Farmgal’s Tip of the Day.. When your hubby brings you in fresh garden Radish’s and they are so hot, I mean WOW heat hot.. to eat fresh.. what to do.. the answer is easy, cook them.. you can toss them with some good olive oil and sea salt and roast them, or you can slice them up and stir-fry them with other veggies. you can grate them into soups, stews or salads to make the heat meld with everything.
Today we are going to talk about radish.. O yes, it seems so lowly.. but its not.. its a plant that just keeps on giving and we are in major expanding mode on it to boot.. I think it will be easier to break it down into parts..
1) One of the earliest things to be planted in the gardens, right along side the first spring peas but will be certain to get a harvest sooner.. Planted though out the whole growing season, they will do well, can be used as a marker system for slow to sprout seeds, by the time the slower are up an needing the space, the radish are out.
2) Do not forget that there are short growing radishes (what we are use to in the store but that there are many long season radish that are more like a carrot or turnip in shape and that there is even winter keeping radish.. yes you read that right.. big, long slow growing keep radishs that can be held over in the root cellar for winter use
3) Greens, o boy the greens.. yummy tender greens for salads, bigger and spicy greens for mixing in anything you want, veggies, meat with greens, soups, or stews.. Or how about a yummy radish green mayo for a burger or Radish Green Pesto for a pasta dish.. So Good!
4) The seeds, If you have never collected seeds or if you are still paying though the nose for winter Sprouting seeds, you need to give Radish a try.. they grow out a nice clear pod that is easy to find, filled with lots and lots of tiny black seeds, those seeds will give you fab sprouts or micro greens at a tiny fraction of the price at the store sprouting prices.
5) the pods, fresh baby pods can be added to stirfries, or pickled, Pickled Radish pods are delightful indeed. I must do a post on just that with a recipe or two on how to use them..
6) Trap crops.. Radish even if you are buying the seed are cheap to buy, active and easy to grow and they make excellent trap crops in the garden.. O yes, please think of your cabbage, carrots and other things that the bugs tend to love and throw some radish around them as a trap crop. Those radish that were trap cropped, where also allowed to go to flower and then seed.. acting as a triple threat and reward, only in one place did I pull the plants, burn them, they were covered in eggs and replant it right back out in radish..
7) Green cover crops, Radish is a excellent green cover crop, basic wide scatter on a cleaned bed now in april, let it grow about two or three inches high keeping the weeds down, chop and turn under and replant the bed in a warm weather crop.
8) Do not limit yourself to eating radish fresh, it is excellent roasted, its lovely in soups and stews and it cans up into a delightful crisp winter treat as a side dish..
9) Fodder, Radish greens and are excellent for pretty much any critter you want to feed them to.. be it your chickens, rabbits, pigs or sheep, even my horses get in on the action, its adorable watching them eating up that radish greens and then the look as they get to the radish itself, but they never turn it down.. even the super hot ones are eaten with gusto
10) They are FAST, I mean really, what other plant do you know that can go from seed to table in 30 days and in ideal conditions.. 28 days.. Rock on Radish.. Rock on!
Now, What do you say. I say, run to the store and pick up five or six more packages of basic radish for green crops, for seed use or for trapping rows in your garden, but also hit the Asian area of the seeds and be brave, pick up a winter radish as well! Give it a try, they can very different flavours, some are more mild, some are so funky in color.. how about a lovely green and white radish, or a white skin with a pink middle or a lovely purple radish in color or pure white..