I harvested all of my leeks the other day – nearly 20 pounds from a tiny little patch (about 25 square feet). I’d purchased the seedlings from Dixondale Farms in the fall, and planted them on December 19, and the sturdy seedlings grew very well and very fast. This was my first time buying seedlings from Dixondale – I usually buy six-packs of leeks and onions, as I’ve had difficulty with starting alliums from seed, and was very happy with my purchase. The seedlings were large, quick and easy to separate (separating six-pack seedlings is a PAIN!) and fairly inexpensive ($12.50 for a bundle of 60 plants, supposedly, but I ended up planting 74 and giving away at least another couple dozen to my sister; the bundles of onion seedlings were even cheaper, and also contained more than the specified quantity). A six-pack would’ve been cheaper (usually $2.99 per six-pack, which would almost certainly contain the same quantity), but again, they’re a pain to separate, the seedlings in six-packs are much smaller than those I got from Dixondale, and it’s also not all that common to find leek six-packs.
Unfortunately, I had to harvest the leeks before they were as thick as I’d like – they were anywhere from the thickness of my pinky to about an inch in diameter,with the majority about 1/2 inch-3/4 inch in diameter. They were beginning to bolt (send up flower stalks), though, and I know from past experience that when they bolt, leeks become tough and woody and not so great to eat. So I pulled them. I ended up with almost 20 pounds, which, once trimmed and processed, became about 15 pounds of lovely, chopped-up and ready to go, vacuum-sealed leeks in my freezer. Not too shabby.
Needless to say, I will be eating a lot of leeks in the future (I’ll need to eat about a quarter pound per week to be able to use them up within a year), so you can expect to see some leek recipes soon. Any recipe requests or suggestions?