Onions Thrive in Colorado — and on Black Cat Farm

Did you know that Colorado is the national epicenter for storage onion production in the United States? That the National Onion Association is in Greeley? Most of us within the Black Cat diaspora had no idea, but of course Eric was on top of it — he’s the one who bestowed upon us onion trivia this afternoon. 

We mention Colorado’s affinity for onions because we harvested a lot of onions this week. As the bulbs began emerging from the soil, as the long green tops flopped over, they were telling us: Hey, it’s time! 

The march towards harvest begins on June 21 — the summer solstice. Day length stimulates onions to finish their life cycle, and after June 21 the days begin shortening. And the onions notice.

After we harvest our onions — literally, tons of them — we spread them out on tarps under some big cottonwood trees at the farm. We want warmth, we want aridity (rain is bad during this stage) and we want shade. The goal: Conditions that cure the onions, prepping them for their long storage. 

One of our awesome volunteers, Ethan, working with the curing onions.

When we harvest fresh onions, they lack those papery outer skins, for the most part. But after seven to 10 days of successful curing, the papery skins appears. And now, they are ready for storage. Without curing they would store for a bit, but not as long as cured onions. And they would be susceptible to mold.

That’s a lot of onions! And we aren’t nearly done. This represents just one recent harvest.

You will find onions this week at the Market, along with LOTS of other organic and biodynamic vegetables. We hope to see you in the restaurants and at the Market this weekend! One note: If you want squash blossoms (and you do), we harvest them fresh on Saturday mornings for the Market. As a result, they often don’t arrive until after 9:30 a.m.

  • Lettuce varieties 
  • Arugula
  • Tat Soi
  • Purple tat soi 
  • Pak Choi
  • Mizuna
  • Chinese collards
  • Hakurei turnips
  • Radishes
  • Broccoli
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Fennel
  • Potatoes
  • Squash blossoms
  • Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Wax Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • All Pork Cuts

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from Black Cat Boulder.

You have Successfully Subscribed!