Gardeners are invited to participate in the production of new turnip varieties suitable to their particular location. Turnips are a biannual. Plant seed and grow bulbs in the first year; plant bulbs to grow seed in the second year.
Last year, participants planted two different turnip varieties, one bulb of each, to produce a wide range of possibly crossed seed. This year, the plan is for you to grow a cross produced last year in a 10- to 25-foot row.
Seeds are available for pick up at the UAF Cooperative Extension Service Tanana District Office, 724 27th Ave., Suite 2, or by mail from Pingo Farm, 999 Maura St., Fairbanks AK 99709 (please include $3 for shipping). Advice on growing turnips can be found at https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/HG_2004-15.pdf.
Things to make note of when growing these plants: are plants similar or variable; when do they mature; are there pests; what is the quality of greens produced; and, of course, how is the flavor. There will be at least one tasting this fall to compare results and talk turnip.
Below is a brief description of the turnips involved in this year’s planting.
Volunteers need not commit to more than one season, but this project will need three to five years before the first new varieties are stable. Turnip storage and seed processing are the responsibility of the Alaska Turnip Project and will be discussed and demonstrated in the autumn.
Please contact Kurt Wold of Pingo Farms at 479-7977 or Steven Seefeldt of UAF Cooperative Extension Service Tanana District Office at 474-2423 or email@example.com.