Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Just Like the Story, But It Was a Radish Instead

We planted a fall garden at the very last minute possible last year. We've had gardens in each home that we have lived in. One of my very favorite memories is of S and I outside in our first backyard (before children) wrapping up our tomato plants just as a storm blew in. We were throwing trash bags over the plants and securing them with duct tape at the bottom. It was so windy outside we were having to shout to hear each other. The rain was starting to pelt us in the face. Yet we struggled to save each and every plant. About half-way through this job it suddenly struck me how funny this scene was. I mean, who did I think I was--Sally Field in Places in the Heart trying to save my cotton crop so my family wouldn't lose the farm??????

It wasn't like we couldn't go to the grocery store across the street to buy a tomato.

Anyway...this year we decided at the last minute to go ahead and start our garden. We looked at all the possibilities for what we could plant so late in the game and came home with turnip seeds and radish seeds. Both of which our girls LOVE to eat.

Or not. As a matter of fact, neither do their parents. But after all the hard work of tilling and laying bricks around the edges, we just had to let the girls plant something. We chose radishes and boy did we ever have a bumper crop! After giving away huge bags of radishes and eating a few ourselves in salads and such, we just left a few plants out there. It was cold and it was the holidays and the radishes were forgotten.

Then, after Christmas was over, we noticed that some of those radish plants were doing really well. In fact, even though we had offered no water, no protection from the cold, and no attention whatsoever, we continued to grow radishes.
And today I told Little Bit, "Let's pull up all these leftover plants to make room for our spring garden." (Which will contain foods our family likes to eat, by the way.) She pulled up some big radishes, let me tell you!

But there was one she couldn't get. So Sweetheart offered to help. They pulled on it together. I really wasn't paying any attention to them and when I looked up, this is what I saw:

Now tell me, does that look like any radish you've ever seen? Here is a picture of it next to Sweetheart's 8 year old hand just for scale.

We went straight into the house and read "The Great Big Enormous Turnip." It was a fine, fine homeschool moment.

And if ya'll need any gardening advice, now you know who to call!


  1. Yes, I need some advice. I will be contacting you. :)

    And, you need to take that to your county fair. I am SURE you would win a blue ribbon for that one! Wow!

  2. That is one of the jewels of homeschooling--taking the moment and making it teachable. I love it!

  3. I have heard it said that are roots need to go down deep in dry times to search for water, spiritually speaking. What a testimony of that! Visual aid! What great and exciting memories to make with your girls! I have a garden spot that has never been attempted in this carolina clay ground. Wish you were here to lend a hand. I think a rented garden tiller would take away the intimadation too. But I think it would add to the homey cuteness factor when we sell, the house with the vegetable garden!:)


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)