My leeks are looking very proud and big this year, it's crop I seem to have nailed and I've been really pleased as I've started to dig them up.
When I start to use a crop like this that's been growing for months I always start to wonder if I've grown enough. I have one 10ft by 4ft bed full of leeks but I'm sure if we ate them with more gusto it wouldn't last us until march. The onions in the shed are already running low but I knew I didn't have enough of those planted to last us out.
In fact I think alliums are a really tricky one to grow the right amount. I currently have two complete beds taken up with next years crops, garlic and shallots, that's without having room for my onions or next years leeks. Out of 16 beds total in rotation that's a lot of space currently being dedicated to them.
When I cook I tend to use them a lot, most meals I cook use an onions and garlic, probably three or four out of five meals, so over a year that means I'd need about 300 without allowing for spoilage, making preserves or large meals when friends or family come round. I know that shallots can bridge the gap a little bit and I need to be better at using them but due to how much longer they take to prepare I tend to use them only where a recipe calls for it.
The other downside is the fact that they are a fairly low value crop and the taste isn't hugely different to what you'd get in the shops (although I know how I grew them). If you were short on space I'd suggest leaving out the common onion for more exotic crops, although they are strangely satisfying to grow.So how much space to delicate to the lowly allium in your veg garden? If you were going for self sufficiency how many do you think you'd need?