Organic Turnip ‘Milan Purple Top’


Availability: In stock

Soil Association Organic Logo          Brassica Rapa – 0.82g – Approx 350 Seeds         

Milan Purple Top is an Italian Heritage variety of turnip. It is flatish in shape with a purple top.

Turnips are very easy to grow and very fast.

The seeds can be direct sown from March to May for an early crop or July to August for a later crop. Early sowings can be started in modules under cover. Plant the seedlings out around 15cm apart and water well to prevent them becoming woody. For the best flavour harvest when they are no more than golf ball sized.

Seed Story

Turnips originated in Europe and Western Asia and have been cultivated for thousands of years although historically they have had a bad reputation!

During Roman times the turnip was used to throw at unpopular public figures.

Over the years turnips were commonly used as animal feed or were a vegetable eaten by the poor. If you were a country bumpkin during the 15th century you were often labelled a ‘turnip eater’ as a derogatory term.

Turnips did regain some popularity in 18th Century when Viscount ‘Turnip’ Townshend promoted the turnip as a major part of the Norfolk four course growing system whereby a rotation of wheat, turnips, barley and clover were planted so that fields did not have to stay fallow. Food production boomed and the turnips provided enough animal feed to keep the animals alive over winter which increased the availability of meat and milk during the winter months.

During Turnip Winter in World War 1, Germany suffered a potato harvest and bread shortages so they were reduced to surviving on turnips.

There has even been a fairy tale written about the turnip called ‘The Giant Turnip’. It is about a turnip that grew so big that the grandfather, grandmother, granddaughter, cat ,dog and mouse had to work together to pull it out of the ground promoting teamwork and value in even the smallest of us!