Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Garden 2009 - Update VI - Onions

Garden 2009 Growing Onion GreensI sit here writing this blog post on the first full day of Spring 2010. Wow, I never thought I'd still be writing about our Spring 2009 garden! In it, we planted onions; and they have been going strong through the wettest, harshest winter we've had since we've lived here in Central Texas. I had picked all of the green onion stems off of the onions last summer in order to dry them in our solar food dehydrator, and decided to leave the remaining onions in the ground and pick them as needed as we entered into Fall. In actuality, once everything else in the garden had come to its natural end, I forgot to go out and pick the onions much of the time. Then, mid-way through winter, Dave noticed there were green onion stems (aka: scallions) that had grown back long and healthy. Boy, talk about a gift that keeps on giving!


One recent evening I went out and pulled several onions when my supper dish recipe called for it. These bulbs are much smaller than regular onions you buy in the store, but the taste is delicious and robust. I was pleased and surprised with how well the onions had survived through Winter, and with the bright, healthy color and texture that had been maintained:

Garden 2009 Picked and Clipped Onions


You really do get two vegetables for the price of one with these onions. The green onion stems are potent with their own milder onion taste. They also looked green and very healthy. It's amazing how some garden vegetables are so fragile when severe weather comes; and others, like these green onions, seem to thrive:

Garden 2009 Picked and Clipped Onion Greens


I didn't want to waste any of the green onions, and the weather we have been getting has been too overcast to use the solar food dehydrator much of the time, so I decided to put them in the oven overnight to slow dry. I cleaned and cut up the green onions and put them on a pizza pan sheet, set the oven to 150 degrees (or thereabouts), and left them overnight. They needed to stay in the oven a bit longer the next morning; but the end result was delicious, crispy, preserved green onion bits! I have since used them in a few various dishes; and it adds a nice, subtle onion flavor:

Garden 2009 Dried Onion Green Bits


We never tire of giving our Father thanks for His direct provisions. And we pray He grant us strength, resilience and growth through times of the spiritual winters of His chastisement, affliction, or the lessening of His presence to teach us to desire Him more.

Susan

4 comments:

Laura said...

It's really nice to read your post, and the end note..how the Lord shows His presence through His provision.

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hi Laura!

Thanks very much for taking the time to read our blog and for your comment. Dave has taught me to look for God's direct provision and the spiritual lesson or significance in things and it has been a real blessing to see so much more of it in our agrarian lifestyle.

Susan

Deb (debfroggie) said...

Susan –

Oh my gosh – what a great idea to do with the green onion tops!! I dehydrate a lot of produce but never thought of this one – duh !?! Very clever idea!!!!!!

Some of the things I like to do with my dehydrator -

You know sometimes you just have too many greens to eat all at once and I wanted to experiment with other techniques to be able to use them at another date. A little tip that I do is I dehydrate spinach, kale, arugula, well any leafy greens each separately. Once they are dry I crumble each in its own container and then when cooking toss in like you would parsley. Depending on what flavor you are looking for this is a great way to add extra iron and minerals as well as flavor and the greens keep their nice green color when rehydrated in cooking.

Another thing I do is to cut celery, carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, etc… into small pieces and then dehydrate each separately - store each in its own container. Then when trying to get dinner together after a hard day working in the garden you can toss in a couple tablespoons or handful into what ever you are cooking and you have pre-prepped veggies that rehydrate while cooking in your skillet supper, casserole, etc… Makes getting dinner done faster and less work when you are tired or in a hurry. And if you have a little one who does not like veggies or “green” things in their food – this is an easy way to get the veggies and greens in without them really being able to “see” them floating in the their meal!

Really have enjoyed reading your site!! Dave and you have accomplished so very much in what seems like such a short time!! Really impressed with all you DIY projects!!

Thanks for the read!

Deb (debfroggie)

David and Susan Sifford said...

Hello Deb!

Wow! I love your idea of dehydrating greens; I hadn't thought of that! I love all of the ideas you put forth in your post and look forward to trying them myself. I am trying to look for any way possible to insert as many vitamins/minerals into our meals and this is a great way to preserve as well as pack a nutritious punch easily.

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment and I'm glad you are enjoying our blog.

Susan