Friday, October 12, 2012

Going, Going, Gone!

The last three onions hanging in my pantry basket
Last winter when planning my garden, I made a conscious decision to grow more food that I could store for the winter.  I don't know if it's the lousy economy, the lousy housing market, or just being a mom, but I actually worry about food much.  So I added things like onions and potatoes and carrots and winter squash to my plan.  I know I'll never be able to put enough food away for the four of us, but there is something comforting about opening my basement door and being greeted by the sights and smells of my "pantry".

When it came time to sow the onion seeds last spring, I sat down with my beloved HG-16 and calculated that I needed approximately 90 onion seedlings to fill my onion bed, and that this would be enough for most of a year.  (I estimated that we used about 2 onions/week.)  What good fortune!  I could, for the most part, stop buying onions!

Hmmm...except that this afternoon I used the last half onion a mere 3 months after I began harvesting them! What happened?  Well, for one thing, I'm almost incapable of planting anything (even tiny little onion seedlings, which look like single blades of grass) less than six inches apart.  It's just not in me.  I ended up giving away about a third of my seedlings.  Then the unusually dry spring killed a handful of them.  And then, it turns out that I cook a lot more onions than I realized.  Tomato sauce?  Salsa?  Onions.  Fried ground beef in anything?  Onions.  Roast anything?  Onions.  Soup of any kind?  Onions.  Steak sandwhiches? Onions.  Grilled sausages?  Onions.  Potato anything?  Onions.  Oatmeal?  Of course not...although...  I think maybe I cook onions more often than I cook meat.  (I know, you're shocked.  Me too!)

I guess next year I'll have to plant more onions.  I think I may also try to branch out a little.  Bulb onions should be for the winter.  Looking around the community garden plots I see so many little green allium leaves, clearly flourishing in the cool air.  Surely some of them would make for good soups and salsa and everything else!

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