Yesterday I cleaned and sorted garlic and onions for storage and Papa Pea spread out our recent potato harvest on racks to cure.
This year the onions were very nice in size but a disappointment in that many of the red ones had soft, rotting bottoms. (Gee willikers, not a good state for anything!) Although I planted the same amount of both the yellow and red ones, after careful sorting you can see I ended up with a rather paltry amount of the red ones.
While I was working with the onions and garlic, my daughter harvested the colored gourds.
(Above photo by my daughter on snow-covered deck.)
I always plant some of these to use for fall decorations. Like so much else in the garden this past season, they were slow to grow and never really had the chance to mature on the vines properly before our night time temperatures dropped into the 20s. Our recent freezing nights made it necessary to bring all of them in before they were turned soft and mooshy by the hard frosts.
Over the past weekend we harvested our potato crop. And it looks as though we were blessed with a truly abundant crop. I planted 40 feet of Norland Reds and 28 feet of a new variety I tried this year, Carolas which are white potatoes. In both varieties, the individual potatoes were all HUGE. Before we store them for winter, we'll weigh the total haul after they are cured and sort out any ones that were damaged in harvesting or have any blemishes on them. I think the amount we got this year is going to be more than we've had in many years. Mashed potatoes, anyone? Or do you prefer yours fried, scalloped or baked? Looks as though our household will have ample potatoes for any way we choose to use them all winter long.
Any way you cook potatoes is a good way. I will say mashed are my favorite way but that is just splitting skins lol.
Lisa B - You and my husband are on the same wave length (the mashed potato wave length!) when it comes to the best way to eat spuds. Actually, as I was preparing mashed potatoes for our dinner tonight, I was thinking back to my childhood when we had mashed potatoes just about every single night. It was my job to peel the potatoes and get them simmering on the stove by the time my mom got home from work to prepare the rest of the meal. I wonder how many potatoes we went through in a week's time?
I love seeing your harvest! Pictures like that make me incredibly happy. Too bad about the onions though. I had that problem with all the globe onions I've tried, which is why I switched to multiplier onions. Rarely do any get soft. The downside is that they are much smaller, and so, take more time to prepare for a meal.
Michelle - Just a dusting which didn't cover all the grass areas but did make decks, walkways, garden areas, etc. look entirely white. But with a morning wind and the temp above freezing, it disappeared quickly. Bring back memories of your short time in Minnie-soda?? ;o)
Leigh - Yep, there's something about seeing the garden harvests of others that is always appealing to other gardeners! I'm wondering why only my red onions were afflicted by the "soft bottom" syndrome. Grateful that it didn't affect the yellow ones, though, obviously. I've not had much luck with multiplier onions and know what you mean about their size. Takes soooo much longer to prepare a small rather than large onion!
I grew up on mashed spuds. Any way you make 'em is fine with me!
Garden food is so much more delicious. When my wife was teaching, she found that many of her students said they did not like mashed potatoes. So, in one of her culinary arts classes, she decided to show the difference between various potato varieties - from my garden. To our surprise, we discovered that what most of her students had eaten to form their opinions was mashed potatoes made from dried flakes in a box. When they tried the real thing made the old fashioned way (with some garlic cloves in the boiling water), they raved about them. Another reason to grow our own.... Cheers!
Wonderful harvest! Beautiful garlic. But....where are the spud pictures? Did you plant a different variety of red onion this year?
Tim - Amazing comparison your dear wife showed her students. And that could be said for any and all veggies served fresh from the garden. (Or even after home preserving.) Sad to say that I believe the vast majority of people today have no idea what "real" food tastes like. I happen to love cucumbers (can eat them like an apple) and I'll admit when we don't have them fresh home grown right from our garden, I have sometimes weakened and bought an organic one from our Co-op. They taste NOTHING like the ones we grow. (I tossed the last one in the garbage and vowed to never buy one again.) But how can they? Even though they may look good, they've traveled for how many days (under what conditions?) from how many thousand miles away?? I've also read that our bodies are able to process and use the nutrition in foods grown in our own locale in a much more beneficial way than that grown elsewhere. So what can you say that means for dehydrated potato flakes?
Rosalea - I'll definitely post pics of the spuds after they're off the curing racks, sorted and ready for storage. No, the red onions I planted are the same variety I always use . . . Red Comred.
So glad to see you harvest so much! After an iffy start you sure do deserve abundance. On the Golden West side in central California where we lived before Geoffrey retired they grow the most amazing red onions really sweet no tears no hot onions. They have been doing it for many, many years. So we would buy sacks of them each year when we lived there. The one thing I have found is that red onions that are spongy tend to be very hot and don't keep well. The sweet Fresno onions are good keepers and never hot or poor keepers. Every Fall I get about 10 -15 lbs for the winter. For just myself that is enough and I transfer them to a roomy box as you do and keep them from touching . I keep them in the utility cupboard under the staircase to the second floor. They do very well .
Goatldi - I think finding the "perfect" spot to store onions in each of our own homes is key to insure they stay good for as long as possible. Our basement stays at about 52° (with no heat down there) all winter so my crates of them go there. I keep a bowl of mixed reds and yellows in a closet in our entry room filled from the stash in the basement. Then I have to only go refill the bowl every now and then.
I could very easily live on potatoes. Of course, if I ate nothing but potatoes, I could end up like your red onions. I am looking forward to winter this year, as I no longer have to shovel miles of paths. Now I must go back and catch up with your blog...
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