Radishes for Adoption

Radishes for Adoption: Comments

On Mother's Day 2009 I asked about 30 people in Kyoto to adopt 5 radish seeds on my behalf (the story goes that my own house doesn't provide enough sunlight and space to grow any plants). The adopters agreed to grow the radishes at their homes and meet with me once a week to check in on the plants. The radishes are meant to be exhibited as pickles in glass jars and eaten among all adopters in a concluding tasting event later in June.

Radishes for Adoption PROJECT ARCHIVE:
photosGrowing Radishes
documentAdopter Kit (soon)

“This may be the first time in history that the radish has been used to create a revolution of human relationships. In fact, 'radish' sounds like some Arabic word that probably means 'peace and cooperation and breaking down barriers'.”
commentsRoman Krznaric, Oxford

“We read your Radish blog the other night and are eager to see how it all turns out - it's a bit like a soap opera!”
commentsChris and Kristen Daniels, Asheville

“Oh gosh...our radishes do not have names yet...  I guess we are bad adopters, then ;-)”
commentsRoger Walch & Yoshiko Matsuda, Kyoto

“This project sounds great!  I have been doing something similar recently with carrots here in my community in Orange County! We should talk about our experiences! I am currently working on a project to plant trees. Let me know more about the radish project as it goes on!  And keep in touch!”
commentsEric Morrill, Irvine

“Your radish project is brilliant and delightful, light and engaging, and playfully revolutionary. A gentle and delightful revolution, that is what I want to be a part of!”
commentsIris Clearwater, San Francisco

“Let me know if any of your radish babies didn't find their foster parents and I will give them shelter.”
commentsRumiko Kawaii, Kyoto

“What fun Markuz. Wish I could join you but Kyoto is rather too far for an afternoon jaunt. Sounds like you are more an artist than a down-to-earth gardener these days, but do tell me if I'm wrong.”
commentsAngela Jeffs, Tokyo


Urban Farmers Japan
A Network of Food Producers in the City

RADISHES FOR ADOPTION is an initiative that supports the playful transition of verandas, backyards, window boxes, rooftops and unused space into tiny organic food production areas.

This program invited 30 very diverse households regardless of age, income, available space, gardening experience or lifestyle. While the Radish Adopters become the primary caretakers, they are getting ongoing support and education from the organizers. The motivation behind Urban Farmers Japan (UFJ) is to build relationships around local food production, mitigating the environmental impact of our current food system, and reconnect people to the earthy essentials of life.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Currently Japan imports 61% of its food and 70% of the nation's three million farmers are 60 years or older.
(Source: The New York Times; Japan's Rice Farmers Fear Their Future Is Shrinking; March 29, 2009)



Radishes for Adoption would have been impossible without the incredible dedication and support of Makiko Hori, Mie Matsuoka, Tagaki-san, and last but not least Yuka Saito. I am also grateful for the open-minded adopters throughout Kyoto (and Osaka) who offer their care and home for my radishes and agreed to meet with me once a week.