Produce, Uncategorized

Radishes

We planted radishes right in the ground inside our greenhouse this winter so they are already ready to harvest early spring! This year we planted Pearl Radishes which are white in color and have a more mild flavor. I admit I think the greenhouse got too hot right at the last minute which could have caused the woodiness to some of the larger roots.

When to plant…

Radishes are a cool weather crop and best to grow in the Spring or Fall. Plant radishes about 2-3″ apart to avoid crowding. Radishes are not a big fan of fertilizer as it makes the tops grow larger instead of focusing on the root. They also need nice moist soil. If the radishes take too long to grow due to hot weather or dry soil, they can get hard and woody.

Length to Mature… 3-4 weeks

When to harvest…

You will want to harvest them before they get too big and turn bitter as they tend to get spongy. Normally, before they are 1″ in diameter. When you pull them out of the ground, be careful not to disturb the small ones around them as you thin the crop down, that way you can continue to enjoy the radishes throughout the season as they grow.

How to select and store…

Radishes can come in a variety of colors: pink, red, purple, violet, green, black and white. Radish tops should be bright green and not at all wilted. The roots should be brightly colored and free from cracks. Squeeze them to make sure they are not hollow or soft in the center.

Radishes can last in your fridge for 1-2 weeks and are best if you cut the tops off of them before storing. The tops should be used within 2-3 days.

How to preserve it…

Radish Relish can be sealed and stored for up to 1 year.

Fun Tip…

Don’t throw the tops out! The radish leaves are delicious and nutritious.

 

 

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Produce

Asparagus

When to plant…

Asparagus can take years to establish, but when it does you will produce an abundant crop of spears spring after spring for the next 20-30 years. There are female and male asparagus plants and to keep your garden under control you only want to keep the male spears as baby asparagus plants compete for space and nutrients if the females come to seed.

In early spring, dig a trench about 12” deep and a foot wide. Plant asparagus crowns at 18” intervals in the bed with compost and fertilizer. Shape the compost and fertilizer in 6” mounds and set the asparagus crown on top and drape the roots down around the sides. The top of the mound should be 6” below the soil surface. Cover the roots with garden soil right up to the crown and water well. As shoots begin to appear, add more soil until the trench has been filled back up.

No weeds, no interplanting with other vegetables, and keep it well mulched and consistent soil moisture.

When to harvest…

You will want to harvest your spears when they are 5” – 7” tall before they begin to loosen, which is usually in April. Do not pull them out of the ground, but cut them or snap them just above the soil. The first year after plantings, harvest only a few spears from each plant for 2 weeks and then stop. You can then harvest 3 weeks the next year and 4-6 weeks the year after that. Pick too much, and your plants will not be able to develop the strong root system and energy reserves needed for the future.

Once the bed yields only skinny spears let them grow to their full potential to establish healthier fronds for next year’s harvest.

How to select and store…

Asparagus can be green, white or purple. Stalks should be rounded and firm, with thin stems and closed tips. The tips should be deeply colored and ends that are still moist. Store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel or upright in a shallow bowl with an inch of water. Use within a day or two after purchasing.

How to preserve it…

Blanch and Freeze for up to 6 months or pickle them with mustard seed and seal for up to 1 year!

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William Sonoma

 

Fun tip!

Gently bend the stalk from both ends and it will naturally break where the tough meets terrific.

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