P90623This is why I do not bother growing greens in the garden just yet. Wild radish grows here wild; and there is way too much of it. Most but not all of it gets mown in meadows or cut down with weed whackers on the edges of roadways. There is no need to cut down that which is out of the way. Besides, we could not cut it all even if we wanted to. There is wild turnip and mustard too. All are prolifically naturalized and invasive exotic species.
These radishes do not make the distended roots that garden varieties of radishes are grown for. Nor to the wild turnips make distended turnip roots. They, as well as the mustard, do make good greens though. They may not be quite as good as fancier garden varieties, but I can’t beat the price, or get any other type of vegetable for such minimal effort. I only need to go grab what I want when I want it. There really is no cultivation involved.
Even though their seed is not sown in phases to extend their season, they remain productive for a long time, and only stop producing if they get too dry in summer. If I were to grow a garden variety of turnip green, I would sow a few phases a few weeks apart so that, as an earlier phase finishes, a later phase begins producing. Unlike other types of greens that must be gathered prior to bloom, wild greens can be taken from blooming plants.
Wild greens can be canned like collards, but are better if simply frozen. Unbloomed floral trusses are like tiny bits of broccoli. If gathered while still young and tender, thicker stems can be chopped and cooked like broccoli stalks, and can even be pickled.


11 thoughts on “Wild Radish

  1. Hi Tony, nice to hear that wild greens are appreciated everywhere! My friend Con, who travels long distances down the east coast of Australia, knows many places along the highway where the different wild greens are ready to harvest throughout the year. He often arrives at Mudgee with a bounty to share- continuing the Greek tradition of eating what is affectionately know as “grasses”.

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    1. It is probably more than a Greek tradition. When I was a kid, many people took produce from roadsides around the Santa Clara Valley. There was of course an abundance of fruits and nuts from the many abandoned orchards; and there was also the vegetables and herbs that grew wild beneath the orchard. Many of the people who lived here back then were resourceful like that.

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    1. Foraging? I suppose it is. I remember how, when I was a kid, we used get fruits and nuts from abandoned orchards or even former orchard trees that had been incorporated into part of the urban landscapes. It was just what we did in the Santa Clara Valley back then. Nowadays, it seems odd to me that there is all this produce out and about that gets ignored, and that these greens just get cut down and wasted.

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      1. My mother used to ask me to go out and cut some chives occasionally and my dad was always coming in with greens, mushrooms or something like a paw paw for us to eat, so I am familiar. Where I am, it’s a bit dangerous, since so many chemical get put out on lawns, so I refrain, unless I’m in woodland or it’s before all the chem applications.

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