Garlic and Onions

As I mentioned in my previous post, my garlic is covered in rust and so I decided to pull it up at the weekend. The one bulb that I unearthed to check on, just happened to be one of the Provence Wight, which tend to produce slightly larger than average bulbs, although these are pretty average sized. That’s okay though, considering the rust and the cold Spring we’ve had, I’m happy enough to have average sized bulbs. So far, so good.

However, the next couple of rows are a variety called Cristo which I’ve never tried before. I bought them from the garden centre as a last minute gap filler when I realised I didn’t have enough to fill the bed. They’re fine, not rotten at least, but as you can see – just about – they’re tiny. Not much bigger than a single clove each, which sort of defeats the purpose of growing it when I actually planted an entire clove to start with. I may as well have eaten what I bought and saved myself the trouble of planting it and weeding it! I decided in the end to only take the one row up, and leave the rest (one more row of Cristo and a row of Solent Wight) to see if it grows any more over the next few weeks. Though to be honest I’m dubious, I think the rust has stopped it in it’s tracks. It tastes nice at least, garlic in the green (before it’s dried out) is milder and sweeter, but still very garlicky. Sort of fresher, like the difference between onion and spring onion. And like spring onions I’ve been eating some of the green stems too.

But there’s garlic, there’s small baby garlic, and then there’s big daddy garlic, or elephant garlic to be precise. This is more like a leek style garlic. Massive, meaty, but much milder. I have a good range anyway.

My small lean-to conservatory at home is now filled with drying garlic and onions (some of which which I also lifted) and the smell is incredible.

In order to make some of my photos a tad more interesting, you may find some little characters popping up along the way to help illustrate the fruit and vegetables. There are many photography artists out there using these tiny model figures to create some amazing pictures. Some such as Slinkachu leave them abandoned on various city streets after photographing them for people to come across (if they are looking carefully enough). And then there are artists such as Christopher Boffoli who use food to create unique environments and situations for his little people. So I thought I’d try them out and have a bit of fun, but mine may be a bit more … random.

These are some of my over wintering onions which have been left to dry out. As I’ve discovered in previous years, they don’t store very well. In fact they really need to be used up through the summer and autumn months, they don’t keep much beyond then. But autumn is when I can lift my main crop onions and store those for use through the winter.

And these are some of the main crop onions that I ran out of space for in the main beds. I planted them close together in a small raised bed in order to harvest them for spring onions. I’ve never had much luck in growing spring onions from seed, as they never seem to grow to a decent enough size, but these are perfect. I might even plant a few extra overwintering onions this year so that I have some earlier spring onions next spring. I can’t believe I’m already thinking about next year! That’s gardening for you.

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