Often something in the garden catches my eye. I suddenly notice something that I don’t recall seeing the day before. Was I less observant yesterday?
Or was the perceived change indeed a rapid development, so that the thing I am looking at was not there in its current form a mere twenty-four hours ago?
Yes, I am talking about onions. A few days ago, I became aware of a few little round onions the size of marbles sitting above ground. More followed suit in the next couple of days. These are the fallen onions making their presence felt.
Given an early obsession with marbles, it comes as no surprise that I spotted something the size of a marble. So far this year, I have found two lucky marbles in unlikely places while walking about the village. One has rolled under a bookshelf in my office. I have not retrieved it.
I find something appealing about marbles. The irrational but ever-present child in me wants them. Looking at these miniature onions, so perfectly round above ground brought back the same impulse.
Every gardener knows that timing is everything. You cannot plant too soon or too late. Similarly, if you want the best from your crop, you cannot harvest too soon or too late. I know. I am a great gobbler of young potatoes. And baby carrots. And mangetout peas. And fried green tomatoes.
I stood with my hands behind my back, like a well-behaved child, and examined the onions. They seem destined for the cocktail pickled onion jar. Should I pick some or shouldn’t I? I considered the matter with a great deal of caution.
The thing was that some of them exhibited other signs of being ready. There was nothing for it: I picked one and rinsed it under water.
It smelled divine! I couldn’t resist. I nipped off its roots and crunched into it. Crisp and sweet and oniony. Perfect. I went back to the garden and got another one.
Then I picked a bigger onion from my mollycoddled lot in the raised bed.
I chopped the onions and all their green bits into a mixed-veg stir-fry with olive oil on top of some spaghetti for my lunch. I did the same thing the next day.
Such are the small joys from the vegetable garden
©2019 Allison Wright