Monday 17 June 2013

Tudor Kitchen Garden - Radish Leaves

It's been a while since I posted an update about the Tudor kitchen garden project. We suffered a setback yesterday when I discovered that the radishes had bolted. Unfortunately, they put all their efforts into growing leaves and flowers and nothing into growing radish bulbs! Apparently, this is due to the unusual weather that we have been having at the moment.

Climate change is obviously an issue at the moment, but even five hundred years ago the weather was far from stable. Summer droughts or summer washouts happened all too regularly and Tudor gardeners would have had to deal with this. One way would have been by making use of the part of the plant that did grow successfully. In my case, I will be making radish leaf soup and radish leaf pesto later today, which I'm told are very nice!

Otherwise, so far, the salad leaves have been the star of the garden and we are eating salad pretty much every day. The Deer's Tongue is a bit of a favourite with the slugs and snails, which is a shame, but the second variety, which gives long thin green leaves, is lovely. Again, a Tudor householder would have made use of this while it was available, meaning a good deal of salad leaves early in summer before they moved on to other varieties of vegetables. I will also be adding some beetroot leaves to the salad today, which are also edible and I am planning to cook the cabbage leaf thinnings, although I've been warned that they may be bitter.

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