Saturday, July 7, 2012

Going Through the Storage Onions

It was too hot and muggy to spend much time in the garden today, so after a brief time of harvesting and tending my second carrot bed, I decided to stick to indoor garden-related jobs. Specifically, to go through what's left of my storage onions and get rid of the bad ones.
Yes, we are still eating the onions I grew last summer! I grew four varieties, three of which were for long storage and they've done great. For short term, I grew Ailsa Craig. They only store well for about three months, so we used them first. For the long term I grew Redwing, Copra and Prince and all three held up beautifully. They only started sprouting in the spring and so far only a few have been complete losses. Since my new onions won't be ready for awhile yet, I decided to make the best of what I have left.
First, I sorted through the onions and pulled out the ones that have not sprouted yet and still felt relatively firm. Those went back into storage in the basement. They filled a medium sized bowl. Then the few with minimal sprouting that were good sized and still firm I peeled and put in the refrigerator for use in salads over the next few weeks. And finally, the ones with significant sprouting and parts that were going soft I peeled, cut up all the usable onion and threw them into the food processor to be chopped and then frozen. I froze 7 half cup packets of chopped onion that I can throw into a recipe.
I think this should keep us til the end of July and have high hopes to begin using this years onions then. We'll see. Last year I had a problem of voles eating my onions. Although I grew plenty to last the year, voles ate at least fifty of them before I harvested. In fact, I harvested a little earlier than I wanted to, because every day another onion was missing! So far this year those little varmints have laid low, but I keep expecting them to rear their ugly little heads.


  1. That's amazing that you still have some storage onions left. We used up the last one about a month ago. I did have some chopped and frozen that weren't storing well. Those are gone now too.

    I grow Redwing and Copra for storage also. So, how do you store your onions?

  2. Robin we store them in our basement which has a dehumidifier going much of the time, so it is cool and dry down there. In fact in winter is is downright cold, even close to freezing, because our home is all electric, so there's no furnace. I keep them in bushel baskets.

  3. I think it is amazing too. I wish I had a basement! Not that I would have enough room to grow that many onions but a basement would come in handy for other things too.
    I like your idea of chopping up the ones that had sprouted and keeping what was still good and freezing it. Great job!

    1. Thank you! I hated the idea of wasting the fruit of my labors and the frozen chopped onion will work well in throwing together a quick meal.

  4. Wow, I didnt know voles would eat onions? I got lucky then, cause we have voles!

  5. Oh yeah, Lisa, I didn't know it either! Til last year when they were chowing away on them; I lost dozens and dozens. It was incredibly frustrating. I have friends in town who experienced the same thing. It may be that we were overpopulated with the little buggers last year, so far this year they have not been nearly as active (fingers crossed!)