The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Turnip Oasis: a review

Photo: Baby Oasis turnips waiting to be savouredLast year Danny was surprised how much he enjoyed raw home grown cauliflower and raw courgette (zucchini) in salads. This year I thought I’d tickled his taste buds further by introducing him to raw home grown turnip. I’m not a big fan of turnips – they are fine in a winter stew but I’d been seduced by the description of turnip Oasis on the Thompson and Morgan site.

Turnip Oasis is a new variety of turnip and when eaten raw has the taste of a melon. Danny was dubious about it.
“Why would I want my turnips to taste of melon? I want them to taste of turnip.”
“Well let’s just grow a few to see what they are like.”

Eaten raw they certainly taste like melon – sweet but with a water chestnut crunch. When they are cooked through they taste of turnip but far more delicate and melt in the mouth than the chewy old molls that you find lolling on the supermarket shelves. And the added bonus is that the tops are delicious too – these have to be cooked unless they are very young. So it’s a two in one vegetable. Perfect. I’m going to try slicing them and sizzling briefly in a stir fry – if they retain their crunch they could be a cheap alternative to water chestnuts.

This turnip is easy to grow and develops quickly. Ours took about seven weeks from sowing to harvesting. They can be eaten from any size up to tennis ball sized. I let ours get slightly bigger than a golf ball before we started chomping. They don’t take up much space – I set ours 4” apart in staggered rows. The smaller ones were the tastiest.

Ideally plant a few short rows at four weekly intervals, to harvest throughout the summer. I’ve never thought of a turnip as a summer vegetable but Oasis certainly is just that. 

Go on, give them a go –  even though you’ve never considered sampling raw turnip. I will send a pack of ten seeds to the first five people who comment on this post so you can try them for free if you are interested.

I never thought I’d become evangelical about turnips… but life at the moment seems to throw up so many new ideas.

N.B. Thompson and Morgan has 50% of seeds (including Turnip Oasis) until June 13th 2010. Click here for a direct link.

  Leave a reply


  1. Your Turnip Oasis sounds wonderful! It is one veg I don’t have growing in my garden plot. I will have to check out my local seed shop and invest in some. How are your bees? I’ve just received some Honey from my brother who is a Bee keeper in Hawaii…very tasty stuff.

  2. Cookie Girl

    Yippee!! I get seeds ! I’m going to love finding out these taste ! Thank you. I like raw courgettes cut into thin strips (with a vegetable peeler)in a salad with lemon juice and toasted pine nuts and feta. I would love to have the courage to stuff and deep fry the flowers, but deep fat fryers and kids don’t mix. Maybe one day…

  3. Joanna

    Well I am up for some free seeds. I like the sound of them for sure. We have expanded our range some what and have some plain old-fashioned turnips too so will be interested to taste the difference.

    A side note on seeds I bought some winter squash from real seed catalogue and something got into our polytunnel and scoffed all but one of them – the cheek! Hope that one is productive though otherwise we will have to order some more.

  4. JaneH

    Fiona, what a coincidence, only yesterday I was helping Mum with her veggie plot and spotted a row of green, leafy vegs which turned out to be a row of Turnips that my sister has planted. We were joking about how much Turnip one person could possibly eat and apart from soup could not come up with many ideas!
    To date I have never ventured down the Turnip route so would like to give them a go please
    happy gardening

  5. carole

    hi fiona would love to try the turnips have grown turnips before but not very impressed so would love some of your seeds please.thankyou hope youre well.carole

  6. Doh, I’m number six. They sound great!

  7. Tamar@StarvingofftheLand

    When I saw your headline, I thought you were kidding. Turnip Oasis? Now there’s an oxymoron for you. Do you plant them between your Rutabaga Rhapsody and your Kohlrabi of Paradise? But by the time I finished the post, I was wondering whether I could get the seeds in the US. Thanks for a great find.

  8. Paula

    Tamar never fails to make me laugh. I’m going to look for them here in the States as well. Thanks for the heads up.

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Everyone

    We’ve decided to extend the giveaway to the first eight people to comment so the cut off pont is here!

    Just send an email through the contact us page with your name and address and we’ll post the seeds at the weekend.

    Hi Jill

    These turnips are a real find – I think that only T&M supply them.

    Our bees are fine and hopefully happily making honey!

    Hi Cookie Girl

    That salad idea sounds excellent! Thanks.

    Hi Joanna

    Great that you’d like to test out these turnips! Poor you with the winter squash seedlings – I’m having problems with mice and slugs here too. However one of our chickens has developed a liking for slugs of all sizes and any found are tossed to her.

    Hello JaneH

    Danny was the same about growing turnips too but he’s not the gardener!

    Seeds will be winging their way to you when we get your address.

    Hi Carole

    I do hope that these seeds grow for you!

    Hi Tamar

    I never in my wildest dreams thought that I’d be reviewing a turnip but this variety is so good that it deserves a post of its own. I love oxymoron vegetable names and there are loads of them :)

    Hi Paula

    Ditto – Tamar is so witty!

    Now you can test the seeds just send your address through the contact us tab!

  10. Margaret

    Oh! Quick, quick – I can be number ten!
    Never much liked turnips but these sound a bit different and I would love to try them…

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