Years ago we were seeing a natural practitioner when I had an infection. He handed me a bottle of Black Spanish Radish and nodded his head when I looked on the back and it read “Ingredients: Black Spanish Radish”. So it’s just radishes? A couple dozen of those little tablets and a few days later and that infection was completely gone.

So they are good for infections, but apparently also a host of other things. (As are all radishes… and cucumbers and celery and lettuce and all of those other vegetables we often think of as “mostly water”. There are some amazing compounds in vegetables, especially when they are the more heirloom varieties grown in good soil. But don’t get me started…)

The question, though, was could we grow them? A few years ago we threw a packet of these seeds into our cart and grew a hand full of them in the fall. They are generally considered more of a winter radish and seem to handle the cold pretty well.

This fall we planted a couple of beds with a mix of Black Spanish Radish, turnips, and watermelon radishes. The Black Spanish and turnips were very prolific and we’ve been eating them in salads or medicinally for the past couple of months. In fact, we fed some to Mabel when she started showing the earliest signs of mastitis and while there is no way of saying for sure, it never went beyond the early stages.

But a week or two ago it was time to prep the garden for spring. Abram and Ruthie gladly volunteered for the job and an hour or so later they brought in a five-gallon bucket about half full of the remaining radishes and turnips. Some were a bit soft at the top where they had protruded from the soil and met the coldest of temperatures, but most of them were still good and crisp.

So I cut off the softer parts, sliced them up, and Joshie used his pudgy little fist to stuff jars for fermentation. It’s cool enough that I like to use about 1.5 Tablespoons of salt per quart of vegetables at this time of year. Water and a fermentation weight and onto the counter they go. We are grateful that these spicy little guys will be available for medicinal snacking for some time to come.

Have you tried growing Black Spanish Radish?