Well not technically the LAST one; but probably the last one of this growing season (I may have some suprises…you never know). But as I look out on the light coating of snow that came upon us last night, I had the feeling of finality for the gardening season.
Luckily, I was able to get the shallots planted before the snow. The ground was hard, but with a little work and a little added warmer compost I was able to get the soil friable enough to plant the shallots.
The rich, creamy flavor and texture of French shallots elevate the delicacy of almost any recipe. The shallots are generally grown from sets that are actually little individual bulbs that you plant to yield 10-15 times the number of shallots! Early in the spring, their dark green shoots will poke through the soil within a couple of weeks of the thaw.
This year, since they are pretty much foolproof, I planted French Red Shallots. These are a good shallot for novice growers (and I will always think of myself that way). They are amazingly productive; are easy to peel and dice and have a delicious, intense, spicy flavor. In the summer, when the top greens start to die back; they will yeild shallots roughtly the size of chestnuts with coppery russet skins and purplle pink flesh. Plus, they store really well. They can last up to a year if properly cellared (Dark, Cool, Dry).
I am looking forward to the winter time part of gardening. The planning of next year’s garden, the seed catalogues arriving in the next few weeks! I will check in with everyone then!