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Monday, June 25, 2007

On Onions

I realize I have not written much of anything about the farm in quite a while-poor form for a farm blog.

Well, okay than.

We have reached he longest day of the year and that means our onions are growing as fast as they can. I find onions to be one of the most amazing plants we grow. For months they just sit around looking much like well spaced blades of grass. Than suddenly when the days reach around 14 hours of daylight they suddenly start growing. First it is the greens that one day resemble blades of grass and the next look like diminutive onions and within a week are robust onion greens. When the days reach 14.5 hours of day light the onions start to make onion bulbs and when we hit the summer solstice the bulb growth goes into overdrive for about 3 to 4 weeks. Finally, the greens fall over signalling the end of the bulb's growth and they are ready for harvest in mid July to early August.

We have some heirlooms called Ailsa Craig Exhibition onions that are growing the fastest of all 9 or 10 varieties we are growing this year. These onions, if given enough room and time, can grow to over 3 pounds in size. They were developed for produce showing. When showing onions size does indeed matter, a lot. Mos of he Ailsa Craigs we planted back in April are spaced for eating/selling (they won't get to be more than a pound) as they are a wonderful sweet onion. But I have a few of these onions that have been given a lot of room to see if I can get a couple of 2+ pounders. So far they are 3x bigger than any other onion on the farm. Shame I did not enter them in the county fair this year

I have been tempted to pull them as they are already eating size but that would defeat their purpose as being grown for size. They are probably only a 1/2 pound each at this point. I just have to be patient no matter how badly I want to eat a fresh sweet onion from our farm. For now, I will have to make do with onions from Harv Roehling's farm south of Oxford. They are local and organic and quite good. Still, they are not grown by us Boldarians (as our friend Rockhead likes to call us). We do have scallions coming in. Not good for cooking but great in salads of all stripes.

In a couple of weeks (or less) we should have some onions big enough to pull

1 comment:

Haymaker said...

Funny you should mention that. I was traveling for the past five days and came home to.... HUGE onion greens. They went from pencils to hefty greens in just days. I was wondering what had happened. We pulled one for pizza topping...yum.