Friday, August 8, 2014

Braiding Onions

Sorting onions

Yesterday after getting the lettuce transplanted and my mache seeded, I noticed that the first Copra onions that I picked were dry. The others aren't far off, but they weren't quite ready yet. The clouds looked threatening, but I figured I could get them braided and inside before it let down.

Braiding Copras

I was wrong on two counts. It never really let down. It just dribbled. And I only got through two braids before I had to go in. Some people make really long braids, but I like short ones with about 10 onions. I think they look nicer and are easier to carry.

Copra top, Ailsa Craig bottom

This morning I went out to finish the job. I got one more Copra braid, but I noticed the Ailsa Craig onions way in the back were ready enough. So I did those too. I've been eating these all through July so there weren't enough for even two braids. I just made one. And kept three onions for the kitchen. If you are interested in a braiding tutorial, I made one years ago.

I still have Copras out there drying. And I noticed that the ones on the far side of the rack weren't getting as dry as the ones closer to the left. So I moved all the onions still on the rack to the left side. The right side has a pallet in front of it and some morning glories growing up it. It really blocks the air flow. Next time I do this I'll have to remove the pallet for better drying.

I weighed the onions I braided and hung them in the basement for storage. Though I still have Copras to harvest, the final tally numbers are in for the Ailsa Craig onions. I thought they were a bit smaller than last year, but the numbers don't lie. I got about a pound more this year than last with the same number of plants. So I might have had a few huge ones last year, but they were more consistently large this year.

I'm really thrilled this year is a good onion year. You just never know what is going to do well each year. The celery is pretty sad. I had to harvest three more bunches due to mosaic virus. I ought to just rip the rest out and freeze it. The new variety, Tango, is all pulled up now and the virus took it right down, but my old standby, Ventura is still trying to hold its own. And the beans are getting hit hard by rust. Today I stripped off about half of their leaves to keep the spread down. But it is only a matter of time before they all come down. I found that the Kentucky Wonder beans are really very susceptible to it, but the new bean I tried this year, Golden Gate, isn't hit nearly as hard. Plus it put out a lot of beans before the rust got into the patch as it is an early bean. I might have to grow this one instead of KW from now on. The asparagus beans seem not as badly affected too. Though it is starting to get into them also. So it is a bad beans and celery year, but a good onion and corn year. I think I'm happy with that.


  1. Our onions will now be well and triuy wet again

  2. I'd love to try growing onions. They're on the one-day list :-)
    I really enjoyed this post!

  3. The Copras look nice. I tried Patterson this year but I may go back to Copra next year, they stored really well. Braiding looks neat. Being lazy, I just trim them and throw them in a wire mesh bin in the basement.

  4. Your onions look so neat all braided. Mine are small this year. At least you harvested a good crops of onions and corn. Nancy

  5. Gorgeous braids. My onions are unfortunately still in the ground. The shallots grown from seed fell over & I harvested those. And a few of the onions have fallen, but it was because of a goof I made when trying to keep the rain off of them during our wet spell last week. It will probably be at least another week or two until I pull most of them up, I'm afraid.

  6. I love the braids! I've always wanted to try braiding garlic, but had never even thought about onions.