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Welcome in Winter with the WCU University Libraries - Free Seeds

by Bridget Voltz on 2023-11-20T12:03:00-05:00 | 0 Comments

Welcome in Winter with the WCU University Libraries 

Free Seeds - White Globe Round Turnip (Brassica Rapa)


The WCU University Libraries is happy to provide our students with free seed packets. 
Welcome in the winter solstice!

To seed: Start by planting 2-3 seeds 1/2” deep and 1-2" apart in loose composted soil (pH of 6.5-7.5). For the best outcome, plant at 40-65°F (March) or after the last spring frost. Ensure your soil is well drained and tilled (turning the soil to control for weeds and pests and loosen the soil) and in full to partial sun. Fertilize with nitrogen-rich fertilizer after sprouts appear. Add mulch to protect the plant in the summer from the heat. The seeds will germinate between 3-10 days.

Look & Taste: Mature turnips can grow 6-12” tall. These turnips have a white bulbous root and leafy green sprouts. The root can be mildly spicey when plucked early and is sweeter when plucked later. The roots develop a nutty and earthy taste when cooked. Some prefer the leafy greens of turnips, which are similar in taste to collard greens. 

Harvesting & Storage: Harvest after 70 days; for sweater turnips, harvest after the first autumn frost. You'll know they're ready when the roots push up, showing 3-4" above the soil. You can harvest the green of turnips while they are still young. To harvest, the most efficient method is to grab the green close to the root and pull it up firmly. 

We purchased our seeds from True Leaf Market. True Leaf Market has been in business since 1972 and proudly supports home and professional growers in the seed industry. They have a lustrous variety of seeds from premium brands such as Mountain Valley Seeds, Sustainable Seeds, Kitazawa Seeds, and Handy Pantry. As an independent non-GMO seed company, they proudly support anyone who wishes to grow. 


Try your freshly grown turnips with this recipe!


White Turnip Roots and Greens with Ground Sausage

Prep Time: 20 minutes                Cook Time: 20 minutes               Serves: 4-6 people 



1 bunch of white turnips w/ the greens (8-10 turnips; you can use collard greens if you don't have turnip greens)
1/2 lb ground sausage (or 1/2 of chorizo chopped)
1/2 cup onion (diced)
3 cloves garlic (minced) 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp oregano 
pinch of salt & pepper to taste 

Cooked rice (optional)



Start by washing your turnips clean. You'll want to remove any discolored or wilted greens. 

Then, cut off the greens from the bulb (set bulbs aside for the next step). Chop the thicker white parts of the leaves into 1/2 lengths and the green leafier parts into 1-2 inch sections. Pat dry if still wet from washing and set aside. 

If you use collard greens instead of turnip greens, follow these steps: Cut the root off the greens and then wash under cold water until clean of dirt and sand. Then, pat dry and cut out the tough stem and central vein. You can de-vein by folding each leaf in half and slicing down the middle. Cut into 1-inch pieces and set aside.

Lastly, peel and dice your onions, mince your garlic, and set aside. 


Place a large skillet or non-stick pan on the stovetop and set the burner to high heat; add 1 tbsp of oil to the pan and heat. When the oil begins to warm, swirl the pan to coat the pan with oil evenly. Add your ground sausage (or chopped chorizo) to the pan. Do not stir and allow the sausage to brown; remove the sausage from the pan when browned slightly before cooking through all the way. Set aside the sausage and discard half of the liquid in the pan. Reduce heat to medium-high and put the pan back on the burner.

Add 1 tbsp of oil (or more if needed) to the pan. Then, add the garlic, onions, and pepper flakes to the oil and mix occasionally to prevent burning. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. 

Add the diced turnip bulbs, stir occasionally, and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, until slightly tender and browned. 

Reduce the heat to medium and add back in your sausage, the turnip stem and leaves (or collard greens), and oregano. Stir together for 1-2 minutes and place a lid on the pan for 2 minutes. 

Remove the lid and stir. The turnip greens should have wilted and the sausage cooked. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer if the sausage is not cooked through. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Serve with rice for extra heartiness and enjoy!


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