Monday, Monday

Good afternoon everybody!

Happy Monday to you all.  I hope you’ve all had wonderful weekends.  I went over to the garden this morning to check everything out.  We still have no water, but we’re looking into it.  Never fear!  Besides, it is supposed to rain all week!  The sunflowers in the middle planter are enormous.  I can’t believe their growth.  The strawberries are ripe and delicious, the beans are growing and we have little immature fruits on most tomato plants.  It was cloudy and the far-off thunder was rather ominous, so Ann and I left after measuring the area for the sign.  Molly went out to work in the garden, and she said she has cleared the watermelon patch of other plants, so we can get ready for some tasty watermelons.

Since we’ve had a bunch of radishes ready, I thought I should find out more about them.  First of all, I love radishes.  Crisp, sometimes spicy, delicious.  I like mine fresh with a touch of salt.    We’ve also had a lot of borage (an herb) maturing, and no one knows quite what to do with it!

Radishes

Radish is a cool-season, fast-maturing, super-easy-to-grow vegetable. Garden radishes can be grown wherever there is sun and moist, fertile soil, even on the smallest city lot.  Radishes are low maintenance plants, and a great plant for young gardeners!  Early varieties usually grow best in the cool days of early spring, but some later-maturing varieties can be planted for summer use.

Spring/summer radishes should be planted in early spring, as soon as the soil is safe from a late frost.  They should be planted about ½ inch deep and 1-2 inches apart.  If you have a lot of space, it is probably better to space them even more, as this will allow for proper root development.  At Wild Roots, we planted our radishes from seed, but we put them way too close together.  Molly did some thinning, but they were still pretty close!  Next time we’ll have to space them out more.

Harvest your radishes when they are of usable size.  The top of the root (radish) sticks out of the ground, so it is easy to tell when they are ready.  Pull them when they are relatively young, or you risk letting them become pithy (spongy) and hot.

Radishes are often used only as a decoration, but the root is delicious!  Eat up!  They are actually a part of the cruciferous vegetable family, so you can eat the leaves!  Oversize radishes can become tough, woody, and strong in flavor. To check a large radish squeeze gently, if it yields to pressure it is likely to be fibrous. It is too late for these guys, so they go to compost.

However, after you harvest your tasty tasty radishes, clean them with a brush under cold running water.  Peeling is not necessary.  Cut away the stem and root ends, then cut as desired, or eat whole!  Radishes can be substituted for turnips in any recipe.  Do not freeze or dry radishes, they should be eaten fresh.

Borage

We have beautiful borage plants in our garden, but I had no idea what borage is used for.  Now that I’ve done some research, I’m happy to say that I now know all about borage.

The borage has eye-catching bright-blue, star-shaped flowers.  They are a favorite stop for bees, and they bloom through most of the summer.  The leaves and flowers are edible.  Borage is a tall herb, and it will grow up to 18 inches tall.

The plant doesn’t need perfect growing conditions, but the richer the soil, the better.  It also prefers full sun and wind protection, but will survive just fine without.

Borage is an excellent companion for tomatoes, squash, and strawberries.  The plant actually improves the flavor of tomatoes growing nearby.

In the kitchen, borage can be used as a beautiful, bright garnish.  The leaves and flowers are a traditional garnise for gin-based summer cocktails.  Flowers and young leaves can be used in salads, dips, and soups.  Candied flowers make excellent cake decorations.  Leaves can be cooked with cabbage leaves.  Do not attempt to dry borage.  In the medicine cabinet, borage is a tonic plant for the adrenal glands, it is helpful for those living a stressful lifestyle.  It is rich in potassium and other minerals.  Borage tea can reduce fever and relieve chest colds.  Finally, an infusion of borage acts as a galactogogue, which aids in the production of milk in breastfeeding women.

Last but not least, borage is beautiful; it can be cut and put in a vase in the house.  The bright blue will hopefully brighten your day!

Thanks for reading!

Happy Gardening!

Adrienne W.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s