It’s onion harvesting time!
The whole process is fairly simple, and starts when the tops of the onions fall over as in the photo below. Once half the bed falls over naturally, I manually fold over the rest This helps keep all of the onions on the same schedule. After five or so days, it’s time to pull them up.
The actual harvesting takes very little time. Each onion is gently removed from the soil with a light tug and a twist. Then the loose soil is brushed off the bulb. As they come out I load up a couple of large buckets, and transport them to the cellar once full. This year the two beds of New York Early yellow onions filled eight buckets, which resulted in four trips. Then the onions are laid out as shown. I place a poly tarp under one made of cotton.
Patience is the key to curing and storing these wonderful vegetables, and if done correctly in both method and quantity, the result should last for almost an entire year. A dehumidifier runs in the cellar during the humid months, keeping the relative humidity around 45%. This, plus about three weeks in time will result in well-cured onions, which will then be trimmed of their leaves and roots and stored in burlap bags hung from the floor joists above. I’ll include some of that in a future post.
I am always amazed that these tiny seeds result in food this large. Watching the process never gets old.
These onions are early this year. If the calculations are believed, about 17 days early. But they were ready- the stalks were browning up and fell over as they should. The onions are fairly uniform, ranging in size between a tennis ball and baseball. There are several softball-sized outliers, too. My guess right now is there’s between 75 and 100lbs of onions from these two beds.
News From Other Raised Beds:
- All four varieties of carrots are harvestable. Last weekend I pulled up a couple and they were good. So, I’ll call the tracking sheet calculation harvest dates of 7/31 -8/2 accurate although I am going to leave them in the ground for a while longer. They’ll put on some mass. And, they’re carrots and don’t care.
- Both varieties of cucumbers and the Golden Detroit beets are late. They’re growing, and we’ll get some, but later. Same goes for the grape tomatoes. We’re going to get a considerable amount of that fruit.
- The red onions are about a week or so away. There’s one bed of those, and I think on average they’re going to be larger than the yellow ones.
That’s it for this update. More to come in a week or so, and thanks for stopping by!