Tuesday, May 27, 2008

French Radish Harvest

No doubt that radishes are one of the easiest and most gratifying thing to grow. They're fast and furious and beautiful!
Radishes are a cool season crop, but this variety will withstand some summer heat! Plant successively over 10 day periods, and you'll be in salads for months. We planted these at a 1/2" depth, 1/2" apart, and then thinned to 1" apart when the foliage appeared. Radishes like organic material, so adding compost from your bins is great for them! Keep 'em moist! Love 'em much.

When I was a student at US Grant High School in Van Nuys, CA, we actually had an agriculture program, which was long since scrapped for the typical reasons: Budget, Prop 13, etc. (There was also a 4H Club, and unless I'm completely crazy and making this memory up, we had goats, though I might be dreaming.). The first thing we did was plant rows of radishes. Great for kids (impossible to screw up + nearly instant gratification)!

I take my hat off to Alice Waters, who is single handedly trying to get urban schools back on the grow your own track, as well as chef Jamie Oliver, who is attempting to revamp England's school lunch program, as well as pushing the idea of students growing their own veggies to encourage excitement about eating healthy. Our own Learning Garden at Venice High School is an amazing and beautiful project that the students are incredibly proud of. What was once an empty, overgrown, unused piece of land has become, virtually by neighborhood volunteerism and student enthusiasm, an absolutely gorgeous garden, run by Gardenmaster David King. I'd love to see every public school dig a little plot of earth up and show the kids how food grows. No doubt this could be done through the PTA at each school. Get that ball rolling.


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