We reach a steady stream of milestones throughout the season--the first seeds in the ground, the last frost, planting the last onions by the end of April, pulling garlic by July 4. The cycle is predictable and filled with uncertainty at the same time. Weather is rarely perfectly cooperative.
Onions don't like too much heat or rain at the end of their time in the field. This week, possibly at peak heat for the summer (but who can ever know that), we pulled and moved our onion crop indoors to cure. A formerly pristine field with rows of tiny onion plants in shiny black plastic mulch has morphed into a jungle of grass and pigweed and spiny amaranth. It would be so much easier without the weeds! On both farms, teams of dripping workers searched through the weeds for every last one of those precious onions. They filled hundreds of crates with all sizes of onions, leaving the tails on (which is what you see in the header photo) so the onions could cure and last for months. No matter what, we can never grow enough onions to satisfy demand. It is a relief to have them out of the ground and cooling off in the greenhouse and in the tractor barn. One more hurdle cleared without disaster.
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