Thursday, July 9, 2015

Alliums on our Farm

In October, 2014 I planted the garlic, the row was dug, the garlic broken into cloves was carefully placed in the row and covered with soil.  Last winter was a cold winter but I could always see the garlic foliage growing so I was in hopes we would have a nice crop of garlic.  June of 2015, the foliage begins to fall over, the bottom sets of leaves have turned brown, it is time for me to dig the garlic.  Pulling the first head from the earth I was excited it was a good year.  Nice full heads, they were easy to clean because I pulled them at the correct time, did not dilly dally around and let too much moisture get into the ground.  As of now, all of the garlic is dug, cleaned and on the drying rack in the pole barn.

I find pleasure in setting down, taking the time to braid some of the garlic.  It is with pride I hang it in my pantry and share with others.  This is really the best garlic crop I have had here on this farm.  The land has slowly improved with the adding of all natural ingredients.  I use wood chips, manure and lots of compost.  I am now harvesting sand from our creeks to improve the soil.  

After all the garlic was dug,  it was time to begin harvesting the onions.  It was another good crop.  I have my first onions which look like onions.  There are white onions large enough to slice.  How I have waited for this.  These are my storage onions, I have red salad onions, yellow sweet onions which do not store for a long while.  After loosing quite a large number of the walking onions to the moles in 2014 there were enough left to plant last fall.  I had a good harvest and now I will work on replenishing my walking onions.  

Onions are important to me.  I use quite a large number of onions in our kitchen.  As I look back I understand why I use so many.  My momma would cook a pan of onions anytime she was not feeling well, she felt the onions were healthful for her.  When I was a child we grew potato onions and storage onions.  The onions were braided and hung in the basement.  At was fun to go to the basement and see the braids disappear.  Momma put onions in almost everything she cooked and I do the same thing.  

On our farm, we grow many varieties of the allium family,  the leeks have gone to seed and I am hoping this year they will reseed in the garden saving me the work of replanting the leek bed, the green onions have gone to seed and new plants have been relocated in the green onion pots.  The chives have flowered and their heads removed, seeds planted along with some of the large clumps divided and planted, the garlic chives have reseeded and are coming up all in the bed.

We use all of the alliums we grow and I am always looking for more, the flavors add so much to our meals and I just enjoy watching them grow.