Onion Scrum

Once again the rain came down in buckets on Saturday night ending any thoughts that we might need to irrigate. And again, with that checked off the list, we moved towards the next big crop ready for harvest - the onions - which have been a bit of a "problem child" all season.

It all started when we couldn't make our early beds due to excess rain in April. So we abandoned our plans for the sandy fields at Gray's farm, and put them where we could - in the siltier field over at Snyder Farm. This would probably be weedy, since we had to plant right away, but at least we could plant and, well, weeds are what the Weeder Crew is for, right?

Needless to say, that fateful decision was lamented time and time again from late May when the first carpet of grassy weeds bloomed, to early June when the weeders fought a valiant long-grass-slog, to late June when the grass (and a bunch of thorny horse nettle - a spiky little bugger that hurts a lot when you step on it or grab it without looking) grew back with a vengeance. At that point, I pretty much just tipped my cap, figuring that the onions were basically sized up and all we'd have to do is battle the weeds during the harvest. I even had the great idea to rig up our potato digger to harvest the onions thinking that would go faster.

Anyway, long story short, most of my good ideas turned out to be no so good ideas. There were onions, but there was no easy way to get them out of the ground. So with the sun shining on Tuesday, I moved towards a many-hands solution: I gathered up the apprentices, the weeders, and the volunteers. Made sure everyone had shoes and gloves. And let the onion scrum commence. It was hot. And it was intermittently painful. But most of those onions were eventually gotten from the thorny grass clutches. All 5400 lbs of them, safely into the greenhouse where they hopefully will begin curing, and eventually provide us with delicious dinners long into the winter.

We hope you enjoy the harvest,

Your Farmer,
Dan
(for Karen, Abbe, Ellen, Ben, Lia, Marlee, and Will)