Get the Dirt!

From Voles to Skirret Fries

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One of our tastiest and easiest to grow perennial vegetables is skirret (Sium sisarum). A Parsley/carrot relative, self- sowing clumping perennial. It forms clusters of edible roots that taste like parsnips. Once the top growth dies to the ground, you can harvest roots to eat, and then replant the crown to grow it again. The flowers are lovely and they attract beneficial insects.


Yesterday I went digging for skirret plants to pot up and sell in the nursery. I pulled back the mulch and what did I find, well, I didn't find the nice rows of skirrets I'd planted, but giant piles of skirret roots! As you can see in the picture, our resident voles have a habit of collecting their food and piling it in caches for winter storage. At first I thought I had lost my inventory, then on further observation, realized that the voles had done me a favor by also piling the sprouting crowns, and organizing the edible roots for me to harvest and eat! The voles may have saved me an hour of digging and labor.




Cooked in butter, garlic chives, salt and pepper, the vole harvested skirret was devine. Thank you voles!



Photos by Eric Toensmeier and others.

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