Sunday, December 21, 2014

Growing scorzonera

I was happy with the market in Portland on Friday evening, a lot of the town came out and although I didn't sell as much as I had hoped, there was a lot of interest in my unusual veggies. It is a long way to travel but I think I will go there more often even though I won't be making much profit. I really don't have a choice now that the Mt Gambier markets are out now. I have to explore other markets and they are all small as all the towns around here are small.

My seed bed of scorzonera are starting to make seeds now. I was looking forward to this as I seem to have lost my jar of seed.

I love scorzonera, it is mild and tasty, easy to grow, and best of all, perennial - you can leave it in the ground to dig up whenever you like, then replant the tops for more, but smaller and uglier roots later.

There was only one other flower out when this one opened so some of the seeds are not filled. You can tell if the seeds are filled because they are hard, thick and ribbed!!

I have to point out that you must know your audience when you say something like that or they might get the wrong idea, lol. I remember once I commented on a persons moon and stars watermelon on a forum. I congratulated her on her big moons as my watermelons only had stars last year. One of the guys piped up and said that being a guy he would not be able to congratulate someone on their moons.
Ahhh, plant people.

Anyway, scorzonera is best cooked simply. It tastes like artichoke hearts so needs only a mild dressing so it is not overpowered. I like it steamed and served with melted butter but you could also serve with a white sauce or garlic butter.
Of course you have to get over the idea that it looks like old sticks, but that is not hard for us plant explorers to do. You can peel it to make it look nicer but I don't bother any more, the skin is not noticeable in the mouth.

Here is a picture I put up a few months ago:


  1. Hi Rowan,
    couldn't make the open day. Hope it went well.
    What has happened that you can't do the Mt Gambier market?

  2. My open day went very well, the weather was a bit showery but everyone went away happy.

    I can't do the Mt Gambier markets now because new biosecurity regulations from July mean that it now takes thousands of dollars to apply to take veg over the border, and then inspections and reams of paperwork on top of that. The new regulations now need a lawyer to read they are so extensive.
    I used to be able to take stuff over after filling out a couple of forms and making sure my stuff was clean but now they have locked all small farmers and nurseries from interstate business.