Onion Skins Drying

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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Westi
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Onion Skins Drying

Postby Westi » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:14 pm

Hi All!

How long does it take for onions to make their lower layers into papery skin? I had to peel down quite a bit (3 layers), to remove blemishes on my onions which I'd now like to put in the lottie show mid August. I wasn't going to enter any, but found I had enough that were near identical size & certainly shape, which made me think about entering. They are back in the greenhouse to continue drying in the top rack. Kept the roots on & a few inches of the stem so I can tidy them up if they will dry enough to show..

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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:01 pm

Sorry but I have removed my reply as I misinterpreted the question.

I thought Westi was referring to the leaf stems not the onion itself
Last edited by Pa Snip on Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:54 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby John » Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:44 pm

Hello Westi
Don't worry too much about a beautiful papery skin on your onions. Other exhibitors will be facing the same problems as you in maybe not getting them dried off in time for the show. Concentrate on getting matching sizes and shape for your onions - usually three. When staging them on show day arrange the three as two in front towards the judge with the third behind. Try to set them on small rings so that they stand upright and with all onions on a white paper plate. I've found mustard pot lids excellent and simple to use. Use traditional raffia to tie the necks. If one is slightly larger than the other two put it at the back.
You can't force the skin drying business if you do the skins will crack and all will be lost. Leave them in full light but not too warm. Turn them every few days so that they ripen evenly. Dusting them with simple talc powder eg baby powder, can help the drying and is easily removed before staging.
Best of luck.
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Westi » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:27 pm

Thank you John!

I've not seen anyone use rings to sit them on at the show, so that is a great tip! I'm turning them each evening so fingers crossed. I should have paid attention when harvesting, but was too busy sorting those that were trying to flower from the others, and none of these were really near each other on the bed so didn't note the similarity in size. I'm motivated now, might look at the schedule & see what else I can rustle up.

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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Pa Snip » Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:59 pm

Westi wrote:Thank you John!

I've not seen anyone use rings to sit them on at the show,

Westi



If you cant find the appropriate rings anywhere then use furniture castor cups as onions sit well on them and brown cups don't stand out too much. Got mine in local hardware store for about 40p each

Picture of one of my entries in 2015 local show, onions sitting on furniture castor cups
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Westi » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:48 pm

Hi Pa!

Mine look like that. I thought they had to have the brown papery skin. I'm going to have to find my order form to see the variety as the label faded completely, but expect that's in the compost. Mine are dumpier than yours with fatter hips. I'll have to pick up a show schedule for weight & what else I can exhibit. (I've banned Mr Westi from taking any more cabbages for a start)! I was thinking of just using cut paper roll inners, but these are cheap, cheerful & forever!

Thanks for the pic, I'll send one of mine when on exhibit.

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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby John » Tue Jul 26, 2016 9:57 pm

Hello again Westi
Read the show schedule carefully. There are usually separate classes for onions grown from sets and those grown from seed. You mention that yours are dumper with fatter hips - I guess that they have been grown from sets. Those in Pa snip's photo have the traditional onion shape that you get when growing from seed. Judges take schedules very very seriously, checking sizes, weights and so on. There is nothing worse than getting an NAS (Not As Schedule) card.

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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:03 am

John wrote:Hello again Westi
Read the show schedule carefully. There are usually separate classes for onions grown from sets and those grown from seed. You mention that yours are dumper with fatter hips - I guess that they have been grown from sets. Those in Pa snip's photo have the traditional onion shape that you get when growing from seed. Judges take schedules very very seriously, checking sizes, weights and so on. There is nothing worse than getting an NAS (Not As Schedule) card.

John


Glad to say our little local horticultural show doesn't take it quite as seriously as main shows. Its all just a bit of fun and to encourage others. I certainly couldn't be bothered entering a mainstream show.

The onions in my picture were, I believe, Kelsae. Weighing in at a rather diminutive 1lb+ each
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Westi » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:19 pm

I went down tonight to water & checked, but they had no schedules out but from memory I don't think there is any mention of whether sets or sown. Mine are sets which you guessed correctly John.

It's only the local lottie show but the other allotments around us are invited to exhibit as well, so is pretty low key. Folk have been known to run back to their plot to find something if there is a class without an entry, but they are generally NAS as you said when the tent opens after judging!

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PS: I've only won a bottle of Ribena in the raffle up to now! :lol:
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:38 pm

Westi wrote:PS: I've only won a bottle of Ribena in the raffle up to now! :lol:


It could be worse Westi , You know you're getting older when you win fortified wine
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Geoff » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:08 am

Never mind, if they don't turn out right you can make your own Onion rings, delicious.
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Monika » Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:20 pm

West, when you have your schedule, make sure that there are not different classes for the weight of onions. Our village show certainly has two categories for different weights and the judge actually weighs them if he is in any doubt!
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Westi » Sat Jul 30, 2016 8:24 pm

Yes Monika, I'm pretty sure ours is by weight, best check them on the scales as haven't a clue what they weigh, just impressed that the size is so similar.

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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun Jul 31, 2016 8:55 am

I've never exhibited any produce, but since reading this thread I've been checking out the best onions to see if they meet your standards. Only problem is that we no longer have a vegetable show. Our society packed up after its 100th show a few years ago.
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Re: Onion Skins Drying

Postby Westi » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:56 pm

I've got my eye on this cabbage & another one (don't know how many you need to exhibit, no schedules still). It's 13 days to the show so hope it will sit nicely & the cabbage whites will leave it alone!
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Could get into this showing lark, well at lottie level anyway.
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