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You know those pictures of rows and rows of colorful tulips in Holland? This is like the Missouri version of that. Except it's radishes. 

Confused? Me too. 

Good news! My farmer isn't. 

Me: Can you tell our nice readers what normally grows in this field?
Him while eating popcorn and reading a book on the Texas Rangers: Rye. 
Me: Which is fed to . . . 
Him: Heifers mainly. 

Me: Why do you plant radishes?

Him without looking up: We plant them in the fall for additional grazing for the cows and for soil health. They help the soil by putting down a thick root that breaks up soil compaction. 

Him pausing for a bite of apple: They're also good at gathering nutrients that the next year's crop can use. They are better nutrient scavengers than corn and soybeans. 

Me: Why are they flowering now?

Him:  They didn't die over winter like they normally do because it was pretty mild. Radishes, like lettuce and peas and others, if left to go long enough will flower and bolt and go to seed. We actually don't want them growing in the spring because by the time the rye is ready to chop, they'll be too mature and they won't be as high quality feed. 

Me: But they're so pretty!
Him: Next question. 

Me: Ahem. Right. So what's the purple stuff?
Him: Henbit. It's a weed that grows in late winter and early spring and usually dies off by the time that crops are growing. 

Me: Wait. I wasn't done with the radishes. Why are they the most disliked of the veggie tray?
Him: I don't answer ridiculous questions. 
Me: So . . . we're done here?
Him: *silence*


  1. For the past few winters, our Amish neighbors have been planting radishes in their gardens for a cover crop too! It took me a while to figure out what they were doing.

  2. I love radishes! Why the hatin' on them in veggie trays? Except you do burp radish breath all day long . . .


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