Monday, January 25, 2010

Matching Demand and Supply

When we moved to this Little Farm, our Noble and perhaps somewhat Naive Intention was to grow as much of our own Food as possible. That intention has stayed paramount in our thinking and planning. Yet, we really did not know what that all meant as we had never done it before.

We will be entering our 4th Gardening Season this year as we begin planting Seeds in Flats next week. Of course, we never completely know the variables that Mother Nature will hand us ahead. Mostly Gardening is an act of Hope and Faith.

What brought this issue of matching Demand with Supply acutely into our awareness is that we are now face to face with our last Onion. We love Onions.

Richard planted 400 last Spring. They were Onion Plants and Sets. I am still not quite sure what the difference is. Maybe this year, I will get it. We also planted Seeds in the Garden. They didn't "make".

In the Spring and Early Summer, the Onions that he planted from Plants and Sets looked beautiful. They were a work of Art. We used many of them as Green Onions. He then harvested the Bulbs for Fall and Winter Use in July. They hardened off in the Shed and then made their way downstairs. We would have run out far earlier, but the Leeks saved us.

We planted a lot of Leeks. This was new to us. They were amazingly successful. I still remember planting those little Plants in the Soil last Spring; I had no clue as to what we would get. But, we thoroughly enjoyed them and they did extend our Onion Season.

We have also planted Winter Onions from Kitty. I planted them late and they are not ready to harvest. We know very little about them. It will not be long before we can harvest Wild Chives, but they will be little more than a Taste and a suggestion of Green and Spring. Those things are important but they will hardly do the trick.

We know that sometime soon we will begin to buy Onions for Culinary Pursuits. That will be done with reluctance. Our plan is to purchase Organic of course. But all of that raises a question.

How many Onions do we need to plant to cover a year of use? We are planning to start some from Seed next week.

I chuckle about all of this. Here we are the "Educated Ones" who went off to Town and, for decades, bought most of our Food at the Store. After a good many years in that practice, we are now seeking to grow most of our own Food.

The Grandmas did that. But it was different for them. For 1 thing, they had to. We have the back up of the Grocery Store. But also, they learned from the Generations before and they learned with every experience when their hands came in contact with Seeds and Soil. They carried on that tradition every Gardening Season of their Lives, until of course, they got Older and couldn't quite manage it the way that they did before.

I think the Old Ones would tell us to go a little slower. We can't do it all at once. We probably need to be a little more reasonable about some of these things.

Richard's Mother would not understand our drive to grow and use Onions. But my Croatian Grandma Dora would say that's a great place to start.

600 seems like a good number for the year.

1 comment:

Sue said...

I'm sorry to hear your onion "stash" ran out. I planted 216 last spring....every one of them turned out. I had figured on four onions per week for cooking and it has worked out well for us. I still have a good supply, and it looks like I'll make it through until next harvest. I use Copra, which, in the past, have always held in storage for the whole year. I have never had one "turn"...they are as solid and firm as the day they were pulled.