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shallot harvest

I finally dug up the shallots.  They're spread out in the sunroom (not in the sun, and not currently accessible to the cats) to cure/dry in peace.

Today's harvest was ~255 shallots.  I've been digging up fistfuls here and there for some time now, so I'd say the total harvest is at least 300.

I'd planted about 70 shallots (3 lbs) this spring.  So, the math is roughly 4.5 shallots per bulb planted.  That's the size of the harvest after months of benign neglect:  weeded once, maybe twice, no watering, and no additional fertilizing after planting.  Crabgrass everywhere.

The clumps that grew well had 6-8 nice-size bulbs.  Websites imply that 6-10 shallots per bulb planted is what I should be seeing, or even more.  In other words, with better care, I could have doubled the harvest, and probably managed a better average bulb size.  That said, I'm quite pleased with the results of virtually no effort at all.  I'm not aiming for perfection, rather I want a garden that is sustainable despite a full-time (or more) day job.  Crops that can get by on their own if the need arises are much appreciated. 

The shallots have a convenient bit of topknot.  Last year (same variety) the topknot was less pronounced; I'm not sure if this means they didn't grow to full maturity and won't keep as well.  Time will tell. 

These are Picasso shallots, grown from sets that were purchased from Fedco (Moose Tubers).  Picasso's a Dutch shallot, pink skin, mild flavor, early maturing (they've been ready for some time).  I planted in early spring, not in fall, and here in zone 4/5 they sized up nicely. 

Once they're dry I'll pretty them up by gently removing dirt and any loose bits of papery outer skin, and then I'll use the topknots to braid little ristras.  A number of which I intend to give away.

The rattlesnake pole beans continue to churn out 1 - 2 gallons of beans per week.  Necessity dictates that I attempt some sort of bean&cucumber curry.


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