braiding and storing onions for the winter

Another gardening job done for the year – we pulled the onions a couple of weeks ago and left them  on the floor of the garage to dry. I’ve managed to braid the ones with long enough tails to braid into plaits, and now we can hang them in the cool, dark basement to last through most of the winter.

It’s a messy job, but it looks nice and is relatively easy to do – it’s just like french braiding hair. I highly recommend doing this outside or in the garage where the sweeping up is easy. I’ve made about 10 braids in total, and the little onions with the small tails will just be trimmed and kept in my bin under our chopping block.

My family is going to think I’ve gone all Laura Ingalls Wilder.

And just in case it doesn’t seem obvious how to do it, here is a video I found:

I didn’t do mine exactly the same way, but close enough and mine seem to be holding up just fine.

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl, Mind Body and Sole, Foy Update, A Delightful Home, Simple Lives Thursdays, Like a Mustard Seed, An Oregon Cottage

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40 thoughts on “braiding and storing onions for the winter

  1. I love the things I learn on your blog

  2. That’s exactly how I do mine and then I hang them on hooks inside my canning pantry (which is in the basement). They store very nicely!

  3. I remeber my Mom doing this a few times when i was a kid. I think she did garlic like this as well! – Kara xx

  4. oceannah says:

    Well done! The braids are beautiful. I’ve done some up this way for gifts in the past…very well received :)
    *anna

  5. they look good. Ours rotted in the ground because of all the rain we got. The ones we were able to save Eddie had drying on a hay wagon on some chain link fencing scraps and the cows ate everyone of them. We didn’t think anything would eat them much less the cows.

  6. Katie Glenn says:

    So cool! It’s the start of our fall vegetable season here, might have to grow some onions just so I can do this. :)

  7. Shira says:

    Fabulous! Love this Heidi – enjoy those onions! :)

  8. Sarah says:

    Heidi, you are fabulous. Thank you for the video, I NEED to do this! I agree with onthehomefrontandbeyond, I love what I learn here too.

    Have a great Wednesday!

  9. They look fantastic Heidi. Unfortunately all my Allium’s were devastated by black aphids this year and I lost the lot. Hopefully better luck next year.

  10. My gosh, you are always challenging me. I will give this a try. My onions are still in the ground and some might not have stems left because I have been stepping on them.

  11. PJ Girl says:

    I’ve just strung mine together with a bit of old string and hung them on the shed door – I wish I’d have seen this at the weekend as it’s so much prettier and probably won’t fall apart next week!!!

  12. Janet S says:

    alas…no basements in california. i have a hard time storing potatoes and onions. your braids look really nice!

  13. A pity my onions bolted this year, so I’ve already eaten just about all of them. Still, with nowhere cold to store them… yours look lovely and I hope you enjoy eating them over the winter.

  14. I didn’t plant any onions this year, planning on it for next year. Now I need to find a basement to hang them in.

  15. Lauren says:

    Love it! This makes me wish I had a basement or a larger pantry to store something like this in.

  16. These look great, Heidi! Good tip on doing outside…thanks!

  17. They look so lovely. I bet your family doesn’t mind you going all Laura Ingalls Wilder one bit when they get to eat such wonderful homegrown food!

  18. mirandasoap says:

    Beautiful braids! I generally can’t be bothered braiding, and last year i used panty hose to store my onions. worked so well and was great while we moved across the country: very sturdy. Simply tie a knot at the bottom of hte stocking, drop in an onion, tie a knot, repeat. Looks cool, too!

  19. Jessica L. says:

    Nothing wrong with “going all Laura Ingalls Wilder”! :)

  20. Tammy says:

    Those are absolutely beautiful. I don’t know how well they’d do in our climate but it’s worth a go next time I have so many onions.

  21. Somer says:

    You are making me wish I had a garden so I could braid onions. How beautiful!

    • For some reason I thought you did have one. I must have stereotypes about vegans running in my head. :)

      • Somer says:

        Ah, it’s Amanda that has the garden and I do borrow heavily from it ;)

        We found out our soil (and drinking water) was contaminated with Thallium this year, so no garden for us. The city resolved the drinking water problem, and we took further precautions by installing a high tech reverse osmosis system in our home, but the soil and our irrigation water is still contaminated. I don’t care for the stuff that they use to make rat poison out of and that people have used historically to murder others or commit suicide in my soil, so naturally I didn’t plant a garden this year :/

        Otherwise your stereotype would have held true!

  22. Liesl says:

    How awesome! And quite beautiful. Next year I’m going to try growing onions and garlic for the first time.
    I wish we had a place to store onions/garlic long term. I’d grow a ton.

  23. Jennifer says:

    Heidi, woman, you inspire me with everything you do. You SO should have your own tv show. I’d never turn it off.

  24. I’m catching up with your blog archives and I love this post. Your onions look magnificent. I’m impressed.

    • Thanks! They pack quite a punch too – we cut up a bunch to put in the crockpot last weekend to caramelize and I cried the entire time – even soaking them in water first. I wonder if that means they need more curing time?

  25. [...] braided onions from the garden to store them longer term over the winter, froze a mountain of beans and cut up and [...]

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