Only one lousy 4×16 bed of onions. Normally, we have two such beds.
So I might be waxing poetic about my garlic harvest, but it has been a dud year for onions.
Onions are very important. Yes, they’re an inexpensive, readily available crop to buy, and those who are space-crunched in their vegetable gardens do very well sticking them in the “why bother” category. But I am not space crunched, and I am a tightwad, therefore, I grow my own. And this year has not been kind to my onions.
Granted, I have plenty of onion-y alternatives around here, so our food won’t be achingly bland. But a combination of factors out of my control means it’s very much an Onions = Gold year. No pickled red onions, no splurging with the caramelized yellow ones on the bean dishes and pizza…just the “usual” use of them. And that is okay.
You know, when you do grow your own stuff, you have a different relationship with your food. I won’t say it’s all gold, but it is all precious. If you’re the gardener as well as the cook, you remember pulling that onion you’re eating: you may not remember planting the seed or transferring the seedling into the ground but you do remember watching it fill out, thinking, “that’s a fine looking bulb.” I will say we have very little wasted food around here, somewhat by design but mostly by the fact that all produce is precious. I cannot say this was the case when we bought all our food, and that astounds me: we paid good money for that stuff! Now, what little money we spend is offset by a different kind of investment: the investment of time, of concern for our patch of earth. And the victuals finally rendered onto our plates are very dear.
So yes, those few onions, they’re gold to me.