Saving Parsnip Seed

This blog post has been over 18 months in the making!
Parsnips are a biannual plant so to they only flower and set seed in their second year of growing. 
Last year I grew a good batch of parsnips which we ate all winter, but I saved the best ones to grow on for seed. In march I sorted through them and planted them in a new bed.

 They grew all summer, reaching a height of over 6ft with no care from me whats so ever! 

I once the flowers had set and the seeds formed the plants started to dry off. I picked a sunny day and harvested all the flower heads, with stalks still attached, and hung them up in the shed to dry out fully. Then a month later it was a a lovely sunny afternoon so I decided it was time to collect the seed from them. To get the seed was simple, I laid a dust sheet on the ground (an old bed sheet actually) and then we "threshed" them in batches. To thresh them we just used a 5ft length of bamboo cane and hit them, periodically we'd stop, move the seed heads,…