Saturday, 23 July 2016

Drying out the alliums

The recent blast of inferno-like conditions has hit us at a rather handy moment, as we've hoiked up all that remained of our autumn-planted allium crops and got them in the shed drying out. From past experience, autumn-planted onions don't store anything like as well as their spring-planted counterparts (why is  that, by the way?), but we don't have enough of theme for this to be an issue- we'll have scoffed them all sharpish.

Onions are something that we grew a tonne of at Nunsmoor allotments as they took up a healthy amount of what was a pretty enormous plot, and, like a good woman, they're relatively low maintenance. We're still growing them, but in far reduced quantities due to our diminished acreage. Frankly, I've never thought "wow, what an onion!" after eating a home-grown onion, so we could probably give them up in favour of more impactful crops, but I do like to grow them.

Look how happy garlic makes me feel.
Garlic is another matter entirely. Unless you're getting hold of the posh stuff from the Isle of Wight or wherever, most garlic in the supermarkets seems to come from China, and is therefore unlikely to be at it's freshest by the time you get round to peeling it. Freshly dug garlic is vastly superior. It is somehow both more pungent, yet less harsh, with a wonderful summery warmth to it. It brings sauces to life and makes for a compelling tsatsiki. If you haven't grown it before, I strongly advise you to give it a go. Happily it seems particularly well suited to our current plot; whereas we used to get a lot of rotten cloves and bulbs in the clay soils of Nunsmoor, the lighter tilth which we currently steward has produced some textbook bulbs with good sized pink-tinged cloves. Hurrah.

Here's a quick tour of the plot (link here for those who can't access the embedded vid: ( )

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