Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Put Your Kids to Work: Braiding Garlic and Onions

Editor Carleen Madigan suggests storing onions and garlic in an appealing braid that little hands can help with.

Photo by Mars Vilaubi
What kid doesn’t love braiding? Whether it’s a doll’s hair or a horse’s mane, children are drawn to this textural, tactile process. It’s engaging, showcases newfound manual dexterity, and creates something that looks good! Kids who learn to braid often find themselves braiding everything in sight.

Once your young homesteader has mastered the technique, he or she can easily learn to braid garlic and onions, too. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with simply trimming up dried stems and storing the garlic or onions in a mesh bag. But why not give kids a chance to help out while doing something they enjoy anyway?

The process for braiding onions and garlic is very similar to making a French braid. Your bulbs should be fully cured (i.e., the stems and foliage should be dry but still somewhat pliable) and cleaned of soil. If you’re braiding onions, start off with small bulbs, which will be easier to manage than large ones. If you’re working with garlic, make sure it’s a softneck variety; hardneck varieties are difficult to braid.

Continue in this pattern until the braid is complete. Bundle the stems together and tie them off with the length of twine, making a loop from which to hang the braid.

Photos by Mars Vilaubi

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