Onions, leeks, and garlic are staple ingredients in just about everything we cook at the MitchaRachia Homestead. Known as alliums, these veggies are full of nutrients and antioxidants essential for our bodies and are especially beneficial to the cardiovascular system. Veggies that can be transplanted like tomatoes, peppers, celery, and all squash we purchase as hardy plant starts from a local nursery in the spring. Because we eat alliums all year long and want a larger supply than other veggies, we grow them ourselves. We grow garlic each year by planting in the fall grown from the most robust bulbs of the previous season. Onions and leeks, we grow from seed starting in February because we like to have the most diverse selection - varieties to eat during the growing season and varieties that are best for winter storage. We also like a variety of sweet, yellow, and red onions for our culinary masterpieces.
Growing onions and leeks from seed is a labor of love for sure, but we find it well worth the effort. We start with organic seed starter mix and fill flats. We water the soil and pat down. Onion and leek seeds are really small, so much effort must be taken to carefully place then in the soil, rather than sprinkle. Then we lightly cover the seeds and spray with water to keep damp.
When the tiny stalks begin to droop, it's time to start trimming. The trimmed alliums can be used in salads and trimmings should be taken until the roots are strong and stalks no longer droop - and when it gets close to planting them in early spring.
At this time of year, we also plant thyme, catnip, and parsley. Greens to eat are another favorite in the winter at the homestead. Micro greens, sprouts, pea shoots and sunflower shoots bloom in the southern windows all winter long and provide greens without having to buy them in the store. Also pictured here are our rosemary and lavender plants we bring inside from the deck each year.
Mitch and Rachel are a groovy, retro-fit couple stewarding
7-acres of woodlands halfway up Spruce Mountain in Plainfield, Vermont.
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Farm to Plate
Vermont State Parks