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Ten things you never knew about Norfolk radishes

PUBLISHED: 12:30 27 April 2018 | UPDATED: 13:52 27 April 2018

G's / Feltwell Growers have harvested the first radish crops of the season, which have been processed through a £1m new washing and grading line. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

G's / Feltwell Growers have harvested the first radish crops of the season, which have been processed through a £1m new washing and grading line. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

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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.

G's / Feltwell Growers have harvested the first radish crops of the season, which have been processed through a £1m new washing and grading line. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018G's / Feltwell Growers have harvested the first radish crops of the season, which have been processed through a £1m new washing and grading line. Picture: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

• 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.

G's / Feltwell Growers have harvested the first radish crops of the season, which have been processed through a £1m new washing and grading line. Pictured: General manager Scott Watson. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018G's / Feltwell Growers have harvested the first radish crops of the season, which have been processed through a £1m new washing and grading line. Pictured: General manager Scott Watson. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2018

• 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.

READ MORE: Norfolk radishes kick-start the British salad season after £1m production line opens at Feltwell


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