If I could cut my turnip bed in half, I'd see something like this: happy little turnip roots forming underneath the soil. That's TURNIPS, not RUTABAGAS. There is a difference...
The turnip is a root vegetable, meaning that the underground root of the plant is the food part for which the plant is harvested. (Rutabagas are very similar, but are actually a hybrid between a turnip and cabbage.)
I'm growing Purple-Top White Globe turnips, which have, um, a purple top and a white globe. These little dudes have been super easy to grow, and I planted them early enough in the season that I'll actually have time to produce two full rounds: one round will be ready for harvest in the next few weeks, and then I'll plant more seeds for another harvest in Fall.
The reason I chose this type of turnip is the leaves. While I'm waiting for the turnip root to mature, I can actually harvest some of the leaves of the plant and cook them as greens! Think Southern food recipes and Chinese stir fry! I just have to be sure to leave some green on each plant- if all the leaves of a plant are harvested, there's no reason for the root to keep growing and it'll die. That will mean no turnips. BOO.
Here's a photo of my turnip bin. See the little guy in the bottom corner whose leaves are sort of pink? I don't think he's gonna make it.
I like the idea of growing things that I can save. I can store turnips for up to 3 months in a cool, damp place, so if my second harvest goes according to plan, I could still be eating home-grown food in December, long after my garden is shut down.
As a sidenote- I planted in quite a few of these blue Rubbermaid bins, and they all have dipped areas above the handle that collect water (top left in this photo). I've noticed that bees hang out in these little pools, which is awesome! Aside from flowers, bees need water to stay happy, so I hope word gets around the bee community that my garden provides flowers AND drinking pools.