Of our vegetable subcategories, the root vegetables are the most diverse; they come in many forms and with a large diversity of flavors from across many plant families. Many plants with hefty root storage are biennials which grow vegetatively their first year, storing most of their photosynthetic product as starches in their roots. Their second year they may grow vegetatively for a period of time before sending up a flowering stalk and producing seed. We harvest these crops in their first season, and many have been bred to send most of their photosynthetic product to the roots for increased enlargement. Other vegetables in this category are enlarged stems, including fennel and celeriac.
Carrots picked and eaten fresh are extremely sweet and enjoyable.
Parsnips require a full season to mature, but are well worth it due to their complex, nutty flavor.
Fennel, technically a swollen bulb, not a root, is uniquely sour and firm, which gives it versatility in its cooking applications.
Radishes are quick to mature and have a nice zesty flavor. We grow many varieties including cherry belle, French breakfast, white icicle, and daikon radish.
Turnips are enlarged taproots that work great as a starchy staple in recipes, and have a zesty flavor similar to radishes and rutabaga. The greens are also firm enough to be sautee or fresh enough to be mixed with other salad greens.
Rutabaga, also an enlarged taproot, is denser and milder than turnips.
Celeriac is related to celery, but it is grown for its enlarged stem, which forms a bulky, starchy mass. Once the exterior of the plant is removed, the core is firm and flavorful.
Kohlrabi, also an expanded stem, is none-the-less a storage organ, which is why it is included in this category. These plants are harvested when they reach the size of a small apple, and they are broccoli-like in flavor.
Beets have a sweet earthy flavor, and in the right application, they are a very satisfying vegetable.