The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 4, 2013

Long-time gardener grows a log-sized radish in Conneaut

Staff Writer

CONNEAUT — Harold Best estimates he has grown thousands of vegetables in his 75 years, but none like the monster radish found in his Gore Road garden last week.

It’s a Daikon radish, which naturally grow to a pretty good size — but nothing like the 10-pound giant Best literally had to wrestle out of the ground.

“I couldn’t pull it out,” he said. “I had to dig down to it.”

Best has had good luck in the past with the Daikon variety. He grows them successfully without any fertilizer.

“Last year I had some that were 4 1/2 and five pounds,” he said. “It’s the variety. But I’ve never had one that big.”

Internet sources indicate mammoth Daikon radishes, which vaguely resemble a white carrot, can become sizable. Some varieties can grow two feet in length and weigh dozens of pounds.

People who live in northeast Ashtabula County probably have munched on Best’s produce. He sells vegetables at a stand outside his home and at local markets. Best lives in the same house his parents occupied and the two-acre garden was tilled by previous generations.

“I’ve grown vegetables all my life,” he said. “My parents grew vegetables here.”

What will become of the giant radish? Best isn’t sure.

“I really don’t know what to do,” he said. “I hate to cut it up.”