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Onions, Onions, and More Onions

June 3, 2013
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The onion harvest is complete, and the onions are safely stored away.  In this particular case The Gardener took care of the entire process which includes picking, drying or curing, and storage.  Of course he kept the Harvest Manager appraised each step of the way, seeking guidance on where to set up the drying table, announcing the intent to purchase specialized storage bags, and celebrating the arrival of said bags.

The ideal drying conditions will be  in the shade with a light breeze to keep air moving over the onions.  Thus, a table was set up outside in the shade of a coral tree where the

Onions drying in the shade.  A bit of screening keeps the critters away.

Onions drying in the shade. A bit of screening keeps the critters away.

onions could catch a light westerly breeze.  The harvested onions took about two weeks to cure.  The idea is to wait until the outer scales have dried and green tops have dried,  basically sealing off the onion.  At that point it’s safe to cut off the top and prepare for storage.

Onions (particularly the sweet varieties) store longest in a cool place with air circulating around the onion on all sides.  Back in the day, the Harvest Manager used to use pantyhose for this purpose.  Drop an onion into the toe, tie a knot above the onion, drop in another, tie a knot, and so on until the leg of the pantyhose was full of onions.  Nowadays, the supply of pantyhose has dried up, like the top of an onion.  The Harvest Manager certainly doesn’t wear them and knows no one who does.

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Onion Mesh from Dixondale Farms

Enter the onion mesh storage system.  These come from Dixondale Farms and cost about $1.00 each if you order 10 or more.  Onions stored this way will keep for several months.

Now, to use the onions all you do is snip from the bottom.

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The burlap bag in the foreground contains the smaller onions that didn’t go into the mesh strings.

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