Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fruits of labour

Spring is here in Mumbai (feels like Summer, though!) and I'm busy harvesting vegetables from my winter crop. So satisfying to see the fruits of one's labour!

In Mumbai, one of the easiest winter veggies that grow to harvest within a month of sowing are these red radishes. I much prefer these quick-to-harvest veggies... mainly because I'm too impatient for my own good.
Gardening is supposed to teach one patience, right? Well, it hasn't happened to me yet!

Cr-r-r-isp!!!
These have to be some of the most flavourful radishes I've ever tasted. Just bursting with goodness, like the ad-guys say. And they look so pretty too(er... I meant the radishes, of course)!

I was never too fond of radishes and their slightly pungent flavour. Till I tasted the home-grown, just-out-of-the-garden variety. You have no idea what a difference that makes. Especially since I didn't wait for it to get too big and woody but harvested it early.
But what made it extra-special was that this was planted by my daughter. Aaah! I knew you'd understand.

She had accompanied me to the vegetable patch and was fascinated to see the tomatoes grow.

The flowers of the bok choy are so pretty aren't they? My daughter was a bit annoyed that I had to remove them and other emerging buds. But she's right, they're good enough to go into my flower vases!

They're much tastier when the leaves are tender but if you can keep the flowers away (don't tell her!), you can harvest the leaves a bit longer.
Okay, maybe a couple of flowers among all that green is great soul-food too. Especially when they're such pretty flowers!

And then there was the broccoli (Yes! We do grow broccoli in Mumbai during our so-short winter season) ... a favourite with my kids. They could never understand why broccoli has such a bad reputation among kids in story-books and cartoons.
Anyway, the broccoli was the decider. She decided she wanted her own vegetable patch too.
Broccoli would take too long to grow. By the time it is ready we would be in the middle of summer, broiling in temperatures closer to38*C. But radish? The perfect sneak-in-a quick-crop vegetable!
Love's labour ...

... WON!!!

59 comments:

  1. What a radish! Simply inviting. Nothing beats home- grown veggies.Looks like there are 2 (or more?)gardeners to enjoy the great pastime.

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  2. Feel like plucking the radish from the picture and eating! Beautiful for the eyes too!

    It is nice to know that your young lady also is interested in gardening...!

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  3. Sunita your radishes look ravishing. I am not too fond of them but my hubby likes them in tartar sauce. Lucky you to have your daughter with you in the garden. Mine pretends that she has allergies whenever she goes into the garden. How do you use your ravishing radishes?

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  4. Undecided which is best - your prose, your pics or your veggies!

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  5. Those radishes look so yummy! The weather turned hot too soon last year so we did not get a crop of them. And yes, anything planted by little hands taste the best! Happy Harvesting…

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  6. I'm wondering if the bok choy flowers would be eatable. I eat flowers of some vegetables: radish, chives, etc.

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  7. Very nice to hear from you that you are leading yr daughter through yr path...nice description nice images and wishing you a nice day

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  8. Absolutely, Keats! just a small vegetable patch at home can give one such tasty dishes, right?
    And,yes, I have a feeling she'll be a great gardener some day :)

    Sandhya, that was one of the things that draw me to growing radish. They're so pretty! They really appeal to my sense of aesthetics.

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  9. Oh Helen, she'll pick it up when the time is right. So long as she sees you enjoying yourself gardening that impression'll stay with her till it's time for her to start her own garden.
    Tartar sauce ... I must try that! I use mine in salads because they look so good. I found a recipe using radish, apple and cucumber chopped and tossed with lime juice, dill and a pinch of sugar. I modify that to include anything I may have at home and which plays off the flavours against each other. So I may use pear or oranges instead of apples and white wine vinegar instead of lime juice... anything so long as the texture is interesting and it looks colourful.

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  10. LOL! Thank you, Raji! :)

    Thank you, Skeeter :)
    We were already having maximum day-time temperatures of 30*C when these radish were growing but they were in the ground and not in pots so maybe that helped.
    I hope I can keep those little hands interested in growing more!

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  11. So good to see you here again, Barbee! :)
    And what an interesting idea! I must try that out. How do you prepare and use the flowers of radish and chives, Barbee? I'm really curious.

    Thanks, Aswathi :)
    Actually there was no 'leading' involved. I think they have to see us enjoying what we are doing and that sparks their curiosity!

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  12. So far all I have done is put bits of them in salads. Also, the very young seed pods of radish. I know a man who soaks chives flowers in his favorite kind of vinegar until it turns pink. Then he uses it in his homemade salad dressings such as olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. He thinks it's prettier. I have read of eating the flowers of garlic by battering and frying I suppose that would be similar to an oriental tempura dish. I found the post where I read it, but it was in the comments. Be sure to open and read the comments. CLICK HERE

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  13. nice pics...cn someone guide me as to what seeds to sow in march to april in mumbai???

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  14. hi ..am new t this group n loved yr pics..cn u tel me which veggies to sow in march april in mumbai??

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  15. Thank you so much, Barbee. I've read about batter-frying gourd flowers but I've never tried it yet. The chives flower in vinegar sounds interesting. I must try that. I have a lot of chives growing for me. And thanks for the link, Barbee :)

    Vids, Anonymous... you can sow okra (ladies fingers), brinjal, chilli and different varieties of gourds now. But I'd suggest you sow the seeds right now rather than waiting till April when it is blistering hot. Where will you be growing them? On a terrace or balcony or in the ground?

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  16. Love radishes myself and I've not been sowing anything for six months now, busy with my personal life and professional too. I hope to start sowing this week. Feels good to be back in the blogosphere!

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  17. Wow! I never liked radishes, but looking at this, I jus want to bite into it

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  18. After finishing the post, I felt the same way as Raji, the words or the photos, could not decide which was the better. I agree about the radishes, home grown and fresh picked is a real tasty delight. And bok choy has pretty flowers. You never see that if you don't grow it. Very cute photo of your daughter, framed like a magazine shot.In fact they all were.You mentioned the ad man, but you seem to be in the field yourself with your magazine-like post.

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  19. Hi Sunita, Those radishes looks so red and delicious. How wonderful that your daughter shares your passion for gardening!

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  20. THNKS SUNITA,
    already sown okhra's in terrace.wl now sow brinjals also.hv a small ground space also but largely unsucessful in growin anything but chillies an ginger due to insufficient sunlight.

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  21. I am here after a long time, although I have been looking at your pictures on and off...
    Delightful pictures (as always), and now you'll have a little companion in your garden :) I too can't see why Broccoli has such bad reputation!

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  22. Chandramouli, it is good to see you here again. No matter how long a break we gardeners take, those gardens have a way of calling us back, right? Have fun with sowing and growing again.

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  23. Bindu, I don't blame you for not liking them. Normally the ones we get to buy in the market are a bit too mature for my tastes. I prefer the radish young and tender :)

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  24. Gardenwalkgardentalk, that is very perceptive of you. I did work in the advertising field for a brief time but that was almost a lifetime ago. But I'm so glad you liked this post and photos :)
    You're absolutely right about the bok choy flowers. I was so surprised to see them the first time I grew them. I guess I didn't expect them to be so pretty.

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  25. Thank you, Jennifer. About my daughter, she is still finding her gardening thumb I think. I don't want to push her too hard and make her think its too boring. We'll take it slow and tasty. More tasty crops will sway her far better than I can, I think.

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  26. Good for you, Vids. If you've been successful in growing chillies there then maybe you try growing more sun-lovers there. Normally chillies love a lot of sunlight. Or try growing herbs like basil.

    IHM, maybe our tastes are different? Or maybe our broccoli is tastier? :D
    So good to see you here again. I've mailed you.

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  27. Your garden has done wonderfully. Those radishes look so yummy. I cannot grow the silly things for some reason. They just go all root and not veggie. I was admiring the waterlilies in your previous posting. They are so beautiful. The deep pink is fantastic.

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  28. I know I've been visiting your blog a lot. I used your beautiful photos to illustrate a tropical garden in contrast to the snow in mine while doing a presentation on my garden blog at our local library. Every one could feel the heat just from the brilliant colors of your photographs. Thanks!!!

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  29. Ooh, those radishes look so juicy and fresh! I am one of those rare people who likes radishes - only raw, I used to hate radish sambhar! How lovely that your daughter shares your interest in gardening!

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  30. Gorgeous radishes :)
    Veggies from your own garden..must feel so good!!
    Lovely post :) and the flowers are very pretty too :)

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  31. Thanks, Lona :)
    Could the soil in your vegetable patch be the reason why your radishes are not forming? My garden has a lot of clay in the soil and I found it very tough to grow root vegetables till I started amending the soil.
    I agree about the waterlilies! I wish I had them in my garden. Maybe its a great incentive to go visit that nursery often ... very often! ;D

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  32. Becky, right now I wish I could have some of that snow. We're being grilled with temperatures of over 40*C (over 105*F)!
    I'm so curious about that presentation that you made ... tell me more, please! And which pictures did you use? I'm always interested in finding out just which of my pictures and plants my blogger friends enjoy.

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  33. Hi Kamini... do you use any dressing on the radish? I enjoyed the play of flavours and textures when I combined them with pear and cucumber and lime juice. I'm not normally very adventurous where cooking is concerned but I found that growing my own vegetables is making me more so.Which in itself is cause for celebration!

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  34. Hi Priya :)
    Oh yes, it's great to see a garden full of food growing outdoors! And yeah, the flowers ... that's true soul-food! ;D

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  35. Stunning photographs Sunita, and great to get an insight in to what you grow in Mumbai. I do think every veg patch needs some flowers though ;-) Think of the pollinators!

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  36. You're absolutely right, Janet! Some food for the pollinators who help with the food for us, is a great deal :)

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  37. It is my first visit to your blog. Wow!
    They look so fresh, crisp, and so tempting too. I love raddish, love to make sambhar, and stuffed roties, and of course salads with them.
    You have photographed them well, looks too good, as if one can touch them and feel them.
    Where are you in Mumbai?

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  38. Hi Rama! So glad you enjoyed your visit here. Keep checking for new posts, okay? :)

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  39. We did the talk hooked up to the internet and when it came time to visit your blog , we did just that. We looked at your recent post and your orchid posts. It was a small group , but everyone went home with instructions on how to get to your blog. Personally, I loved your post about the butterfly on your curry plant. I'm very happy to have found the window to your side of the world!

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  40. lovely blog................ this is the first time on ur blog and am crazy abt it..............:)

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  41. What fun, Becky! How on earth do you do those talks? Was it via Skype? (Just asking because that may be a great option to use for people who want to learn about gardening but live far away)
    I'm kind of partial to that butterfly post too, Becky :)
    And thank you so much for passing on the link to The Urban Gardener.
    Come over often, okay? The window here is wide open :)

    Hi Sheeba! :)
    Thank you so much. I love it when I hear from people who enjoyed the blog. Make sure you drop by often, okay?

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  42. Hey Sunita! This is a lovely blog, glad I came across it! Being a greens lover, I totally loved the feel of your posts! Am joining your follower bandwagon :)

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  43. Hi Ambika! Thanks :)
    So glad you liked this blog. And welcome to the inner circle of friends who decided to follow The Urban Gardener :D

    Hi Antigonum cajan, and thanks! It's so good to see you here again. Are you busy planting too?

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  44. Lovely flowers... !! Love them... And the radish looks fresh and ready-to-eat ... ;-) ;-)

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  45. Wow Sunita, not only the vegies are good, the photos are great too. We dont have that raddish here, i only see the whites. Yes i've seen it in Ooty and i immediately love the looks. It looks like you dont get pests in your garden, even the broccolli which is very susceptible seems to be so healthy. BTW, i have a very good friend in Mumbai from the Intellectual Property Office.

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  46. Absolutely, Emreen! Imagine missing out on those flowers. alost worth growing for themselves, don't you think?

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  47. Andrea, if you are able to grow the white radish you should be able to grow these too (though the white ones are more heat-tolerant). I prefer these actually, mainly because they look so good, I think.
    So you've been to Ooty, and you have a good friend in Mumbai ... something tells me we may just meet up one of these days, Andrea. What fun! :)

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  48. Oh, and Andrea, the lack of pests in the photo is misleading. Its hardly likely in our tropical conditions! But I am pretty regular with the neem oil and the gang of predators do help me out. Plus, the early harvests.

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  49. Yes Sunita, i almost got there on my way back but Mumbai is so far from my route. However, who knows! Is the neem oil already prepared or you buy it and make your preparations? What are the gang of predators you use, is it readily available there? We dont have it here, only for highly commercial crops. Maybe the red radish will not thrive here coz it is so hot here! Ooty where i saw it also has milder temperatures than ours.

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  50. Tempting radish!!!

    We do have alot of broccoli here but i don't like it :(

    and about that venus fly trap, i got it from Mr. Dawra, you can check his site @ www.PlantaeParadise.com

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  51. Andrea, I'm so sorry. I didnt see your comment earlier.
    The gang of predators that I'm referring to here are just the beneficial insects that prey on pests like aphids and thrips and also the insectivorous birds in my garden who do such a great job of keeping down the pest population.
    About the radish, maybe you could grow it in December - January if it is cooler than the other months for you. Mumbai normally has a hot, humid climate but it cools down in these 2 months.

    Thanks, Zindagi. And thanks for the link to the Plantae Paradise site. Looks interesting!

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  52. hi sunita

    its the first time i have been on ur blog and being fond of gardening, i am very happy to discover ur blog...
    due to space constraint in multistoried gardening gets restricted to non vegetable plants only...i wud be glad if u can suggest some vegetable plants that can be grown in balconies..in pots..is it possible for these raddiahes...i stay in new delhi area..also tell which time do i need to sow..howw many plants per pot..and where to get from seeds or saplings..

    once again thanks and congrats for maintaining such a wonderful blog on gardening

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  53. Hi Renuka, its great seeing you here. I hope we'll see you here often.
    Almost all the vegetables can be grown in apartment balconies too provided you can satisfy their sunlight requirements. If you e-mail me (my e-mail add. is on my profile page)I will give you more details, okay?
    For radishes I would recommend a wider pot so that you can grow more in one pot. The ones shown in this post don't need a lot of root space.
    I'm sorry I don't know the seed suppliers in Delhi but I'm sure most of the nurseries must be stocking seeds.

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  54. Madam,
    I am from Mumbai and love balcony gardening. Can I grow these round radishes in a 12" pot?
    Regards,
    Mani.

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  55. Yes you can, Mani. These red radishes are not very long so you can easily grow them in 12" pots or even the slightly smaller ones. I have grown these in wider, shallower (approx. 6" deep)pots too on terraces.
    I would recommend sowing the seeds in cooler times of the year, though.

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  56. The radishes are ravishing, and so are all the other vegetables pictured. You really are a gifted gardener.

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