Radish is March's Harvest of the Month
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Radishes are in the Brassica family, the same as Kale! The most common edible part of the radish is the root.

The botanical species name is Raphanus Sativus. Favorite varieties are French breakfast, Watermelon, and Easter Egg (multicolored).

If a radish stays in the ground too long in hot weather, it can get very spicy - but the spicy flavor protects it from pests like aphids, cucumber beetles, ants, and humans! If you bite into a spicy radish, you can say “That radish bit me back!”

Radishes are one of the most nutritious root vegetables and provide an excellent source of:

•Vitamin C
•Phosphorous
•Potassium
•Zinc
•Fiber

The Radish improves your health by regulating your body’s blood pressure, preventing respiratory problems, and easing digestion. The natural spices found in radishes are said to help eliminate excess mucus. 

Radishes can be eaten raw (alone or in salads, salsa, or tacos) or can be sautéed or roasted along with other root vegetables. Radishes are great for adding a bit of crunch and zest to any recipe.

RADISH TOPPINGS

Fresh radishes are delicious when eaten thinly sliced:
•with a pinch of salt or a thin slice of cheese
•dipped into a simple yogurt dressing: 1⁄2 cup yogurt, juice from 1⁄2 lemon, 2 Tbs of chopped dill
•on top of toast with a touch of butter


Radishes are easy to sprout and grow. They only need 4 weeks to transform from a tiny seed to a round, juicy root bursting with flavor. Radishes grow best in the loose, sandy soil of raised beds or “bottomland” – that is, the fields around a river that have light, sandy soil and a high moisture content. Local Food Hub partner producers planted radishes in their high tunnels, or unheated greenhouses, this February so that we could have a March harvest.

From top left clockwise: Burnley-Moran parent volunteer Jodi Darring distributing radishes; Snack buckets filled with radishes; Volunteers at Burnley-Moran helping distribute radishes; Ms. Akers' 2nd grade class tasting radishes at Jackson-Via.

Radish - Trivia and Facts
 
TRIVIA OF THE MONTH: “This vegetable is one of the first to be planted at the start of the season. It is crunchy and spicy and you can eat it straight out of the garden. You may recognize it by its brightly colored root.”
  • Radishes grow quickly, making the time between planting the seed and harvesting short.
  • Radishes grow into all different shapes and sizes (short and round or tall and narrow). Daikon radishes are often used to loosen compacted soil because of their long, slender, deep-reaching taproot.
  • Radishes are mostly made of fiber and water, which help to cleanse and hydrate the body.
 
Radish - Heritage Information
 
Radishes were cooked in Jefferson's days in a similar fashion to parsnips, beets and turnips. See the excerpt below from the 1842 by Mary Randolph, 

"Radishes are not so much used as they deserve to be; they are dressed in the same was as parsnips, only neither scraped nor cut till after they are boiled; they will take from an hour and a half to three hours in boiling, according to their size; to be sent to the table with sale, fish, build beef, etc. When young , small and juicy, it is very good to variety, an excellent garnish, and easily converted into a very cheap and pleasant pickle."
 
- This excerpt taken from Abigail Sandberg's blog for the Virginia Food Heritage Website. 


 
Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month by providing a fresh, healthy snack in all six Charlottesville Elementary Schools. Students also learn about the crop in their schoolyard garden and classroom. Information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the crop is shared with teachers and families. The goal of Harvest of the Month is to support healthy living skills that strengthen our youth and community. 

It take a community to make Harvest of the Month happen! City Schoolyard Garden is grateful to work in collaboration with Charlottesville City SchoolsLocal Food Hub, and Charlottesville Move2Health. Supported with funds through the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and other generous donors.

                                 

    Donate to keep Harvest of the Month growing!

City Schoolyard Garden is an independent, non-profit organization and your tax deductible donation makes a difference. Join us investing in our children's future, and providing them with a foundation for learning about health, nutrition, sustainability, and community. Click on the apple to donate or send a donation to our address below. Thank you!
P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
 
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