My instant radishes started with my “no-work” vegetable garden. This was an idea I had read about somewhere years ago. It’s basically a large flower box placed on the ground. I built mine from boards so that it was 12 inches high, 2 feet wide and 10 feet long. I put it on our lawn near the side of our house that got the most sun. There happened to be a water faucet on this side, too.

I filled it with loam and planted some vegetables: tomato plants, carrots, radishes, cucumbers and beans. I applied intensive gardening which means that plants are placed much closer to each other than normal, you water frequently and spray on some liquid fertilizer every week.

I remembered that, because this garden was off the ground, there wouldn’t be many weeds, and there weren’t. Because this was a very small garden and easy to water and fertilize, it took almost no time to take care of. It was almost “no-work.”

At first, my wife, Arlene, just smiled at me and thought I was crazy. Then she got caught up in my enthusiasm and started looking forward to my “crops.” She became as proud of my effort as I was.

One early June day, about a week after I had planted my garden, our friends Linda and Dana called to say they’d stop by later for a visit. After they got here, we relaxed and chatted for a bit. Then I asked, “Do you know we have a vegetable garden?”

Dana, “You, a vegetable garden? I didn’t think you wanted to get your hands dirty.” They laughed.

Linda asked, “What did you plant?”

After I told them what I planted, I said, “Look, you can see it just outside the window.”

After they looked at it and seemed impressed, I said, “Come on. Let’s go outside and look at it.”

Linda was the first one to notice the radishes. “Look, some of your radishes are ready to pick.”

I acted surprised, “Really?” I told her, “Go ahead and pick one.”

Sure enough, it was fully-grown and ready to wash and eat.

Dana, “When did you plant your radishes?”

“Oh, about 30 minutes ago!”

Of course this answer surprised them. They stared at me and stammered, “What?”

After their startled reactions, I explained, “I bought a bunch of radishes with the leaves on at the supermarket this morning, right after I knew you were coming to see us. I planted them just before you got here.”

We all laughed.

— Special to the Telegram