The Onion Harvest

DSCF0702Onions and garlic seem to be the only real successes in our veggie garden this year. We have far too many red onions and some of them are enormous.

Last year a few Tuscan red onions went to seed. They sprouted impressive flower heads and after rain some of the seed within the head germinated, producing tiny onions on the flower head itself. I carefully rescued these and planted them. Yesterday’s harvest (pictured) is the result.DSCF0701

Usually we have an overabundance of beans but most of our current plants remained stunted and eventually shrivelled up. The only healthy one is a plant that sprouted in the herb garden where no bean seeds had been intentionally sown.

Our zucchini crop is also smaller than in the past, but that may be a blessing. We’re still getting enough for our own use without having to nag neighbours into taking some of the excess. I recall Barbara Kingsolver making a comment about people in her neighbourhood becoming more security conscious during zucchini season – locking their homes and cars to prevent anonymous gifts of excess zucchinis from neighbouring gardeners*.

Other successful plants this year are the Lebanese cucumbers. We’ve struggled with these in the past, but the last two years have been good ones. We also have promising signs with miniature watermelons. Yesterday I counted five or six good sized fruit developing and several smaller ones on the way. The smaller ones probably won’t amount to anything. We have such a short season for them to grow. They have to be planted late in the year to avoid frosts that persist even towards the end of spring, and then we can expect early frosts not long after the start of autumn. And anyway, it’s in summer when water melon is most appealing – so we’ll only want to eat those ready before summer’s end.

*In her book Animal Vegetable Miracle.


5 thoughts on “The Onion Harvest

  1. Onesimus, you put me to shame. But I say, congratulations, I could use one of those onions here, my crop failed miserably in the very excessive rains of our growing season.

    Well done mate, and that’s from another gardner, albeit 12,000 miles away, a Limey!

    (May I email you for gardening tips, please?)

  2. Hi Martin,
    To an Australian you are a Pommy (or a Pom) not a Limey.

    My gardening tip: grow weeds and you’ll never fail. Everything else seems to struggle but those weeds know how to thrive under all kinds of adverse conditions.

    My garden has been disappointing this year probably because of the extreme conditions we’ve had. So far the onions (and garlic) are our only success. But even so most of our brown onions went to seed, something they aren’t supposed to do in their first year of growth (if you leave them in the ground they flower and seed during the second year).

  3. I’ve never come across a convincing answer to that question. It has been suggested that it has something to do with being a Prisoner Of Mother England [POM E] (maybe related to the convict history of Australia). But the term Pommy is specifically applied to the English and not Irish, Welsh or Scots – who also made up the convict population transported by English courts.

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