It has been the summer of rain.
We broke a 50 year moisture record this year which, for a few reasons is great. The spring was met with many forest fires which were not that far from where I live, fire bans went up very early in the season so the moisture was needed. But once the rains started at the end of May they never stopped until the first week of August. The total days of rain are up nearing 70 days with only one day this summer reaching 30 degrees.
Can you say saturated.
We pumped out many thousands of gallons of water from the basement. The pasture, turkey coop and much of the yard had large pools of standing water for most of June and July. We had 2 weekends in those months with no rain. I haven’t had to water my garden since the third week of May.
Everything is growing well. Exceptionally well. Though my hot weather things like peppers and tomatoes are not where they usually are at this time in the growing season. By now the plants should be heavy with ripening fruit ready to be harvested. The 5 and half foot tall plants have100’s of pounds of tomatoes, only a handful is anywhere near ripe. Though my fingers are crossed for a hot finish to the season realistically looking at the date I know frost is not far off.
As I was tending to my over grown garden I noticed a while ago a few of my plants started going into flower and am excited to possibly harvest beet and swiss chard seeds. An even cooler discovery was that my radishes have also gone to seed. The radishes were badly eaten by worms so I never completed the harvest and just left the plants to grow until fall when everything gets tilled into the soil. Have you ever seen radish plants going to seed? Their pods are very similar in appearance to green beans. So much so that I was intrigued and picked one to eat. Just a note: these were Minowase Daikon radishes.
They are spectacular! Nice and crisp with a beautiful hint of spice, very reminiscent of horse radish. The first thing that popped into my mind was that these needed to be pickled. I have had much success with the brine I use for my Dill Pickles so it was an obvious choice.
As always with any canning project be sure to use clean sterilized jars and new snap lids.
- fresh picked radish seed pods
- garlic cloves - peeled - I used 3 cloves per jar
- fresh dill fronds - I used one full frond for each jar
- dill seed heads - I used one full flower head per jar
- ¼ cup pickling salt
- 2 cups vinegar
- 6 cups water
- Using scissors trim the stem end off the pods.
- Wash well and allow to dry.
- Peel cloves of garlic, I used 3 per jar.
- Shake the dill well to remove any bugs, give them a quick rinse under water and place on paper towels to dry.
- In a large pot combine the vinegar, water and salt.
- Heat on high and bring to a boil for 4 minutes to dissolve the salt.
- Place a dill seed head and 2 cloves of garlic in each hot sterilized jar.
- Fill the jars with the seed pods being sure to pack them tightly.
- Add a final clove and a dill frond to the top of the pods.
- Using a canning funnel fill each jar with the hot vinegar brine.
- Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth.
- Place a hot lid and screw top of each jar, only until it is finger tight.
- Place the jars into a hot water bath in a large canner.
- Once the water boils process the jars for 15 minutes.
- Remove from canner after 15 minutes, allow to cool for 24 hours.
- They will be ready to eat in one week.
A few things to note, in an effort to not damage the pods I did not pack them into the jars as tightly as I do cucumbers or carrots when I am pickling. There is noticeable space in the bottom of the jars and next time I will be sure to get them in the jars a bit tighter.
What I was surprised about was the flavour really changed in the pickling process. The pods went from a nice spicy bit to almost a sweet onion flavour, reminiscent of small pickled onions! Which most everyone loves so it was a win in my books.
If you are interested in growing radishes I have a great post on how to grow them in your garden.
Honestly, I was so impressed with the flavour and the possibilities of those little pods that I may grow radishes next year just for the pods. It was a fantastic new flavour discovery that I look forward to exploring with in the future!