We are having some really warm, sunny weather right now, and it will likely extend our growing season (woohoo!). Today I picked a few things, mostly I thinned out the carrots and turnips, and I picked a few winter squashes that seem ready. I pulled some onions too. So, I've added a few things to my running list of the 2008 Harvest.
It's a really fun time of year, gathering things in. I'm surprised by some things - I didn't expect to have over 11 pounds of carrots already! I'm going to dehydrate some, and I'll probably freeze some as well. Same thing with onions. I've just pulled some of them, and already it seems like we have a lot.
Onions have to be 'cured' if you want to store them long term. You wait for the tops to fall over, then you pull them up and let them lay out in the sun for a few hours, so the dirt dries and falls off more readily. After that, they need to be somewhere that they will get good air circulation, and they need air that is warm, but not hot. They need to be out of the sun, too. I took an old rabbit cage and the old red wagon (with oven racks across the top of it) and put them under our deck. Classy, eh? Hey, whatever does the job, right? Besides, the deck is behind the house - no biggie!
All I do is lay them so they have a little 'breathing room'. Every couple days, I check them. Once the green top part is completely dry, they can be braided together, or the tops can be cut off and they can be stored in a bin or basket. I like the bin storage, personally, even though braiding them is cool.
The onions in the second photo have been curing for a few days - see how they get that 'onion skin' on them? Last year we ate our own onions all the way through Winter and most of Spring. I bought one 3lb. bag of onions to get us through a little spot where we had run out, but that was it for the entire year. This year, I've already frozen 6 lb. of chopped onion, so I may not have to buy any. We shall see!