Garlic and onions are among the five crops we harvest all at once and divide into shares. Unlike beans, greens, and peas, which continue producing as everyone harvests all they can eat, these crops are one and done. Shares are very generous!
We laid out the garlic by variety: Moreno hillside, jellstrain, and porcelain. We also grew elephant garlic, which is not a true garlic but a member of the leek family.
Each gardener takes home a huge pile of garlic! Garlic can be enjoyed fresh, right out of the ground. Other preserving methods include hanging it in a warm, airy space to cure so it lasts in a dry home for months, peeling and freezing whole cloves, and infusing vinegar or olive oil with cloves, whole or chopped (always refrigerate or freeze garlic in oil). Since it’s also basil season, making piles of pesto to enjoy fresh and freeze the rest is a favorite technique.
Garlic is the only crop for which we grow seeds for replanting. We grow self-seeding and perennial crops, such as tomatillos and Egyptian walking onions, but there’s no need to harvest or save those seeds.It’s easy to pull onions from the moist soil. We grow white onions, yellow and red storing onions, and shallots. Today we harvested all but the shallots, which we’re allowing to grow a bit more. The onions’ leaves were brown and disintegrating, so we knew they were done growing.
Onion shares, too, get divided into the number of gardener households. All the white onions are delicious and do not store for long. They get refrigerated and used within a few weeks. The red and yellow onions can be cured in a dry, warm, airy space to cure for long-term storage. Just tie the long leaves together, as with the garlic. But if the leaves are still green and tender, enjoy them like scallions.