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Diggin’ Onions

November 21, 2011

You Remember *Double-Dug*?

Carrots and Cabbage in foreground, Onions in the back

It seems the shorter days are catching up with me now.  It gets dark in the Greater Bippus Area by 6 p.m.  That doesn’t leave much daylight after work.  Saturday I finally got around to digging some onions from the double-dug (French Intensive Gardening) raised bed.  And it was good.

The soil in that raised bed was lofty.  I would stick in the spading fork, pry back a little, and the onions would pop right free.  The roots below reached down deep.  The tops were still green, apparently still growing.  There were some wild carrots (I don’t remember the actual name of these weeds, but they look like a white carrot) that had roots going down 2 feet.  Yet they pulled up easily.

Working Through the Onion Bed-picked onions(foreground) and soon-to-be-picked (background)

Just as I was getting the last onions out of that raised bed, rain started to sprinkle down.   Rain and picked onions do not mix.  I had hoped to lay them out on the ground to cure a little bit.  They are now resting on an old screen door, on a raised rack in the garage.  That is not as good as being out in the sun, but it will have to do.  The curing process will have to be done the slow way, as I do not want to risk them getting wet, moldy, and rotten.

French Intensive

This is the Harvest Pile with the spading fork in the left rear

Recall, dear reader, that we worked very hard to prepare this raised bed, and described the process back in April.HERE is the link to Fluffy, loose raised onion bed.  It takes some extra work to prepare, but my-oh-my it is sweet when harvest time arrives!  If you have ever dug root crops out of granite, err, umm heavy clay soil, then this double diggin’ during planting time makes harvest time a breeze.  As Siskell and Ebert would say-  we give it a double thumbs up!

Now the onions did not reach huge sizes in this biodynamic raised bed.  They were thriving, still green and growing.  The wild carrots really reached down deep, and came out easily.  We didn’t weed as much as we ought to have, but that bed is now clean looking.  Next spring I intend to place manure, dig, move soil, double dig just like before.  I am confident that that bed will benefit, and the crop will improve.  That particular bed may become one of my cold frame locations, if I can muster the time and enthusiasm to build it.  For now, we will be cutting the greens off the onions, and enjoying them.

A camera-shy yellow lab tries to get out of the picture. Beets, carrots and more carrots int he background.

As I look out the window, I am reminded that there are yet more onions that need to be pulled, from the raised bed closer to me than the one I was writing about.  Those will need to come out before the ground freezes.  Soon.

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