Friday, 5 August 2011


by Sadge, at Firesign Farm
I just harvested my shallots, and now have them spread out on a screen in the shed to cure. Like my garlic, shallots are planted in the fall to overwinter, and grow through early spring into July. So expensive in the store, they're easy to grow and store, and make a great flavor addition to fall and winter dishes.

I started with a few supermarket shallots, purchased in late summer years ago. They're planted in the fall, one per square foot. By the following summer each shallot multiplies into a clump of 6-7 nice-sized bulbs. Each October, I re-plant around a dozen bulbs from this year's harvest, say two clumps worth, and then still have at least 60-70 to eat throughout the winter.

Curing and storing them is super-easy too. I'll leave this year's harvest out in the shed for a week or two - until the leaves and roots have dried, the necks have shrunken closed, and the brown skin toughened up. Rubbing away the dried dirt, leaves, and roots, I pile the shallots in a couple of net bags (actually, they're a couple of drawstring net stockings used to sell oranges at Christmas time - now reused for my shallot harvest year after year), and hang them from a hook in the ceiling of my kitchen pantry. They'll hold well until the following March or April before they start shriveling up a bit - still tasty though.


Anonymous said...

Wow, what a good tip! Thanks, I'm off to buy some shallots...I really like vegies that self perpetuate.It's great to share ideas that can make us all self reliant.
I grow about 6 pots of the Turnip-rooted Celery(Apium graveolens var. rapaceum) and once they get a bit bigger provide enough celery for stews, soups, salads all year. One plant lasts more than one year if you pick the outer leaves only and keep in shade in summer. I cut any flowering stems off if I don't want seeds and if I do they very easily sprout in damp sand. Better than needing to buy from shops!

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Very nice. Next year my onions will look the same. Thanks for the inspiration !

elaine rickett said...

Lucky you for having a shallot harvest - mine all bolted earlier this year, due to our extreme drought conditions in spring.

Francesca said...

I never tried growing shallots, Sadge. Thanks for this post!