Perennial Vegetable Profile – Skirret

Skirret – It sounds like the noise you’d make when you want a critter to go away. But it is actually a perennial root crop similar to sweet potato that has been described as delicious once steamed, roasted or stewed. It is a clumping root herb that blooms long and well for beneficial insects. The plant was once a staple crop in Europe and American gardens but fell out of favor once the potato came around.

Sium sisarum can be a annual in the southern portion of the United States and deep continental inland (central Canada), but then grown as an perennial in the midsection regions of the United States, its not a big fan of extreme hot and extreme cold. Skirret, also known as suikerwortel, grows well in rich, moist soils in full or partial shade. It is resistant to pests and diseases, and will attract beneficial insects to help manage the current pest population.

The plant is easy to divide, just pull off a clump and replant, keeping what you’d like to eat. The roots are harvested in the fall after the first frost has killed the plant on top. It is said that the roots will store well if stored like carrots.

Preparing the roots like potato will yield delicious results. I have ordered my seeds online… Does this article make you want to try it out? Have you tried skirret, what do you think?

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