Raphanus Sativus

I was five. My great-grandparents passed away and in the Fall of that year my family moved from the small suburban apartment that we lived in to the small farm that they had left behind. They were both avid gardeners and left us a wonderland of beautifully unfussy landscaping and a great variety of unusual and beautiful flowers and shrubs which meant absolutely nothing to me at the time.

The following spring, in the course of exploring my new home, I found a box without a bottom in the middle of a large patch of last year's weeds. The box was full of new, green plants growing in it. As I stood next to it, wondering who had put it there and why, my eye began to see the red globes at the base of each plant. My brain suddenly recognized the plants as radishes, just like the ones I had eaten in my salad for lunch.

I pulled one, smelled it. Tasted it. Yep. They were radishes. But how had they gotten there? I pulled another one and took it in to my Mom and asked her. As she explained to me about cold frames and how some plants will re-seed themselves even without a gardener, I felt my brain explode with amazement and wanting to know more. That fascination has never gone away. And I plant radishes every year whether I eat them or not, just to let them know that I'm still grateful for what they gave me that day.

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