The First Bulk Harvest
Our most important priority this week, besides the must-do's of our daily harvesting, running the farm shop, packing the Boston share, and the other regularly scheduled programming ... was to harvest the yellow storage onions!
This wet weather has made growing storage onions a funny business. Onions love rain; they grew big and beautiful with each downpour. But, especially for these storage onions that we want to last til March, there are some potential pitfalls. In order to store, onions need to develop a dried-up seal between the "green" top and the bulb below. This seal stops pathogens from getting in. Harvest the onions too early, and they haven't had an opportunity to develop the seal. Leave them in the ground with too much water, and the seal stays open, and eventually mush goes the onion. How do you give the onion a real, long, shot to develop for storage, while also recognizing when to harvest and avoid more mush? Balancing practical possibility (can't harvest onions with thousands of cantaloupes all ripe at once), and this seal-development dilemma, this was the week.
Monday there was no time. Our bumper tomato harvest ate the afternoon whole, yum! So Tuesday we loaded up our lugs and headed out. And after a few adjustments (turns out it's really important to wear pants for this job), we reached cruising altitude. Bed after bed went into black lugs. We felt, for the first time this season, that sweet "bulk harvest" spaciousness of conversation. All the topics, all the talks. (The best part!) On Wednesday, we squeezed most of a bed in after our Boston harvest, and on Thursday we finished it up. With all the yellow onions in the greenhouse, drying out best they can under our nice new shade-cloth, we breath deep breath (the other bets part!) And then we turned towards the rest of the list: Friday, a harvest and time to get ready to welcome Dan and Karen back from their (rare and well deserved) vacation, glad they'll come home to one bulk project checked off the list, and no rain in the short-term forcast.
(for Dan, Karen, Abbe, Ellen, Ben, Jake and Alex)