We are getting some cooler fall weather just in time for our school gardeners to begin planting. Many sowed carrots and radish seeds earlier this month and they are beginning to sprout! Take a look at this video to see what they look like when they first begin to grow!
A little history: Carrots grow in the wild in Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia but they have been cultivated as a food crop since at least the 10th century. North Africans brought the root to Spain, and the love of carrots spread throughout Europe. Europeans brought them to the Americas. Wild carrots have white or yellow roots, but orange roots appeared in Spain and Germany during the 15th or 16th century and became the most popular color for centuries. These days, people enjoy eating “rainbow carrots” available at farmers markets. We enjoy growing carrots of all colors here and at school gardens. Look for them in some lunch rooms in a few months! Carrots are good for you. They are super high in Vitamin A which helps you grow and stay well.
Radishes are related to collards and cabbages, but we eat their roots instead of their tops. They grow wild in India, China, and central Asia and have spread throughout the world. Our gardens are growing traditional red cherry bells, fun watermelon radishes, and delicious daikons. You will find them in school salads pretty soon. They are a good source of fiber and, like all crucifers, help keep your immune system healthy.
Watch this cool time-lapse videos of carrots germinating! Can you tell the difference between a “cotyledon” and the true leaves?
This video of radishes shows the plant life cycle from germination all the way to going to seed (bolting). Did you know radishes (and carrots) have flowers?