“It’s toughest to forgive ourselves. So it’s probably best to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself.” – Patty Duke
Today I got up and out early to plant some little red and white onion bulbs I bought on sale. I wanted to get them in the ground before the full moon tomorrow. It was a cool, crisp morning and I could see my breath in the air as I turned the earth over to get the bed ready and the ground is still moist from the recent rain. With a steamy cup of coffee and my favorite pitchfork in hand, my day started out perfect in every way!
I chose a sunny location, but really I don’t have much choice in my small suburban back yard – unless I want to dig out more lawn, which I promised my husband Tom I wouldn’t do. (even though I sometimes sneak a few inches here and there – he calls it “encroachment”…whatEver!)
So first, I dug down about 2 feet and turned the earth over and over, removing rocks and weeds and crumbling up the big chunks. There aren’t many rocks left after working the California clay soil this way for several years. Now I have soft, crumbly, sweet-smelling dirt full of rich organic mulchy goodness. I met several hideously long and fat earthworms (earthsnakes) – a good sign that my earth is healthy! Onions prefer fairly firm soil so I gently patted the earth back down, leaving some back to cover the bulbs with, and set the onions in the dirt roots facing down. If you accidentally plant them upside down they will still grow, but they’ll be a little stunted from the effort to grow against their nature…as with all of us I guess.
I don’t need a lot of room for these because I will most likely pick and eat them fairly green. If I want larger onions to dry, I just leave some in the earth and they’ll have plenty of space to grow after the green ones are removed – just pick every other onion to keep them evenly spaced.
Then, I covered them with the remaining dirt – an inch or two deep – and patted the soil down a bit. The whole process, including a coffee break, took 35 minutes – plenty of time to get to the home office by 8. Now comes the hard part, waiting for spring!
You can harvest the green onions after the plant part is about 6-8 inches tall. If you want to dry your onions: hold back on watering when they mature, wait until the tops turn brown and fall over, then pull them out, dust them off (being careful to leave the delicate skins in tact) and let em hang out in a cool, dark place – like the potting shed. Make sure they have a LOT of breathing room all the way round. A screen works best, or do it the old way and tie them up in groups of three using the tops. At this point moisture is the onion’s worst enemy so keep an eye on them for soft spots or mold. After 2 to 3 weeks you can cut the tops off and use them, or store them as you would grocery store onions. Remember to remove and immediately use any plants that form a flower since they don’t make good dried onions at that point. Onions are bi-annuals which means they don’t bloom until their second year…mine get eaten way before that!
(1/2 cup fresh green onions, chopped)
Dietary Fiber 1.2 grams
Protein 0.9 grams
Carbohydrates 2.8 mg
Vitamin A 2,500 IU
Vitamin C 22.5 mg
Iron 0.9 mg
(1/2 cup chopped, mature onions)
Dietary Fiber 2 grams
Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrates 6.6 grams
Vitamin C6 mg
Vitamin B60.2 mg
Isn’t it odd that only green onions have Vitamin A?
For more juicy bits about onions visit the ‘source’