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A Sweet Gift

November 21st, 2012

On Sunday afternoon, a friend and her husband came over and we spent the afternoon enjoying great food and then soaked up some sun while hiking through the woods behind our house. She’s a blog reader and was the one who helped us find this place here in Maine. She’s also a gardener and brought along a few lovely sweet onions as a housewarming gift. Along with a beautiful pottery bowl she made!

Back in February and May, we stayed with her while looking at this property and a few others. While there, she was telling me about the Ailsa Craig onion she had ordered to grow. True to the description, they grew HUGE. She did provide them with the water they relish by surrounding them with soaker hoses which no doubt helped.

Two nights ago, I cut one of these beauties up for my cranberry chutney. The other two will travel back to Ohio for our family Thanksgiving meal. I’m thinking one will find it’s way into the sourdough stuffing and the other into a sweet onion gravy.

I especially fond of the fact that this onion is an heirloom and that you can find seed for it (I’m going to order them from High Mowing Seeds). When it comes to onions I much prefer to start with seed rather than with plants or sets.

Are there any new things you’ve already discovered for next year’s garden?

11 Comments to “A Sweet Gift”
  1. Kathi Cook on November 21, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Wow that is a huge home grown onion! I haven’t put my garden to bed yet and I am already getting 2013 seed catalogs in the mail (not that I mind) .I may try potatoes this year for the first time.
    Happy travels and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  2. Adelina Anderson on November 21, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Last year we planted onions and they turned out wonderful. This year my husband has been thinking of expanding it and I am crossing my fingers for a good spot for potatoes and brussel sprouts.

    Reply to Adelina Anderson's comment

  3. amy on November 21, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Those are some good looking onions! I love love onions….so those I need to try. I grew celeriac this year and it has turned out nicely and taste delicious. I will be keeping it as part of my garden veg:)

    Reply to amy's comment

  4. Christi {Jealous Hands} on November 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

    They are beautiful onions. I’m wondering: why do you prefer starting onion from seed? I’ve never seen onion seed here (GA), only as sets.

    Reply to Christi {Jealous Hands}'s comment

    • Susy on November 21, 2012 at 10:00 am

      I have read that onions started from seed store better than those grown from plants or sets. I find this to be true in my gardening. Onions are also heavily sprayed with fungicides and other chemicals if they’re conventionally grown, since I have yet to find many varieties of organic plants/sets, I prefer to grow mine from seed to limit the amount of chemical inputs in my garden. You can also find interesting varieties not available in plants or sets.

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  5. KimH on November 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I’d love to see the pottery bowl your friend made.. One of these days, I want to get into making pottery.. I think it would be so rewarding.
    We had a mini-wheel when I was a kid but that was kids play.. I’d love me some adult play. :)

    As of this very moment, the only thing I can think of is that i need to find some Carmen pepper seed.. Man I love these sweet red peppers..
    and that I need to use a lot of mulch on my garden next year. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

  6. Sincerely, Emily on November 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Wowza! Those onions are beautiful! I finally got onion sets in the ground. I can’t seem to get the planning down for starting seeds for the fall and winter garden. I know some part of that is because when I should be starting those fall and winter seeds, it is still blazin’ hot here and hard to muster up the energy to do much of anything outside (for me!) In reality, I should probably be starting those seeds indoors since they need a cooler temp to germinate. I might have to look into those onions. Especially is they store longer, I do struggle with that. Storing onions through the hot summer months is hard here.

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

    • Ms. Tweetley on November 22, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      These are recommended for fresh use—not storage, though reported to be a longer storing than other sweet Spanish types.

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  7. Maybelline on November 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Seeds work best for me too. However, I always plant in place.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • Maybelline on November 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

      PS. I live in the land of “The Onion Field”.

      Reply to Maybelline's comment

  8. Laila on November 26, 2012 at 7:09 am

    This year I grew white onions from seeds as well. I started them off in my heated propagator which helped extremely with germination since I had to start sowing in February/March. The white onions I grew from seeds are a lot better, juicier and firmer then the red onions I bought as a set.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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