Monday, May 19, 2014

Front yard onion harvest

A year ago, I distinguished myself not-in-the-slightest with this post describing the trend toward suburban front yard vegetable gardens.  The movement was well underway by that point, so nothing I was doing was innovative.
The front yard fieldwork begins to look a bit more impressive at the point where food actually starts coming out of it, however.  We are now harvesting the onions that the neighborhood kids and I planted back in November.  
Stereotypical suburbs?  A four-door sedan, a dog, a manicured lawn, a front walkway, and 52 Spanish and Texas 1015 onions completing the Rockwellian scene.  I planted close to 100 but we've been hauling them out of the ground routinely over the past couple of months, using both the immature bulbs and green tops in a variety of dishes, plus we've been giving some of them to neighbors.  So I'm down to probably 65 or 70 for the main bulb harvest.  
Of course, the onions don't get left lying on that manicured lawn - that was just the temporary staging area.
They get set out to dry so that the bulbs will keep.  
I have not yet mastered the art of onion drying.
We do the first phase with the green parts still attached, but some folks cut them off at the outset.  You're really supposed to do a combo sun-drying and longer-term curing phase.  The first year I did this, the onions cured fabulously and kept for about five months.  Last year, they apparently didn't get dry enough and began to rot within a month after harvest.   
We have, however, mastered the art of onion eating.  The onion and squash harvests are happening at the same time, and I've probably harvested 15 pounds of the yellow stuff already this month.  A lot of it is being made into frozen dishes such as this Mexican squash and pork stew, but this simple side dish of fresh sauteed onions and squash also becomes a staple  for us at this time of year.  Onions and garlic in olive oil with a bit of fresh oregano, salt, black pepper, and I like a bit of chili powder also.  
This could be yours with a little front yard frontiersmanship.  

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