Sunday, October 5, 2008

Home grown radishes

Rishab was being quite wild when it came to plucking flowers and leaves all the time. I thought that I might help him develop a little bit more sensitivity towards plants, if I let him sow the radish seeds I wanted to sow himself. Though I know he is quite young (3 years) and I keep hearing from mothers that it is normal, but I thought it was worth trying. Both Rishab and I sowed the seeds in the soil as per the instructions on the package. And now that I think of it, it seemed to have worked, at least to a certain extent.
Although we got quite a lot of radishes - about 2/3rd of all that we planted, I realised that they had not been planted deep enough. In the package they just said, 1 cm deep and I think many a times (luckily!) we sowed the seeds 2 cm deep. So, in many cases, though they grew (the leaves), the radish tuber didn't get thick and were protruding out of the soil and were thin like any other root, to our disappointment.
This was the first summers where I actually planted or sowed seeds for vegetables and I also got something at the end. Also the first time for radishes, but I think that is the easiest thing to do. Last year the slugs ate aways everything one by one, even before they could grow. This year I had sworn not to plant a single plant! :D "Why waste my energies with the bad weather here - cloudy and wet, cold and no sun, which in any case doesn't allow plants to grow", I thought.
But, come summer and the warmer days with it, and I again became optimistic about it. The last year was also a bad summer - wet, cold and little direct sunlight. These summers were again nothing so special, but good enough that I at least had some small successes, enough to motivate me to do some more gardening next year. Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Yes, this is no big deal I know, when I see so many blogger gardeners doing it in a big way, but this is my very first time ever!
So, what all did I plant this year in my garden. I planted some new herbs. I already had mint, oregano and a small plant of thyme from last year, but since I chose a wrong spot to plant them, where they were always in too much of shade, they didn't like it. So, last Fall I changed their position to another well lighted spot. It helped a lot this year. I planted some more herbs -sage, another variety of mint, and a wilting pot of organic chives which I had used up (it came so well) and two different strawberries. One of them I had mentioned in my earlier post. Tomatoes, this time they grew much better than I had expected, unlike last time. And bore fruit heavily, but, now that it has become cold, they don't like it any more. And i am forced to pluck the remaining ones which are not compeletely ripe. I think I waited too long to buy and plant them. It was a very spontaneous decision when i saw them and couldn't resist buying them. Don't know if it makes sense to buy a small glass house for it next year, if it will keep the tomatoes warmer. I realise that they don't like it wet and cold at all. well, time will tell. I am learning so much with such small experiments. And the best thing is the only fertiliser I used was this organic horn and hoof chippings /meal (German: Hornspäne) which help enrich the nitrogen content of the soil and is allowed for organic farming under the EU law.
But, I also have to mention that I actually had also bought zucchini seeds (or was it cucumber, I had cucumber seeds too) and wanted to plant them too. I had sown them in small pots in the house in Spring time. It was almost summers and after two weeks and already about 18-20 °C outside, I thought that I might as well transfer the seedlings outside. But, as it looks like, they got a climate shock and all wilted one after the other, to my big disappointment. That I didn't even bother to plant the other set of seeds (either cucumber of zucchini). Will have to check that in the packets I still have.
But, whatever, next year I will surely do some more sowing and planting and see what I get.
So, here is my humble recipe for a simple salad which we ate as a side with Italian dressing (oliveoil, white wine vinegar or lemon juice, salt and pepper, ad i also added some dijon mustard) which everyone added to his own salad bowl at lunch. I think key to a good sald is the dressing, which again depends on a good vinegar, which makes a world of difference in the taste. So, it is worht it to use natural vinegar, any kinds one likes. Some of my favorites are white wine vinegar - a lot of times flavoured with different herbs, sherry viengar, balsamico - white and dark, apple cidre vinegar. Right now I bought one flavoured with elderberry (Sambacus) must, a sweet and mild one - tastes good.
For the salad, I just cut up some cucmber and organic Iceberg from the local market, and radishes and chives from my own garden. The radishes were especially tasty. Spicy and pungent that my son found it hard to eat them! It was a totally new taste for him. I have noticed that here in the market you also get spicy radishes, but only during summers. I'm sending this to Grow Your Own event initiated by Andrea and taking place this fortnight (1st to 15th Oct.) at Maria's A Scientist in the Kitchen.


~nm said...

Wow! They look so nice fresh and crunchy! Feel like biting in them!

gay said...

Nothing like starting `em young to do a bit of gardening, right? I like the chives but could never seem to grow them well.

Priya said...

The salad looks delicious...radish looks really to have them..

anudivya said...

That is such a cute story! So did Rishab stop picking on the leaves and flowers :)?
A glass house would be awesome too! Good luck. I am stuck in an apartment and all my potted plants die on me!

Bharti said...

Beautiful radishes! I have a black thumb and am always admiring people who grow their own veggies.

Andrea said...

It sounds like you had some real garden adventures this summer! Your radishes and chives look great, and you've reminded to plant radishes for my husband next spring as he really likes them. Thanks for sharing your salad with Grow Your Own!