My father in law has become quite the gardener, however now in his 70’s it’s not the easiest thing for him to do. So with the help of family members we get it all done.

For some years now he has grown onions, a sweet yellow onion that we love. He buys the onion starts locally and they are planted about February. The soil is enriched with compost and steer manure and watered with a drip system. These onions are fairly easy to grow, just amend your soil, water, and watch them go.

You know you’re ready to harvest the onions when the green tops fall over. IMG_20130524_190723_977 Then you turn the water off for a few days while leaving the onions in the soil. When harvesting we use a pitchfork to loosen them from the soil so that we leave the green tops intact. They come out of the ground easily, even for the youngest of us.IMG952164  Two long rows of onions about 30 feet gave us two big wagonloads of onion. IMG_20130524_191651_349

Then we stack them as evenly as possible in a single layer. The onion bulbs should be in a single layer but the green tops can overlap. Leave them to dry for a few days to a few weeks until they form a brownish skin. IMG_20130524_192520_823 Then cut the tops off and store in a cool dry place. My in-laws pantry is the perfect place for our hot climate. We all share the onions and they last 4-5 households for several months. They taste delicious and we hate it when they run out and we have to head back to the store for onions.

When we went out to pick this years crop there were a few of us who had been there at the beginning to plant the starts, but the majority of us were just there for the harvest. It took us about 15 minutes to do this together and it was fun. My grandmother was fond of the old saying…..many hands make light work, and it’s so true. On top of which working together with your children teaches them so many things. Team work, reaping what you sew, family bonding, productivity, knowing where their food comes from, good work habits, these are just a few things we teach while we work alongside our children. And when we work we talk, we laugh, we spend time together, how bad could it be?

Garden with your family, bring together the young, the not so young, the old and let the fun and the teaching begin.