February 10, 2014

It takes demand to further the supply


I still have my own shallots, onions and garlic in a cardboard box in the kitchen cupboard, although they’re going fast. I’ve got to plant more this summer.

Candy is a nice sweet onion variety but like all of the sweet onions, it doesn’t store well. My favorite storage onion is Copra.

If you’d like to grow your own leeks, be aware there are different types. The best known short season leek is King Richard, which is ready in about 75 days and keeps a few weeks in your refrigerator. The longer term storage leeks, such as Pancho or Tandorna, take anywhere from 95 to 110 days or longer. It’s easiest to buy leeks as seedlings through mail order, but if you want to start your own you’ll need to plant them indoors by the end of February and transplant them into your garden in early May.

I didn’t think I liked parnsips, but that was before I actually tried them. It turns out, I love them. They are a long season crop, taking 110 to 120 days to mature but they can take the cold with no problem, so you can plant them in early May and leave them in the ground through the fall. The longer you leave them, the sweeter they become.

I like them best in stew or roasted with other root vegetables on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. A great tip for roasting vegetables is to use parchment paper on the baking sheet, it makes cleanup much easier. Just about everything tastes better roasted.

Amy Ivy is executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension, Clinton County. Office phone numbers: Clinton County, 561-7450; Essex County, 962-4810; Franklin County, 483-7403. Website:

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