The last few weeks I've been working with an old carpenter, George, on the roof in the rain. He's 70 and I guess I've known him for over ten years now. When I first met him he taught me how to skin a rabbit, prepare an eel, pickle a walnut- all I had to do was bring them into work an he's cook them up for lunch or show me the best way to eat them. It was quite a laugh looking back on it and I think he certainly helped fuel the fire that I had for doing all the things I love doing now.
I lost contact with him for 8 years so it's been nice to be working with him again and our conversations are pretty much what they used to be - gardening, or food related! We've been talking a lot about what we think is the best thing to grow in the garden and one of the things that came out on the top of George's list was his shallots.
He has no idea of the variety but says they grow well every year and he stores them for two years with very few problems. Then he asked if I'd like to grow them! Well it would be rude to turn him down...
So although it's a little late to be planting these, I'm sure they wouldn't have done much better in the ground over this wet winter and they should soon catch up if we have a good spring. This might be one more vegetable that I can be self sufficient in (we rarely buy them as they're too expensive anyway). I'll save enough to plant each year, eat the rest and hopefully they'll bridge the gap when we have no onions.
How well does everyone else do with shallots and do you think they'll help with the bigger picture of trying to be self sufficient?