Saturday, June 7, 2008

Onion Harvest!

I'm doing the lyric transposition thing again, this time with Kool and the Gang. Try this: Onion Harvest! To the tune of "Jungle Boogie." I can't explain why this happens in my head, but it's completely without any control or contrivance on my part. It just pops into my head: "Onion harvest! Do-de-lee-doo. Do-de-lee-doo. Onion harvest! With the get down! Onion harvest! Do-de-lee-doo. Do-de-lee-doo. Onion harvest! Chah! (awesome brass solo)..."

So yes, today it was an onion harvest day. Most of my onions have either plopped over or flowered, as you may remember (unusually popular google term, that). A few days ago I pulled them up a bit to break some of the roots and slow their growth. It's been so freakin' wet around here that I was afraid they might start to rot in situ, so today I pulled all the onions that had given up their growing ghost. Now they are lying on my deck, drying in the sun:

That is approximately 50 onions and a few peas drying. As you can see the yellows did really well. The reds did okay, but never really got up to size. The whites did poorly. Almost exclusively they were the ones that flowered so early, although a few reds flowered, too. None of the yellows did. Curiouser, and curiouser!

There are probably still 15 or so in the ground that are still growing strong. Another 15 are in my fridge - I saved out the tiny ones that keeled over to make pickled spring onions. We've been pulling and eating scallions for weeks now, so I have no real idea how many I got altogether. I know that I planted three standard size clumps of sets.

I also let a few continue to flower in the garden for possible (long shot) seed and/or volunteers:

You can see them from afar here as the leaning towers of pom-pom:

Some of the stalks winded up in the compost (you know, I use "wind up" or "winded up" a lot in my common parlance, but written it sure looks like something to do with weather. Anyway...).

Part of me wishes I'd planted more onions, because frankly, Mr. Shankley, I just can't get enough of them. It seems like any meal that I make calls for at least ONE onion. And some, like luscious French Onion soup, calls for at least, at least, 3 pounds of onions. I make a wicked concoction that is an oxtail soup and French Onion soup hybrid. It is the stuff of the gods... And yet, I digress, again!

Next time I plant onions, I'll plant more and I plan to order sets from a reliable source. As I discussed here, my sets from Lowe's were not necessarily trustworthy.

The rest of the garden is getting ready to explode with fruit flavor...make that vegetable flavor. Notice how much the sunflower has grown in three weeks!

Here she is from atop (she's a volunteer, remember, or I would have been more thoughtful with her placement):

Beautiful okra:

New Zealand spinach sprouts in the shadows of the lettuce they will replace:

Arugula + culprits:

Lamb's Quarters...To us it tastes like a cross between asparagus and artichokes. Fantastically delectable with butter and garlic:

And finally some Provider bush beans, which I specifically ordered due to Pinetree's description of them as "beanier":

The onions are loaded with little green fellas and the peppers are starting to carry some baby fruit, too. I'll try to take some pictures of the bean teepee and the tomatoes soon for that update. I've been busy trying to assemble a sun oven, because Hausfrau has me so jealous. And also today we said goodbye to our sweet adopted stray kitty, Rigby, (Eleanor is another one of the strays who frequents our block). My cousin's friend kindly offered to adopt her and she and her 9-year-old son came to pick up The Riggs today. It was a bit emotional for me, which sort of caught me by surprise.

Goodbye, Rigby! I didn't realize how attached I'd become to you as my backyard buddy, my chaser of birds, my friendly garden pal who liked to lounge on the straw and occasionally smush my tomato seedlings. I hope it works out for you at your new home. I hope you enjoy (finally!) getting to go inside like you always wanted to here. I hope you love them and they love you. We loved you well.

PS: We would have totally kept The Riggs except that we've already got two indoor cats: Miso, who has feline leukemia, and Tavi, who doesn't. (Thank god for the vaccine!) Plus, I'm allergic. One more kitty in the house would've damned near killed me. But believe me, it was a tough decision, nonetheless.


Hausfrau said...

I love your garden pictures! Your okra looks much better than mine as well. I can also see that I need to plan my spacings a little better - looks like you have a much better handle on getting the most out of space.

Elizabeth said...

Regarding the onions, I feel so lost as to when to pull mine! It's the first year I've ever grown them and I'd read so much about pulling them shortly after their stalks fall over, but then the Oklahoma wind blew all the stalks over!!!! So now I feel like I'm just playing the guessing game.

I'm in a similar boat with cats, BTW. We have two (one of which goes outside sometimes) and we started really digging this one cut little stray cat (there were tons for a while!). And I'm allergic.