cuisine. In Guangxi province, China, the leaves of the pumpkin plant are consumed as a cooked vegetable or in soups. In Australia and New Zealand, pumpkin is often roasted in conjunction with other vegetables. In Japan, small pumpkins are served in savory dishes, including tempura. In Myanmar, pumpkins are used in both cooking and desserts (candied). The seeds are a popular sunflower seed substitute. In Thailand, small pumpkins are steamed with custard inside and served as a dessert. In Italy, it can be used with cheeses as a savory stuffing for ravioli. Also, pumpkin can be used to flavor both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.

In the southwestern United States and Mexico, pumpkin and squash flowers are a popular and widely available food item. They may be used to garnish dishes, and they may be dredged in a batter then fried in oil. Pumpkin leaves are a popular vegetable in the Western and central regions of Kenya; they are called seveve, and are an ingredient of mukimo,[21] respectively, whereas the pumpkin itself is usually boiled or steamed. The seeds are popular with children who roast them on a pan before eating them.

Seeds
Main article: Pepita

Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are small, flat, green, edible seeds. Most pumpkin seeds are covered by a white husk, although some pumpkin varieties produce seeds without them. Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack that can be found hulled or semi-hulled at most grocery stores. However, roasting pumpkin seeds (usually scooped out of jack-o-lanterns) is a popular Halloween treat. Per ounce serving, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc.[22]

Pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin seed oil is a thick, green-red[23][24] oil that is produced from roasted pumpkin seeds. When used for cooking or as a salad dressing, pumpkin seed oil is generally mixed with other oils because of its robust flavor.[25] Used in cooking in central and eastern Europe, it is considered a delicacy in traditional local cuisines such as for pumpkin soup, potato salad or even vanilla ice cream. Pumpkin seed oil contains fatty acids, such as oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid.[26]

Phytochemical research

Preliminary research indicates that phytochemicals found in pumpkin may favorably affect insulin and glucose levels in laboratory diabetes models.[27] Two compounds isolated from pumpkin paste and then fed daily to diabetic rats over six weeks, trigonelline and nicotinic acid, caused significant reductions in blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, indicating improvement in the diabetic condition.[28]

Other uses

Canned pumpkin is often recommended by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for dogs and cats that are experiencing certain digestive ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, or hairballs. The high fiber content helps to aid proper digestion.[29]

Raw pumpkin can be fed to poultry, as a supplement to regular feed, during the winter to help maintain egg production, which usually drops off during the cold months.[citation needed]

Pumpkin phytochemicals and nutrients remain under preliminary research for potential biological effects.[30]

Pumpkins are commonly carved into decorative lanterns called jack-o'-lanterns for the Halloween season in North America. Throughout Britain and Ireland, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede.[31] The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween,[32] but immigrants to North America used the native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips.[32] Not until 1837, does jack-o'-lantern appear as a term for a carved vegetable lantern,[33] and the carved pumpkin lantern association with Halloween is recorded in 1866.[34]

In the United States, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general, long before it became an emblem of Halloween.[35] In 1900, an article on Thanksgiving entertaining recommended a lit jack-o'-lantern as part of the festivities that encourage kids and families to join together to make their own jack-o'-lanterns.[35]

Chucking

Pumpkin chucking is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Catapults, trebuchets, ballistas and air cannons are the most common mechanisms. Some pumpkin chuckers breed and grow special varieties of pumpkin under specialized conditions to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving a throw.

Pumpkin festivals and competitions
Competitive Weight Pumpkins

Pumpkin growers often compete to see whose pumpkins are the most massive. Festivals are often dedicated to the pumpkin and these competitions.

The Ohio towns of Barnesville and Circleville each hold a festival every year, the Barnesville Pumpkin Festival and the Circleville Pumpkin Show respectively. The town of Half Moon Bay, California, holds an annual Art and Pumpkin Festival, drawing over 250,000 visitors each year and including the World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-Off.[36] Farmers from all over the US compete to determine who can grow the heaviest pumpkin.[37] The winning pumpkin regularly tops the scale at more than 1500 pounds. Leonardo Urena, from Napa, California, grew the winner of the 2011 Weigh-Off with a 1,704-pound Atlantic Giant, setting a new California State record.[38] The record for the world's heaviest pumpkin was broken September 30, 2012, at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts.[39] Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island, entered a pumpkin weighing 2,009 pounds. A few days earlier on September 27, a pumpkin grown by Steve Geddes of Boscawen, New Hampshire, weighed in at 1,843.5 pounds at the Deerfield Fair in New Hampshire. That one held the world record for just five days. Prior to that, Guinness World Records had the world's heaviest pumpkin set in 2010 by Chris Stevens, at a weight of 1,810 pounds, 8 ounces, at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota.[40] The town of Morton, Illinois, the self-declared pumpkin capital of the world,[41] has held a Pumpkin Festival since 1966. The town, where Nestlé's pumpkin packing plant is located (and where 90% of canned pumpkins eaten in the US are processed), held for several years a record for the number of carved and lit pumpkins in one place, before losing it to Boston, Massachusetts, in 2006. A large contributor of pumpkins to the Keene Pumpkin Fest in New Hampshire is local Keene State College, which hosts an event called Pumpkin Lobotomy on its main quadrangle. Usually held the day before the festival itself, Pumpkin Lobotomy has the air of a large party, with the school providing pumpkins and carving instruments alike (though some students prefer to use their own) and music provided by college radio station WKNH.

Ireland's only Pumpkin Festival takes place each year in Virginia, County Cavan to find Ireland's biggest pumpkins. This year the biggest pumpkin topped 1300 pounds. The event takes place over a holiday weekend, along with other entertainment and festive parades.

The city of Elk Grove, California, has held an annual Pumpkin Festival since 1995.

Folklore and fiction

There seems to be a strong connection in folklore and popular culture between pumpkins and the supernatural. Famous examples include the following:

Folklore

A commonplace motif of people being turned into pumpkins by witches
The jack-o-lantern custom discussed above, which connects to Halloween lore about warding off demons.

Fiction

In the folk tale Cinderella, the fairy godmother turns a pumpkin into a carriage, but at midnight it reverts back into a pumpkin.

Linus' belief in the Great Pumpkin in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts.

Juice from a pumpkin has magical effects in the short story "Pumpkin Juice" by R. L. Stine.

The Harry Potter novels, in which pumpkin juice as a favorite drink of the students of Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a recurring element

The pumpkin hurled by the "Headless Horseman" in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Jack Pumpkinhead, a character in the Oz books of L. Frank Baum, with a pumpkin for a head on a wooden body, brought to life in the second book

In Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, the main character, Jack Skellington, is "the Pumpkin King."

Precious Ramotswe, the fictional detective from Botswana in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels by Scottish author Alexander McCall Smith, often cooks and eats pumpkin.

In a short fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Feathertop from 1852, a witch turns a scarecrow with a "pumpkinhead" into a man.

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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
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Reply Mon 10 Dec, 2012 04:27 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
I tried to find any turnip in the pumpkins source. Couldn't find any. Was I fulled? BBB

Turnip
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For similar vegetables also called "turnip", see Turnip (disambiguation).

Turnip
turnip roots
Scientific classification

The turnip or white turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapa) is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties are grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock.[citation needed]

In the north of England and Scotland, the turnip is called neep; the word turnip itself is an old compound of neep. Neep often also refers to the larger, yellow rutabaga root vegetable which is also known as the "swede" (from "Swedish turnip").[1]

Description

The most common type is mostly white-skinned apart from the upper 1–6 centimeters, which protrude above the ground and are purple, red, or greenish wherever sunlight has fallen. This above-ground part develops from stem tissue, but is fused with the root. The interior flesh is entirely white. The entire root is roughly conical, but can be occasionally global, about 5–20 centimeters in diameter, and lacks side roots. The taproot (the normal root below the swollen storage root) is thin and 10 centimeters or more in length; it is trimmed off before marketing. The leaves grow directly from the above-ground shoulder of the root, with little or no visible crown or neck (as found in rutabagas).[citation needed]

Turnip leaves are sometimes eaten as "turnip greens" ("turnip tops" in the UK), and they resemble mustard greens in flavor. Turnip greens are a common side dish in southeastern US cooking, primarily during late fall and winter. Smaller leaves are preferred; however, any bitter taste of larger leaves can be reduced by pouring off the water from initial boiling and replacing it with fresh water. Varieties specifically grown for the leaves resemble mustard greens more than those grown for the roots, with small or no storage roots. Varieties of B. rapa that have been developed only for the use of leaves are called Chinese cabbage. Both leaves and root have a pungent flavor similar to raw cabbage or radishes that becomes mild after cooking.

Turnip roots weigh up to about one kilogram, although they can be harvested when smaller. Size is partly a function of variety and partly a function of the length of time the turnip has grown. Most very small turnips (also called baby turnips) are specialty varieties. These are only available when freshly harvested and do not keep well. Most baby turnips can be eaten whole, including their leaves. Baby turnips come in yellow-, orange-, and red-fleshed varieties as well as white-fleshed. Their flavor is mild, so they can be eaten raw in salads like radishes and other vegetables.

Nutrition

Turnip greens Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 84 kJ (20 kcal)
Carbohydrates 4.4 g
- Dietary fiber 3.5 g
Fat 0.2 g
Protein 1.1 g
Vitamin A equiv. 381 μg (48%)
Folate (vit. B9) 118 μg (30%)
Vitamin C 27 mg (33%)
Vitamin K 368 μg (350%)
Calcium 137 mg (14%)
cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
Percentages are relative to
US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Turnip Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 92 kJ (22 kcal)
Carbohydrates 5.1 g
- Sugars 3.0
- Dietary fiber 2.0 g
Fat 0.1 g
Protein 0.7 g
Thiamine (vit. B1) .027 mg (2%)
Riboflavin (vit. B2) .023 mg (2%)
Niacin (vit. B3) .299 mg (2%)
Pantothenic acid (B5) .142 mg (3%)
Vitamin B6 .067 mg (5%)
Folate (vit. B9) 9 μg (2%)
Vitamin C 11.6 mg (14%)
Calcium 33 mg (3%)
Iron .18 mg (1%)
Magnesium 9 mg (3%)
Manganese .071 mg (3%)
Phosphorus 26 mg (4%)
Potassium 177 mg (4%)
Sodium 16 mg (1%)
Zinc .12 mg (1%)
cooked, boiled, drained, without salt

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The turnip's root is high only in vitamin C. The green leaves of the turnip top ("turnip greens") are a good source of vitamin A, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and calcium. Turnip greens are high in lutein (8.5 mg / 100g).

One medium raw turnip (122g) contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:[2]

Calories : 34
Fat: 0.12
Carbohydrates: 7.84
Fibers: 2.2
Protein: 1.10
Cholesterol: 0

Like rutabaga, turnip contains bitter cyanoglucosides that release small amounts of cyanide. Sensitivity to the bitterness of these cyanoglucosides is controlled by a paired gene. Subjects who have inherited two copies of the "sensitive" gene find turnips twice as bitter as those who have two "insensitive" genes, and thus may find turnips and other cyanoglucoside-containing foods intolerably bitter.

Origin

The turnip was a well-established crop in Hellenistic and Roman times, which leads to the assumption that it was brought into cultivation earlier. Sappho, the 7th century BC Greek poet, calls one of her paramours Gongýla, "turnip". Zohary and Hopf note, however, "there are almost no archaeological records available" to help determine its earlier history and domestication. Wild forms of the hot turnip and its relatives the mustards and radishes are found over west Asia and Europe, suggesting their domestication took place somewhere in that area. However Zohary and Hopf conclude, "Suggestions as to the origins of these plants are necessarily based on linguistic considerations."[3]

Cultivation

The 1881 Household Cyclopedia gives these instructions for field cultivation of turnips:

The benefits derived from turnip husbandry are of great magnitude; light soils are cultivated with profit and facility; abundance of food is provided for man and beast; the earth is turned to the uses for which it is physically calculated, and by being suitably cleaned with this preparatory crop, a bed is provided for grass seeds, wherein they flourish and prosper with greater vigor than after any other preparation.

Turnip (flower)

The leaves of turnips are also eaten as "turnip greens"

The first ploughing is given immediately after harvest, or as soon as the wheat seed is finished, either in length or across the field, as circumstances may seem to require. In this state the ground remains till the oat seed is finished, when a second ploughing is given to it, usually in a contrary direction to the first. It is then repeatedly harrowed, often rolled between the harrowings and every particle of root-weeds carefully picked off with the hand; a third ploughing is then bestowed, and the other operations are repeated. In this stage, if the ground has not been very foul, the seed process.

The next part of the process is the sowing of the seed; this may be performed by drilling machines of different sizes and constructions, through all acting on the same principle. A machine drawn by a horse in a pair of shafts, sows two drills at a time and answers extremely well, where the ground is flat, and the drills properly made up. The weight of the machine ensures a regularity of sowing hardly to be gained by those of a different size and construction. From two to three pounds of seed are sown upon the acre (2 to 3 kg/hectare), though the smallest of these quantities will give many more plants in ordinary seasons than are necessary; but as the seed is not an expensive article the greater part of farmers incline to sow thick, which both provides against the danger of part of the seed perishing, and gives the young plants an advantage at the outset.

Turnips are sown from the beginning to the end of June, but the second and third weeks of the month are, by judicious farmers, accounted the most proper time. Some people have sown as early as May, and with advantage, but these early fields are apt to run to seed before winter, especially if the autumn be favorable to vegetation. As a general rule it may be laid down that the earliest sowings should be on the latest soils; plants on such soils are often long before they make any great progress, and, in the end, may be far behind those in other situations, which were much later sown. The hot turnip plant, indeed, does not thrive rapidly till its roots reach the dung, and the previous nourishment afforded them is often so scanty as to stunt them altogether before they get so far.

The first thing to be done in this process is to run a horse-hoe, called a scraper, along the intervals, keeping at such a distance from the young plants that they shall not be injured; this operation destroys all the annual weeds which have sprung up, and leaves the plants standing in regular stripes or rows. The hand hoeing then commences, by which the turnips are all singled out at a distance of from 8–12 inches, and the redundant ones drawn into the spaces between the rows. The singling out of the young plants is an operation of great importance, for an error committed in this process can hardly be afterward rectified. Boys and girls are always employed as hoers; but a steady and trusty man-servant is usually set over them to see that the work is properly executed.

In eight or ten days, or such a length of time as circumstances may require, a horse-hoe of a different construction from the scraper is used. This, in fact, is generally a small plough, of the same kind with that commonly wrought, but of smaller dimensions. By this implement, the earth is pared away from the sides of the drills, and a sort of new ridge formed in the middle of the former interval. The hand-hoers are again set to work, and every weed and superfluous turnip is cut up; afterward the horse-hoe is employed to separate the earth, which it formerly threw into the furrows, and lay it back to the sides of the drills. On dry lands this is done by the scraper, but where the least tendency to moisture prevails, the small plough is used, in order that the furrows may be perfectly cleaned out. This latter mode, indeed, is very generally practiced.

As a root crop, turnips grow best in cool weather; hot temperatures cause the roots to become woody and bad-tasting. They are typically planted in the spring in cold-weather climates (such as the northern US and Canada) where the growing season is only 3–4 months. In temperate climates (ones with a growing season of 5–6 months), turnips may also be planted in late summer for a second fall crop. In warm-weather climates (7 or more month growing season), they are planted in the fall. 55–60 days is the average time from planting to harvest.

Turnips are a biennial plant, taking two years from germination to reproduction. The root spends the first year growing and storing nutrients, and the second year flowers, produces seeds, and dies. The flowers of the turnip are tall and yellow, with the seeds forming in pea-like pods. In areas with less than 7 month growing seasons, temperatures are too cold for the roots to survive the winter months. In order to produce seeds, it's necessary to pull the turnip and store it overwinter, taking care not to damage the leaves. During the spring, it may be set back in the ground to complete its life cycle.

Human use

Pliny the Elder considered the turnip one of the most important vegetables of his day, rating it "directly after cereals or at all events after the bean, since its utility surpasses that of any other plant." Pliny praises it as a source of fodder for farm animals, and this vegetable is not particular about the type of soil it grows in and because it can be left in the ground until the next harvest, it "prevents the effects of famine" for humans (N.H. 18.34).

Carrot and Turnip output in 2005

Macomber turnip historic marker

The Macomber turnip is featured in one of the very few historic markers for a vegetable, on Main Road in Westport, Massachusetts.

In England, around 1700, Turnip Townshend promoted the use of turnips in a four-year crop rotation system that enabled year-round livestock production.[4]

In the south of England and Scotland, the smaller white vegetable is often called neeps or turnips, while it is the larger rutabagas which are referred to as swedes. Turnips or neeps are mashed and eaten with haggis, traditionally on Burns Night.[5]

Turnip lanterns are an old tradition; since inaugural Halloween festivals in Ireland and Scotland, turnips (rutabaga) have been carved out and used as candle lanterns.[6] At Samhain, candle lanterns carved from turnips — samhnag — were part of the traditional Celtic festival. Large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces and placed in windows, used to ward off harmful spirits.[7] At Halloween in Scotland in 1895, masqueraders in disguise carried lanterns made out of scooped out turnips.[8]

In Nordic countries, turnip was the staple crop before its replacement with potato in the 18th century. The cross between turnip and cabbage, rutabaga, was possibly first produced in Scandinavia.

In Turkey, particularly in the area near Adana, turnips are used to flavor şaljam, a juice made from purple carrots and spices served ice cold. In Middle Eastern countries such as Lebanon, turnips are pickled.

In Japan, pickled turnips are also popular and are sometimes stir fried with salt/soysauce. And the turnip leaf is included in the ritual of the Festival of Seven Herbs, called suzuna.

In the Southern United States, stewed turnips are eaten as a root vegetable in the autumn and winter. The leaves or "greens" of the turnip are harvested and eaten all year. Turnip Greens are cooked with a ham hock or piece of fat pork meat, the juice produced in the stewing process is prized as "pot liquor". Stewed turnip greens are often eaten with vinegar.

In the Tyrolean Alps of Austria, raw shredded Turnip root is served in a chilled remoulade in the absence of other fresh greens as a winter salad.

Laurie Lee, in "Cider with Rosie", an autobiography of a childhood in the Cotswolds, mentions the Parochial Church Tea and Annual Entertainment, which took place around Twelfth night. "We...saw his red face lit like a hot turnip lamp as he crouched to stoke up the flames."

In Iran, boiled turnip roots (with salt) are a common household remedy for fever.

In the Punjab and Kashmir regions (India, Pakistan), turnips are used in variety of dishes. The most famous of these dishes is shab-daig.
Heraldry

The turnip is an old vegetable charge in heraldry. It was used by Leonhard von Keutschach, prince-archbishop of Salzburg. The turnip is still the heart shield in the arms of Keutschach am See.
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