It's a Bloomin' Onion
Text & photos by Brian Vick, Community Kitchen Garden Coordinator, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
Our yellow onion bulbs didn’t get very large in the Lewis Ginter Community Kitchen Garden, but the flower heads were dramatically beautiful during June. The tall flower stalks were amazingly sturdy, and cuttings have lasted for days in a bucket of water. The stalks and flowers would be a dramatic addition to floral arrangements… except for the pungent and permeating aroma of onion. The entire onion plant is edible – including the flowers, so doesn’t the idea of sprinkling the small flowers on a food item sound like a cool culinary “presentation” element?
Onions require a lengthy time commitment in the vegetable garden. We tried the over-winter planting technique, with small onion bulbs placed in the ground before the first fall frost. We harvested the onions last week. That’s nearly 9 months! Then they need to be air-dried for several weeks to cure.
The onions aren’t the only veggie “bolting” (flowering and attempting to set seed). The warm days of early June triggered the flowering of most of the cool-weather crops (lettuce, radishes, turnips) and also the dill.
This week we delivered 26 lbs. of zucchini to FeedMore. Year to date produce donations: 308 lbs.