Friday, April 10, 2015

Onion/Spinach Harvest

My entire spinach harvest.

Yesterday was a busy, happy day spent doing my job at the winery, and today was a busy, happy day spent harvesting my spinach and onions.  You never know how your crop is going to grow every year, and so it's rare that you get the exact amounts of anything that you'd planned on. So it's either feast of famine in the garden.

Today, for instance, I harvested about six spinach leaves and about three metric tons of onions. (perhaps a teeny bit of exaggerating, but that's how it felt.)  I actually got about 3 store-bought bag's worth of spinach, and have about 30 pounds of onions -- half in the fridge and half still in the ground.  

So now I will be hoarding my spinach like a madwoman ("no you can't have a spinach salad! I am saving it!") and giving away onions to anyone who looks like they might need or want one, or even better, a whole bunch. 

The pathetic spinach crop is a shame, because I love adding spinach to different recipes -- lasagna, chicken casserole, omelettes, etc.  but this will be a lean year for that addition.  We do really commit to eating what we grow and rarely shop the market for anything we're able to put in the ground ourselves, so when we have a lot of something, it becomes a regular visitor to the dinner table, and when we have a sparse harvest, we do without. Farewell, spinach. Maybe next year.

.000001 percent of my onion crop.

But since onions are -- face it -- an accent spice and not usually a main dish, I have no use for a lot of this bumper crop. This year I am going to try freezing some for use in cooked dishes, which means I will not need to grow any for awhile, which will be nice. And since I've left half the crop in the ground, we have enough on hand for our fresh needs for several more weeks.

But just like life, the vegetable garden teaches you to be prepared for anything. Those raised beds are as full of drama and plot twists as your average soap opera, and adapting to what worked and what didn't is an ongoing thing.

And so I say a fond farewell to spinach for awhile, and hello to The Year of The Onion. 

There will be lots of onion tops in the compost this year.


  1. How about dehydrating some of those onions for flakes or onion powder. I have bought grinders just ot do onions & garlic for that very reason.

  2. That's a really excellent idea; I do have a food dehydrator (and an oven) and this would be a worthwhile project to try. Anything I can do to make this crop more useful would be a good thing! Thanks for the tip!

  3. That is a good idea! And id love to read about that. Can the chickens have onion tops? I absolutely love mild spring onions mixed w olive oil, red wine, some cayenne, and salt and seared in a cast iron skillet. Soooo good with beets and a creamy cheese. Okay and a steak. I must be hungry! Sorry about the disappointing spinach. Id imagine it just doesn't like this early heat!

  4. My husband's garden is like that - feast or famine. One crop will do very well one year then we'll get almost nothing the next. Two years ago it was cucumbers. We had so many, we couldn't eat them fast enough. We pickled some, but are not great fans of pickles. Then last year, very few cucumbers.

    Kale seems to grow well here no matter what. It's a good thing, because I love kale. I use it in everything, just like you do spinach.