Thursday, July 23, 2015

Green Coriander and Onions

I had a very minor procedure done by my doctor on Tuesday and he said no strenuous exercise for two days. Gardening isn't strenuous is it? Well it turns out that all those little gardening chores is basically doing squats over and over which was just a bit stressful. Since it was such a lovely day, I really wanted to be outside. So I figured I could sit outside on my stool and pick green coriander. And what a lovely afternoon. I sat on my stool doing a normally tedious task, but the wind was blowing and the little tiny wasps were flitting about with the hoverflies. I should have had my camera, but of course I didn't. I still have a lot of flowers blooming and a lot about to bloom on the plants, but some of the coriander was starting to turn brown already.

I do collect ripe coriander to use as seed, but green coriander rules in the kitchen. You can eat them fresh (and yes they are better that way), but I dry a lot to use all year round. They are more intense and have a better flavor than the ripe kind. If I get another lazy day in the garden maybe I'll pick more to pickle. I bet they would keep their flavor well like that.

Today I decided to do the onions and shallots even though it would require a bit of climbing to tie up the tarp cover to the drying rack (really doc I swear it isn't vigorous). The onions and shallots had fallen 1-2 weeks ago. I would have done them a bit earlier, but I wanted a some time after the last rain for them to dry out naturally in the soil. I deemed them ready.

Only about half of them were down. The remaining are two varieties are still standing tall. I've been using the Walla Wallas as I need onions. They don't store well and I hope they last upright for a while. The longer they do the more I'll get to eat before they start to rot.

Harvesting was easy, but getting them on the rack was more of a comedy of errors. I made my drying rack a week ago, but instead of using old bamboo, I used new ones to hold it in place at the ends. It turns out the new ones are really slick and they moved as I was trying to put the onions in and as they moved, a couple lines of onions fell right through. Luckily the leaf bin is a pretty soft place to land.

After getting the onions in the rack. I had to tie up the tarp. I hadn't remembered from last year that the fence posts I tie them to in the back don't line up with the compost bins I put the rack on top of. It turns out that I can't cover part of the rack I built and put the onions on.

So I moved them all over a bit so they wouldn't get wet when it rains. Now I just need to wait a few weeks for them to dry so I can braid them.

I won't be getting to certain parts of my compost area for the next month, but I'm OK with that. I never put the onions over the one bin that is the working compost pile.


  1. I think we get far more exercise in the garden than we get credit for. But it is nice to have an opportunity to enjoy the garden in a more leisurely way. I really wish I had the energy to get my onion drying rack set up and and filled. I'm not very good at sitting around.

  2. Hi, That is a neat onion drying rack. Not sure if I am drying mine correctly. Hope your feeling better soon and can get back to your normal work. Nancy

  3. Just can't stay out of the garden, can you? Join the club! Hopefully it won't be too many more days until you are back to your normal self.

    My drying rack is up and holding those potato onions from a couple of weeks ago which is a good thing as my Camelot shallots and some of the Copras have already fallen over. I'm kind of surprised, actually, as they are about 3 weeks earlier than last year.

  4. We need an efficient space saving method of drying onions and garlic

  5. That's a pretty neat drying-rack! Watch this space for a nice recipe for using coriander seed (dried though...)

  6. So many great looking onions! I struggle just to get a few small ones.

  7. That rack is brilliant. I put onions on framed screens over the bed they came from, but that means the bed can't be used. It looks like it could also be used for curing winter squash.