Michele on Good Morning America


This was on yesterday. Are there really that many people who don't know a parsnips when they see one? Well, I guess some don't need to.


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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at yahoo.com


  1. Right. I’ve known what a parsnip looks like for years, in spite of not wanting to eat it.

    I haven’t found the farmers’ markets *I’ve* attended to be more expensive than any place I buy decent produce. The produce is a heck of a lot fresher, and the farmer is getting ALL the money from sales, instead of getting maybe a third from produce buyers from stores. I get to talk to the farmer, and ask the questions no store produce manager is likely to answer.

    As to strawberries and tomatoes, I am spoilt badly. I know a ripe one, and I can’t settle for less than ripe or out of season any more.

    I have one orchardist I follow because he sells over a hundred varieties of apple, including ones I’ve only read about. My favorites are all the very late season ones…

  2. I thought those parsnips were funky colored carrots. (maybe I should have mentioned that). Now I know, right. I definitely need a grow light. 20 days and she was eating that arugula. Awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You can tell that she’s never gardened in her life. “Supposedly gardening is a great work out.” And notice she never actually touches the parsnips or the growing plants. It’s too funny.

  4. Michele, I was SO glad to see the red necklace (so I knew it was you). The poor dear interviewer, she definitely seemed to be forcing the enthusiasm, but I swear she was impressed you could grow arugula in 3 weeks in a basement (though why anyone would want to, I couldn’t say — I’m not a fan of arugula or parsnips). You looked so NORMAL! and real. What fun. I hope lots of people buy your book and start growing things. Hey, I bought your book twice — I got my first copy, put it on ‘to read soon’ shelf, forgot I had picked up my order at the bookstore, and then ordered another one. Duh! So I’ll give it to a friend and spread the word. Loved the comment about seeds being the ultimate bargain shopping experience. Thanks for being there!

  5. Are those parsnips on a bread plate or a dinner plate? Either way they look bigger and straighter than mine. My soil has a ways to go, but it’s getting there.

    The carrots and beets I didn’t harvest were mush by spring. The parsnips are leafing out and should be dug even if small since they’ll bloom soon.

  6. Christopher C, the parsnips are on a soup bowl. I actually started planting them later than recommended in spring, because they were just growing too big over the course of a season, and by the time the top is three or four inches in diameter, the texture and flavor suffer a little.

  7. Thanks, Li’l Ned for the support, and for saying I looked normal. I think I looked like such a NERD! I had no idea that my style was so librarian. I think of myself as slightly glamorous!

  8. Michele, your interview was great. You know your subject, and I love how you connected seeds to money (something which Americans can latch onto) along with health (something we should all latch onto). Keep up the good work. You’re an erudite envoy.~~Dee

  9. OMG! Where can I get that pole bean container gadget? (as if I haven’t already exceeded my gardening budget…) I gotta have!

    btw, I recently finished Grow the Good Life, and loved it!

  10. Stephen, the pole bean container is Gardener’s Supply. I don’t always love their stuff, but I thought that was totally cool.

  11. I applaud your self control, Michelle. I would have started snickering with the “are these parsnips?” and lost it COMPLETELY when that poor, clueless woman said, “so, I guess you garden mostly seasonally?”

    Uhm. Yeah…it’s kinda what you DO in Nature, in the seasons, uhm…. Hah!

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