Sunday, September 9, 2012

French Breakfast Radishes

I figured I should start blogging about all the planting adventures I've experienced this summer. Before I go into more detail, first I have to tell you how I acquired a big packet of seeds from Safeway. Ben and I were shopping one day, and as we walked in the door, I saw a sign that said "closeout seeds - this store only". And guess what, there was a packet of ~25 seed packets for $1! I was SO excited that I instantly walked over and looked through every packet to find one that I liked while Ben went on to look for produce. I hopped back over to him (I mean actually hopped, like a child) and I should mention that I was wearing my hat that had snowflakes on it and a pom-pom on top as well, definitely not helping with the "I swear I'm in my mid-20's" image. When I was almost next to Ben and the shopping cart, my sweatshirt brushed against a potted plant. I knocked it over and it shattered! It was a pretty potted orchid, if I remember right. I was so embarrassed - a store clerk rushed over to pick it up and told me not to worry about it. I asked "are you sure?" because I felt like I should pay for it, but he waved me off again, kindly, so I retreated - exceptionally embarrassed. The rest of the shopping trip I was so ashamed that I didn't want to get any food, and (as Ben tells me) walked behind him like a guilty puppy.... Anyway - I got my seeds!!!!

Perhaps my favorite (and most fruitful) gardening adventure is with French Breakfast Radishes. There was a packet of these in my clearance seed packet, and I'm glad, or else I may have never tried them, in lieu of swiss chard, kale, and fancier things. I sprouted them in empty eggshells (I read about doing this in a blog), and grew them on my windowsill (it was late February in Seattle - too cold to start these outside).

They were really easy to grow indoors - I repotted them in a medium pot and let them grow there for a while. By early April there was more sun, so I occasionally took them outside to get more sunlight. They were really leafy, the greens were edible and tasty too. I made a pesto with them.

I picked them ~40 days later, and they were so adorable! I read online that they're ready when they pop out of the soil. I sliced them and ate them on buttered bread with sea salt. They were really tasty, and (the best part) some of the easiest vegetables I've ever grown.

Here they are! Keep in my mind my hands are pretty small, so they're only 3-4 inches long.

Forgot to add, I also planted a few of the starts outside (to see how they would do) in mid-June. I sort of let them go... because I wanted to collect the seeds! And it was success. At first they look like normal radish greens, but as they bolted they got to be ~ 3 feet tall! They flowered, and then the seed packets looked perfect for picking. And I chose to pick them right away, not after they dried for a bit, because I had to move. Anyway - I've collected the seeds and I'm excited to plant some more radishes next year. I love collecting seeds!

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