Monday, January 3, 2011

1/3 Harvest - Daikon Radish

Happy New Year to everyone! 

I really want to shout out "Let the new gardening year begin!" but ironically enough, this first post of the new year presents my very last harvest of 2010.

After waiting for what seemed like forever for these daikon radishes to size up, I, uh, forgot to harvest them before a ton of snow started falling in December.  Yeah, blame it on the snow, right?  The side garden where these radishes were planted was covered with over a foot of snow and looked like this (see below) for the most part of December.

I was a bit worried that the daikons wouldn't survive a whole month of snow and bitter cold temperatures.  But the weather finally warmed up a bit while we were out of town during the last week of December, and I had one day window of opportunity to pull the daikon radishes out of the ground on December 31.

The green tops looked pretty wilted and some of the stems were rather squishy, so I didn't know if the radishes themselves would be any good.  But I harvested them anyway and was pleasantly surprised to see that some of them actually looked edible.

Somehow I was under the (false?) impression that daikon radishes would get really big, like the size of my arm, but these were only on par with small/medium carrots.  Many of these daikon radishes had really long taproots, though, so I wonder if they would grow bigger in better soil that's not as clayey like the soil in this side garden.

Anyway, these radishes had a slight spicy kick to them but they still tasted fresh and crunchy.  Even the green tops were still edible after I trimmed off all the wilty and squishy ones.  Keith and I are not big fans of eating them raw, so I chopped them up (both green tops and the radish roots) and tossed them in a stir fry with some chicken and broccoli.  They were good!

Visit Daphne's Harvest Monday to see if what other winter gardeners are still harvesting.


Anonymous said...

Do they taste much different than regular radishes?
Great harvest for this time of year! I think I have mice in my greenhouse as my root crops are disappearing.

Robin said...

Those radishes certainly look big and beautiful to me!!

kitsapFG said...

Carrots, beets, parsnips, and radishes are amazing at wintering in place - providing fresh harvests if you can clear away the snow and dig through the crust of ice!

~Holly~ said...

Hooray for your daikon!! Whatcha gonna do with them? I love pickled daikon or use them in soups.

villager said...

I've got daikon seed but never got around to planting it last year. Looks like I need to give it a try, if it's hardy AND tasty!

Daphne said...

I think I've only grown daikons one year. They were OK, but I wasn't in love with them. I should have tried cooking with them. I just tried pickling them.

michelle said...

Yippee, you got one final harvest for the year! I'm always amazed at veggies that can be covered by a foot of snow and survive.

A Kitchen Garden in Kihei Maui said...

That's incredible that your daikons survived such cold weather and still look good! I grow them during the winter months on Maui and it takes 3 months from seed for the radish to reach a foot long. When the soil isn't loose enough they tend to grow wider.

Tamara said...

Your Daikons turned out better than my first crop last year, and we dont get snow. My crop went straight to seed and produced woody radishes. So Well done! I'll try again soon, but if you have any idea's why they'd bolt I'd love to hear them. Happy New Year, and may the next season of gardening begin.

Mark Willis said...

Well, those daikons may not be huge, but I reckon most of them are a pretty respectable size, and they look very clean and unblemished. The fact that they were harvested when not much else is available is a bonus too.

Graziana said...

wow I love your daikons, I think I will grow them next year. how do you prepared them?

Veggie PAK said...

Isn't it amazing how vegetables will survive under those conditions! That just shows that we should never throw in the towel on veggies. They'll try to come through if at all possible!

Barbie said...

Hehe- if that is the size of an average carrot, I wan't YOUR garden. LOL. My carrots are never much more than puny.(Doesn't stop be from trying though!)

Erin said...

I think they look great! They are probably more flavorful at that size, good job!

meemsnyc said...

How awesome that it survived under all that snow! I've never eaten this radish before, I'll have to try growing them!

The Idiot Gardener said...

For me, the daikon needs cooking. Mine did grow some serious girth, but after a month of damp weather the roots went soft. I'll pull them earlier in 2011!

Stefaneener said...

In your weather, I guess something that can hold in snow is a real advantage.

Ottawa Gardener said...

Daikons are the only radish that I eat. The rest I grow for their reputed pest repellant abilities. So many of the root crops do a great job of surviving especially under the insulation of snow. They may not be gigantic but they loook good.

Nartaya said...

Great harvest! mMakes me want to cook up a batch of daikon and pork soup.... yum....

Dan said...

They look good! I have never tried these before. I should give them a try.

thyme2garden said...

Thank you every one for your kind and thoughtful comments!

vrtlarica - since I don't have *that* much experience eating regular radishes, I can't say with great authority; but I think daikons do taste a bit milder than regular radishes. I like it that they are bigger than regular radishes, so there's more of them to eat. :)

* * * * *
Holly and Graziana - we used them (roots and greens) in stir fries and soups. They were pretty tasty!

* * * * *
Barbie - hehe, I actually haven't had much luck getting carrots to grow to a decent size in my Indiana garden. My California carrots, on the other hand, grow big, even larger than these daikon radishes.

* * * * *
Nartaya - we used the daikon in chicken soup. I haven't had pork soup yet, but maybe I should consider it for next time!

Jo Jo @ Fusian Living said...

Hi Minji & Keith, I love daikon in soup or stew. I might try to grow some this year in the UK if I can get hold of some seeds!

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