LITHUANIAN SWEDE RUTABAGA (or "beggies" as they were called in my large extended family) is the American standard heirloom grown both for the kitchen and as fodder. It has a different flavor than a turnip, a fuller more mellow, yet fulsome, flavor whereas turnips can be rather sharp. Essential for the specialty food called "Pastie" (rhymes with nasty) a small meat and vegetable hand pie which Cornish miners traditionally carried with them into the mines, their wives having carved their initials on the top crust. (Since my grandfather was a mining engineer from Cornwall, this was a favorite dish in my family growing up.) Also traditional in "taters and neeps" where it is mashed. A hardy and easily grown root vegetable. This is a European variety from Lithuania with green very edible tops and sweet golden somewhat elongated roots. So much better grown and eaten fresh, then the waxes versions you get in the supermarket. 90 days. 100 seeds.
GROWING TIPS: Swedes grow well in any good garden soil, but do best in rich, deeply dug ground. They grow slower than turnips and are a cool-weather, fall crop. Choose a site where no brassicas have grown before. The soil should be neutral to sweet, lime if necessary, to a pH of 6.8 to 7.5. Direct seed in early summer, 3-4 months before the first frost. Set seeds 1/2" deep, 1" apart in rows 18" apart. Thin to 8" apart and mulch to conserve moisture. Make sure they get at least 1" water a week. Don't feed. You can begin pulling "beggies" as they're called when they are about 3" in diameter. Flavor improves after the first frost.
PASTIE RECIPE: You can read more about pasties and get the recipe on my blog, The Garden Chick.