This past year we (my better half and I) built a hoop-roofed greenhouse in the backyard to compliment the hugelkulture garden bed we installed earlier. Our experience with urban farming has been experimental thus far, and we are really learning a lot. For example, when you plant radishes, and don’t harvest them soon enough, they bolt. Bolting is essentially ‘going to seed’. And while we thought we lost our harvest, we couldn’t have been further from the truth.
Radish ‘pods’ are the fruit of a radish plant, as opposed to the radish root that is typically available at grocery stores. One radish seed can produce hundreds of pods. The pods are completely edible, taste like a mild radish, and only have about 3.5g of carbs/100g. You can sauté them and add to stir fries, add them raw to salads, mash them into salad dressings, or do anything with them that you would do with peas.
We were overwhelmed with radish pods this summer. We couldn’t eat them as fast as they were becoming available. So, turning to the internet, I found that you can preserve them by pickling them! I made a couple of batches as they became ready, and I will post the instructions on that on Monday.
Towards the end of the season, I harvested the seeds for next spring. Harvesting the seed is very simple: let the pods dry on the plant for as long as it takes to hear rattling of the seeds inside. If the weather becomes wet and cold, you can cut the stalks and hang them until the pods are ready for harvest.
Once they are ready, the time consuming part comes. I sit down on the living room floor with a movie on, and start cracking the pods open. Inside, there are little seeds- usually 4-7 seeds per pod. Those are what you want, and you discard the sheath.
I left my seeds out in the box for a week or so to make sure that everything was fully dried, then packaged them away in a paper envelope for spring sowing (and gifting, since there is no way we could possibly plant that many radishes next year!).
This was my best garden surprise this year. Have you had any happy surprises in the garden?