Onions in, stress out

drying onionsI’ve got the relieved feeling that comes at this time of year when I’m gathering a harvest. After five months of non-stop rain, it’s a miracle that anything’s done well.

And some things have. These onions, for example. I wouldn’t have put any money on a good outcome in May. But they toughed out the shit weather and put on some solid growth.

Ditto the infamous sweetcorn. I would have sworn – and almost did – that it was going to be an outright failure. The cobs aren’t terribly sweet, it’s true. But I have lots of them and they’re a good size. Who’d-a-thunk it?

I’ve been growing veg for quite a while now, and I’ll freely admit to utter bafflement as to cause/effect/reason. Most of the time, it’s a fucking mystery.

But for me, I think that’s part of the attraction. Watching a tiny seed grow into something 100s of times the size is magical. The whole process is utterly mysterious and quasi-religious.

So when some things work and others don’t – and I haven’t a clue why – it’s a humbling reminder of how primitive, pre-literate mankind must have felt most of the time. Correction: All of the time.

In matters of life and death, that must have been terrifying. For me, in gardening, it’s a mystical experience in the 21st century.

7 Responses to “Onions in, stress out”

  1. Christina Says:

    Onions, something I’ve failed at quite a few times. Yours are lovely.

    You have well-phrased part of how I feel about gardening, too. It’s surprising, and as you say, humbling. Fascinating, frustrating, and even sometimes funny. My garden keeps me in check.

  2. Northsider Says:

    We froze ours this year, mainly because of the terrible summer here in Ireland. Just peel them, chop them up (Kenwood Chef makes life easier) and put them in plastic’seal it bags’ and throw them in the freezer.

    I also grow Japanese (Winter) onions from sets. Do you grow them Soilman?

  3. Tanya Walton Says:

    Wish my corn seemed to be doing as well as yours!!

  4. Soilman Says:

    Northsider: No, I’ve never tried the winter onions. Daren’t: Everyone on my plot who grows them gets fierce downy mildew, and I don’t want to infect my plot with more mildew spores than I’ve got already!

  5. Matron Says:

    Funny old year in the garden. Some like the flooding, some don’t. Just so much damp connected diseases and viruses around.

  6. Ami Says:

    Oh nice, we are hoping to have a good harvest next year. We only got our allotment 2 weeks ago. Double digging to save our lives:D

  7. Jerry C Says:

    Beautiful words, as usual, SM…