Onion Braids

The kikuyu grass is really getting ahead of us at the moment. We have just finished untangling our poor lemon tree from its creeping advance. Our garden is still a mess, but there are plenty of good things among the weeds. The Jerusalem artichoke flowers have been beautiful, and we are looking forward to our first crop of artichokes. The onions have been another triumph.

Onion Braids

Kevin and I have never tried to grow onions before, and we are delighted with the success of our first crop. We planted seed for two varieties:

Pukekohe Long Keeper (This was a special strain developed at Koanga Gardens to do well here in Northland, as we are supposed to be a marginal area for growing onions.)

Stuttgart Long Keeper (I bought these from King’s Seeds.)

Both varieties did really well. I plan to replant the best of our onion crop in the spring, so that it will run to seed. In this way, I hope we will end up saving a line of onion seed that performs reliably in our bio-region.

Since harvesting the onions, we have enjoyed French onion soup, onions sauteed with zucchini and garlic (also from the garden), and onions sauteed with carrots (from the garden) and a few dried apricots. All delicious! These onions are wonderfully flavoursome and pungent. Our eyes smart as we cut them.

I have dried out all the onions and braided most of them into six big braids. This way, the onions can decorate our kitchen as well as fill our stomachs.

3 Responses to “Onion Braids”

  1. Rebecca KS says:

    They look beautiful!

  2. Maryann says:

    Beautiful onions!!!!

    Sigh… we haven’t yet managed to harvest viable onion seeds here in mid-Atlantic US: it’s too humid, and the seed stalks mildew.

    We sauté what we call ‘ZOG’: zucchetta, onions and garlic, and freeze it in quarts for winter stews. Zucchetta Rampicante Tromboncino is the absolute best zucchini ever. The flavor far surpasses all others. It’s OP (C. pepo) and unbelievably prolific: one summer we harvested 700 lbs from three vines. It’s late to produce male flowers, so we grow a couple of 43-day bush zucchini plants just so we can start chowing down on the ZRT ASAP.

    We grow 110 lbs of onions each summer, and 36 lbs of stiff-neck garlic. We cure them for the first couple of weeks on mesh spread over an old queen-size bed frame in the barn. Then we have to bring them into the house, after cleaning and trimming, in early August, for the wrappers to dry, due to the humidity. What we’ll do without AC when the grid fails….. gulp…. we’ll figure something out.

  3. Rebecca says:

    Hi Rebecca and Maryann,

    Thanks for checking in.

    @Maryann: I’ll have to check out the seed catalogues this spring to see if I can find this fantastic kind of zucchini you mention. We’d love to try it if we can get hold of some seed. We love zucchini sauteed with onion and garlic, too, but our freezer is too small for me to use for vegetable preserves. If I’m very well organised, I can fit all our meat into it. . . only just! I was thinking of canning some zucchini in jars with tomato, onions and garlic, but don’t think I’ll get around to it this season. We’ll just have to wait for spring to taste zucchini again.