Long before it was developed in the 1950s, the University Hills neighborhood was home to a huge prairie dog colony. The noisy varmints were attracted to the University Hills parsnip plants that grew wild and were a mainstay of their diet. While much remains the same today, the prairie dogs have been replaced by U-Hills hipsters... As illustrated on the Denver Neighborhood Seed Company packet pictured above, the University Hills parsnip thrives in the vicinity of mid-century strip mall art supply stores, such as Guiry's Color Source on South Colorado Boulevard. Both the plant and the U-Hills hipster are considered invasive species, but are cultivated as a good source of nutrients for future economic development.
The mild white flesh is fine-grained and it develops a sweet, nutty flavor after the first frost. It is especially prized among the neighborhood residents who enjoy the crafty lifestyles of homemade soups and handmade sweaters.
Much like the the life of an artist, University Hills parsnips do best in deeply prepared soil. Plants mature in about 105 days. They love full sun, but need the frost to bring out their subtle flavor. University Hills parsnip pairs nicely with beer and/or wine, but only in that order.
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