Ten things you never knew about Norfolk radishes
PUBLISHED: 12:30 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:52 27 April 2018
ARCHANT EASTERN DAILY PRESS (01603) 772434
The British salad season is under way as the first Norfolk radishes make their way from Fenland fields, through a £1m new washing and grading plant at Feltwell, and onwards to the shops. Here are ten fascinating facts about this colourful crop.
• Radishes are a root vegetable of the Brassicaceae family.
• They were cultivated in China for thousands of years before being grown in ancient Egypt and Greece. They arrived in England in the 16th century.
• Radishes were paid as wages to the Egyptian labourers who built the pyramids.
• 40 million packs of radish were sold in the UK last year, weighing a total of 8,000 tonnes – heavier than the Eiffel Tower.
• UK growers harvest more than half a billion radishes every year.
• East Anglia is responsible for about 70pc of total UK radish production.
• The largest proportion of the British radish crop is grown on farms in the Norfolk Fens, where a combination of low rainfall and light water-retaining soil make for perfect growing conditions.
• They grow rapidly, in around 25 days, and are the first field-grown salad crop of the British growing year.
• The radish season traditionally starts on St George’s Day, April 23, and crops are harvested until late October, depending on the weather.
• One square metre of land can yield up to 1,500 radishes per season in ideal growing conditions.