In weeks 38 and 39 (17th – 28th of Sep) all of the boxes will be getting brown onions from Greg out at Canowindra, near Cowra. Enjoy them while you can as Greg tells us that they’re probably the very last certified organic onions left in NSW. The state produces about 15% of Australia’s onions, most of which are grown further West in the Griffith area. Greg’s onions, from the Cowra area, are part of a smaller but expanding regional industry.
NSW onions are planted in May and harvested from December to January. They tend to be dug up and left to dry in the fields, baking in the hot summer sun so that they develop that tough outer skin, which protects them over the coming months. Onions are bulbs, a plant’s way of keeping its genetic material fresh for long periods. Therefore onions will last extremely well in storage and have traditionally been a staple food source through winter. These onions from Greg are the last of last summer’s crop.
So it’s goodbye to onions until the new year. Any that you buy in the shops will be from much further afield (e.g. California). If you simply can’t get by without that allium taste then there are some good alternatives to tide you through. Leeks are looking great at this time of year and will continue over the coming months. There will also be a new crop of shallots ready for harvest soon too.