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November 22, 2007



Actually it's not at all surprising that he called this a turnip, as this was the name used for both rutabagas and turnips at that time in the area (from English colonists). These are common names, not scientific names, and their use was common. The same naming issues are found in England where both are often referred to as Swedes, from the name Swedish turnips. They were also called yellow turnips. So it is more our modern view - that turnips are small and purple topped - where the Gilfeather looks not like a 'turnip' Turnips are in fact very diverse, and there are large (extremely large oriental varieties) and colorful (red, yellow, purple, etc.) types out there, just not marketed in supermarkets. Rutabaga comes from norse, and was used by Germanic speaking colonists in the US and Canada and became the predominant name used eventually. So it's probably only Botanists and agronomists who bother to quibble. In fact the exact origins and differences between the two is still debated and had not been completely resolved through genetic research.

Theresa Maggio

I made a movie about the Gilfeather Turnip, interviewing old timers who knew Mr. Gilfeather. These turnips grow to the size of bowling balls, some of them.
Please tell me what makes the Gilfeather a rutabaga?

Here is a link to the 23-minute movie.

I am a journalist who lives in the West River Valley of Vermont, not far from Wardsboro, home of the Gilfeather.
The only person who can legally sell Gilfeather seeds is Paul Dutton of Dutton's Berry Farm, Brookline, Vermont.

UGGs On Sale

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