The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Oilseed radish experiment

oil seed radish with barn in backgroundOilseed radishs have been an extremely effective cover crop for us this year.

We normally leave them in the ground to rot and feed the soil, but today we got to talking about other uses.

"Do you think the chickens might eat one?" I asked Anna.

"Sounds like a fun experiment," she said with a touch of excitement.

We sliced it up and boiled half. The young chickens took a few sample bites from the boiled radish, but didn't seem to touch the raw slices. Maybe we need to boil it longer or try feeding some to the older hens?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Maybe they'll eat the leaves.
Comment by Errol Fri Oct 26 17:11:14 2012

That looks just like a "Toki-nashi Daikon" to me. They are quite tasty. Raw they have a stronger bite than a regular daikon, but cooking them takes it away and they become soft and sweeter.

Try eating one yourselves.

  1. Miso soup. Cut in .5cm wheels, then quarter them and make soup
  2. Buri-Daikon. There are lots of recipe on the internet. You don't need to use yellowtail.
  3. Oden again, google it for the recipe.
  4. Pickles. Salt or sour refrigerator pickles.
  5. Try stewing some slowly for hours with a retired egg layer hen.

There are thousands of recipes on the internet using daikon. And they somehow help you feel warmer in the cold weather.

Comment by Eric in Japan Fri Oct 26 19:58:45 2012
My Daikon (sp?) radish/rape cover crop is doing awesome too so far! Can't wait to see if the deer take to it this winter.
Comment by Phil Fri Oct 26 20:11:26 2012

That's Diakon Radish and extremely healthy for you folks! It's real good cooked with carrots.

The tops can be eaten too as greens just like red radish greens.

I need to get some seeds!

Comment by Edith Fri Oct 26 22:54:04 2012
Everybody --- I just wanted to chime in and make sure there isn't bad information kicking around. Oilseed radishes look a lot like daikon radishes because they're in the same species. However, the ones bred to be used as cover crops (sometimes called tillage radishes) have been selected for production of lots of biomass rather than for edibility, so they're probably not the best to eat. I'm sure it wouldn't hurt us to eat them, but I'll bet it would turn us off daikon radishes for good (especially since neither of us are radish fans to begin with).
Comment by anna Sat Oct 27 08:48:29 2012

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