Basketball-sized turnip comes as surprise

Published 12:17 am Monday, June 1, 2009

NATCHEZ — Issac Minor likes to eat turnip with his turnip greens. But after a discovery he made last week, he’s going to need a lot more greens.

That’s because he’s now the proud owner of a 10-plus pound turnip.

Minor grew the turnip, but it would be dishonest to say that he raised the basketball-sized taproot, he said.

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It all started several months ago when his cousin was clearing a pasture on Mississippi 553.

“They were clearing some land with a bulldozer, and I was walking behind the bulldozer, just broadcasting the seeds,” Minor said. “It’s not like they were in a garden or anything — I just wanted to see if they would grow.”

But after that, the planting was largely forgotten.

“I never did check them,” Minor said.

Last week, however, Minor and his cousin were out in the pasture, riding four-wheelers and checking the fence when his cousin pointed out some turnip greens sticking up from the ground.

When he went over to investigate, Minor found two turnips.

One of those was his gargantuan harvest, but the other one — which Minor said was probably bigger than the one he pulled — had already gone bad.

“The top came out of it when I pulled on it,” he said.

The giant turnip is the largest one he or anyone he has asked has seen, Minor said.

“I showed it to an older guy who has been farming for years, and he said he’s never seen (a turnip) that big down here before,” he said.

He wants to show the turnip to a few other people, but Minor said he’s having to contend with conflicting desires from his family.

“Everybody is talking about eating it,” he said.

“They are talking about getting a lot of greens and eating it. I don’t know what you do with that much turnip.”