Status: Skirret likes wet soil, but this year’s flooding proved to be a little too wet. We got a fair seed crop, but there will be no offsets this year.
Skirret was a more popular root crop in Europe before the introduction of the potato from the new world. Once the potato gained in popularity, skirret apparently suffered a precipitous decline. This is really unfortunate, because the two aren’t all that similar and skirret is delicious in its own right. It has a flavor that reminds me of carrot, parsnip, and potato, but in its own unique proportions. It can be eaten raw or cooked, but I much prefer it cooked. It is a wonderful plant for the gardener because it is a hardy perennial. Once established, it will grow 3-6 feet tall and out-compete most weeds. The roots can be harvested any time after the first year. It likes wet, shady conditions, so it may give you a food crop in areas that otherwise don’t get much use. Think of it something like a perennial carrot that goes to seed every year. It withstands cold temperatures down to at least USDA zone 6.