Zero Waste Radish Kimchi

Did you know that radish leaves are edible? Get more bang for your buck (and save food waste) by eating them up! They are delicious and peppery, a little like rocket. Many people are not fans of their slightly bristly texture so, even though they are delicious fresh in a salad, you can also cook them in a soup or stew or as greens in a quiche or as a side dish with garlic. You can also blitz them up with nuts or seeds into a peppery pesto or ferment them as I have done here.

We are a little obsessed with kimchi in our house. We eat a lot of rice (or other grain) bowls and kimchi is just the thing to finish it off. If you’ve not had kimchi before, it is a tangy, spicy fermented condiment – a pickle of sorts – from Korea. Once you get a taste for it, you’ll be hooked, so it’s definitely worth learning to make your own. The health benefits of fermented foods are incredible too. Full of live, gut friendly bacteria to aid your digestion, nutrient absorption, mood and more! We do stock an organic kimchi here if you want to see how it is supposed to taste before you give making your own a go.

Liz x


  • radishes with leaves – washed and separated
  • salt to taste (or you can weigh your radishes and leaves, work out 2% of the weight and use that amount of salt if you prefer being precise)
  • garlic, ginger and chillies to taste
  • a couple of cabbage leaves to use as ‘followers’ which help keep the radishes submerged in brine

You will also need clean jars, a clean chopping board and knife and a large, clean mixing bowl.


  1. Chop the leaves and stems into 3 or 4 cm chunks. Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt – enough to make them taste pleasantly salty. Mix gently with your hands to tumble the salt around and coat each leaf. You will soon notice that the volume of the leaves decreases and they start to look wet as the salt draws the liquid from the leaves and creates a delicious brine.
  2. Thinly slice the radishes – you can leave on their cute tails which are also perfectly edible. Add them to the bowl and mix them in too. Taste a leaf, does it need more salt?
  3. Now make a paste with fresh garlic, ginger and fresh or dried chillies. I use a small smoothie maker and add a good thumb of fresh ginger – sliced but not peeled – the cloves of half a bulb of garlic, peeled, and a good tbsp or two of chilli flakes or a couple of fresh red chillies. Do it to your taste, for example, make it extra garlicky and not so spicy if you like.
  4. Stir the paste through the salted radish and then firmly stuff the mixture into clean jars. Push the mixture in very tightly, you want to avoid any air pockets in the jar. Pour in any brine that has collected in the bottom of the mixing bowl too. Ideally leave a couple of centimetres of head room in the jars. When you push down on the vegetables, brine should cover them.
  5. Now tear a cabbage leaf to be slightly bigger than the surface area of the jar. Push it in over the kimchi mixture and tuck the chopped veg neatly under the brine. Then clean up the jars with a paper towel and loosely replace the lid to allow gases to escape during fermentation.
  6. Place the jars on a plate or in a plastic box somewhere in your kitchen that doesn’t get direct sunlight. Allow the kimchi to ferment at room temperature for a week. Keep an eye on it, If the vegetables rise up above the brine, use a clean spoon to push them back down. Bubbling is normal, as is some of the brine escaping through the loose lids – hence the instruction to place the jars on a plate or in a box. You will undoubtedly notice a tangy, spicy aroma near the jars too – again this is normal and a good sign that things are fermenting as they should be.
  7. Taste the kimchi. It should be tangy and spicy and salty and delicious. Now clean the jars up again and put the lids on tightly. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

Harvest Begins

As I write, it is a beautiful evening, the sun has just emerged from behind a cloud and there is a golden bright sunset. It seems we are finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.  It is not before time too as we fast approach the summer solstice.                                           

Food has always brought people together. Two generations ago the act of bringing in the hay was a sociable event, square bales were loaded onto trailers, picnics or sandwiches were often had in the fields followed by a cold drink at the end of the day, chat and talk and craic was had by all.

In our continued march towards bigger more intensive agricultural systems the people have all but disappeared from the fields having been replaced by machines.  This it seems is the price of progress and maybe to a certain extent it is necessary, but it makes me a little sad. Maybe it is nostalgia?  As a kid having brought in that hay, I remember the sun and the sandwiches and the people. But when I think a little more, I also remember the blisters and the terrible heat and scratchiness of having to heave those bales to the very top of a galvanised hay shed, those bit’s I do not miss.

The machines on our farm facilitate the work and we do everything we can to avoid having to hand weed vegetables rows that are nearly half a kilometre in length.  That job is no fun and where there is a smarter way to do something, we take it.

Finding solutions to repetitive work is a must on small-scale mixed organic vegetable farms and we do, but we still have people in the fields every day and our farm is active and alive with people, vegetables, and biodiversity. 

We have been working very hard over the last six months to get the farm to the point it is at now.

Even so it seems that there are not enough hours in the day to keep up with the work. Everything has reached a crescendo and the list has been growing, what to prioritise during those rare dry days has become a source of pressure behind the eyes, we can only just keep doing the first things first.

The work always gets done the question is can we get it done in time? If we miss a sowing date, we don’t get second shot, we never regain those lost days, and the plants may struggle to reach maturity.

It’s a relatively small window and for the farm to reach it’s breakeven point and that’s all we ever hope for, we can afford to miss very few of those planting dates.

Here we are on the cusp on July and the list of produce harvested from the farm is steadily growing week on week. The first fresh bunches of beetroot, our own kale, salad, lettuce red and green, spinach and chard are ready. The cucumbers are a week away and the new potatoes 2-3 weeks away, the first of our own tomatoes are nearly there too, all we need is the sun.

Then there is the irony that as we come into our own produce as the farm finally starts to crank up a gear and we start to harvest the freshest produce we face a downturn in orders due to summer holidays and this year the impact is even greater as the country opens.

I would ask if you can at all, continue to support our farm, help get us through the summer months, we rely on your support to keep doing what we do.

So as the sun sets, there is no hay to bring in, but I look forward to a dry bright day tomorrow as we have big day of harvest before us.

Thank you for your continued support!