When we were planning and ordering seeds this winter, radishes weren’t in the picture. Danny likes them but I’m not a huge fan and, frankly, we hadn’t had great luck growing them in the past. But, when one of our biggest supporters asked if we’d be growing any, French Breakfast specifically, I made a beeline for City Folks Farm Shop and picked up a nice pack of seeds.
I was overeager and sprouted some in a container on the windowsill. They looked great; in perfect rows, evenly spaced. True to their Greek name, raphanus, meaning quick to sprout, they appeared as if overnight. After transplanting and a few weeks in one of our old garden beds that wasn’t too well-ammended, we had some decent sized roots, but they were mangled and spotty. Still, I was hopeful. When we pulled the first ones from our new, extra-long rows, I was amazed. They were beautiful. (See previous posts for pictures). Shout out to Milan at Peace, Love, and Freedom Farm for his great advice on fertilizing! The fish juice, ample seedling thinning, and lots of space did their magic and we had enough radishes for all our CSA members this week.
Of course, some folks, including me, took convincing that these humble shoots were worth our time. Research and education were in order. Here’s some of what we’ve learned so far and been sharing with our people as we share our wealth.
While the roots are pretty and tend to get most of the attention, it turns out radish greens are a superfood. They are packed with Beta carotene, Vitamin C and Calcium (surprise!).
They make a great addition to salad mixes. They are dense and flavorful, if a bit scratchy when allowed to grow large.
But, not to worry because, like most any leafy green, you can use the greens to make pesto. And now that you know how healthy they are, why wouldn’t you?
Radishes are so satisfying to grow and took only 5 weeks to mature in our early spring garden. They are satisfying to harvest too. The kids had a blast with that task. I was kind of jealous…
We’ve already got more in the ground and will be ordering seeds in bulk next season.