Friday, 6 February 2009


Oh dear, last years summer onions got rain at the wrong time and our crop, although plentiful, was small. The onions were half the size they should have been and we are now using the last.

Buying organic onions is a real problem because they have often been imported from somewhere ridiculous, like Argentina!

But, waiting in an orange onion bag is a member of the onion family that will see us through to February at least: shallots. Shallots are smaller and milder than onions, grow in little clusters and keep well into the New Year.

Now, I never have much success with shallots. I plant them in January, full of hope, but when I harvest them in June, I am always disappointed. The bulbs are small and the harvest smaller than the plants I bought and put in in January!

This year I gave them a warning: last chance!. And it worked!

While still a paltry crop (3lbs) they will keep us going for a few more weeks. And if we also make imaginative use of our bumper leek crop, they may keep us going longer.

Any tips on growing heavyweight shallots will be warmly welcomed!

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