Harvested: Borage, Onions, Garlic


I just returned from my community garden plot where I harvested a ton of onions, garlic, and borage. They were all overflowing in the plot and some needed to be sacrificed for the good of the garden and future harvests. The garlic had already formed a few cloves each. I left plenty more that will stay put until the fall when they are fully formed. I’m figuring on some sort of soup for the borage. Something that would benefit from a cucumbery flavor. The flowers are good in fizzy beverages. The onions will become tonight’s meal, French Onion Soup.

Garlic and Onions

I also harvested my first cucumber (‘Parisian Pickling’), radish flowers, swiss chard and lots of herbs including basil (2 kinds), ‘Golden’ oregano, variegated marjoram, and garlic chives.

The valerian plants were COVERED in lady bug larvae! So exciting! Sorry no photos. I took my film camera with me.

Not a day has gone by over the last month where our meals haven’t been prepared with some percentage of harvest from the gardens. As the summer heats up that percentage is growing. Filling the fridge (and our bellies) with my own harvest is very satisfying. It just never grows old. And neither does bragging and gloating about it.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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19 thoughts on “Harvested: Borage, Onions, Garlic

  1. Soups are such a good way to get in the daily food groups. Yum! I never get tired of soup. Love the photos.

  2. yummy yummy yummy! that is so exciting. you put it so well nothing is better then filling your belly with your own harves. mm mm tasty yay for gayla great post

  3. i think you can add a sprig of borage to a bottle of cheap white wine for a few hours to improve its flavour. or is that some other herb?

  4. I have a ton of borage, but i have no idea what to do with it, all i know is that it’s spikey, i had to wear gloves to cut it back. Does anyone know how you use it?

  5. I had heard to put the borage leaves in salad but there wasn’t one happy face at the table when I did. The flowers, when the ring of petals is carefully removed, are fabulous in salad or in and on Indian rice pudding. They also dry a beautiful color for ading to cooking in winter.

  6. Glad to see this posting. I planted garlic and onions for the first time ever this year and was wondering when to harvest. I am guessing not quite yet? Is there a way to tell from the top?

  7. Hooray for summer harvests! The uncharacteristic 100+ (F) degree heat where I am (Missoula, MT) has my garden finally filling out. Stuff was a little late going in, but it’s going bonkers now. I have a question for all you reading these posts. I am managing an enormous community garden here, and I have inherited a couple of plots from folks who recently decided they’re not going to garden with us. I’ve reclaimed the weed plots, but have run out of late-season extreme-heat ideas for filling them. I have on 15′ x 15′ plot still empty, and I’d really like to fill it up. I have an overabundance of lettuce already, another plot filled with squashes, and a couple beds which look like a regular garden. I’m up for anything that could be planted, tended, and harvested in bulk, or a couple of things, really. Anyone have any suggestions? They’d be much appreciated!

  8. @ Bethann

    perhaps basil for some of it? you’d have no trouble giving it away and it would do well in the heat.

    if you can’t think of anything edible, perhaps you could grow comfrey and use it as fertilizer?

  9. Borage flowers are lovely in salads, with or without their fuzzy bracts. I’m blessed with non-picky boys who adore colourful, flavourful salads. Check out the ‘eat it use it’ thingie for a picture.

    Beans grow quickly, especially bush beans. You might give them a go for your community garden, Bethann.

  10. Bethann: You didn’t say about cost but I assumed you’d want to grow from seed to save money. Given that limitation my immediate thought is also fast growing herbs like basil. You can still start from seed and get a good crop this year. Mix it up with a bunch of different varieties. I never seem to have enough of any one variety.

    And Sorellina’s suggestion of beans is smart. There are so many varieties and types of beans available. You could do edamame, and a mix of beans that are eaten young and green, and hard beans for drying and storage.

    I think you could do some beets from seed… you can still eat them fairly small and the greens are good.

    When the heat dies down you’ve got lots of options in quick-growing cool weather crops.

  11. Donna D: I was harvesting some plants prematurely because I had too many and they were getting crowded out. Generally the time to harvest both is late summer/early fall. With garlic some of the leaves will have yellowed or the plant will be flopped over. Onions will also fall over.

  12. Quant: You can add borage stem to some kind of alcoholic beverage but I can’t remember what it is. You can add the leaves to lemonade for a cucumbery flavor and the blossoms to just about any drink.

  13. Harvesting Peas, Lettuce, and Bok Choi at our community garden. A week ago planted some Zuccinni and Cucumber near the peas. The goal this year is to have Tomatoes and cuke`s. for harvest at same time so i can make some greek salad in Sept.

  14. Bethann, how about nasturtiums? The entire plant is edible and they grow fast! Good little spicy flavor for salads. Also, spinach.

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