Next weekend, the 13th annual Eastham Turnip Festival will make its way into the Nauset Regional High School gymnasium, where the vegetable’s unique and extensive history will be celebrated.
However, gatherings centered around the fabled Eastham Turnip go back a long way, such as the “Eastham Turnip Pull.”
The Turnip Pull occurred whenever a local farmer found himself in distress, as was the case with Harry W. Collins, who, with Raymond Brackett was one of the town’s prominent turnip farmers, in the fall of 1951.
Collins, who the Nov. 8, 1951 edition of The Cape Codder described as being “seized with illness” just before the harvest season, had been in the hospital for weeks, and would not live to see the end of the year.
So on Nov. 4, 1951, more than 50 volunteers, ranging in age from 10 to 73, gathered at the Collins farm on Bridge Road to harvest his crop.