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Monday, August 04, 2008

Onions, Onions, Onions

Sunday I harvested about 120 pounds of huge red onions from a single 50' x 4' bed and still have about 1/3 of the bed yet to bring in. Yesterday I harvested five 50 pound boxes of Ailsa Craig onions and Eugene got an even heavier box of Boulder Belt Sweets. We still have another 5 beds to harvest of the sweet onions (so another 20 to 25 bushels) plus a of bed of yellow onions.

I would say the average weight of the onions is 1/2 to 3/4 pounds with a lot of 2 to 3 pound onions (they are ginormous). Last year, a droughty year, the average weight was around 1/3 pound with a few onions getting close to a pound. I now wish we had entered our onions in the county fair as we have several that are twice the size of the onions that won the largest onion class at the fair.

Last year the sweet onions were a failure-the seed did not germinate well in the winter and most died over the long hot and dry spring and summer. I believe we ended up with 10 small to almost medium sized onions So this year we bought fresh seed and over planted assuming we would not get the perfect season for growing alliums. The result is 10+ beds of gorgeous, huge, great tasting onions

The big question is what will we do with a ton of sweet onions that in 2 months without refrigeration will start to go bad. I am hoping we can hook up with a few restaurants and Miami University food service and move some quantities out the door. We have a situation with the onions with which I am not completely comfortable- we have the onions but we do not have great markets for all that we have raised. It is never good to raise a crop with no market for it but than we were not expecting to have such a great onion year.

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