So how did everything turn out? Well my oil bill was high, my pipes are ok, I haven't seen the wren yet, and my 'Candy' onions are fine. During the deep freeze I covered them with several layers of old sheets, which was just enough insulation to keep them from freezing. The cold actually did me a favor-- some of the bulbs had started to sprout and it put them back into dormancy. In a world in which I have so little control over so many things, including the weather, I am disproportionately comforted by the still large stash of home grown onions in the garage.
Why grow onions anyway, since they are so cheap? Well, to get them fresh all summer (I harvest about a fifth of my onions young and green) and because they are so easy and fun to grow.
'Candy' is by far the best onion I have grown -- large, flavorful without being too strong, and a good keeper.
And here they are planted in a well manured raised bed in April:
I mulched them with straw, weeded fairly regularly, and side dressed with fertilizer a couple of times in the next 90 days.
When the tops started to fall over I harvested the crop-- about 120 big onions!
And moved them to another rack held up off the floor for air flow (to keep them dry):
That was in July. Six months later I have eaten many, throw a couple out that sprouted or rotted, and still have this many 'Candy' left to enjoy:
And yes, a small bin of 'Red Zepelin' onions too. I bought the same number of 'Red Zep' plants as 'Candy', but the harvest was much smaller in both bulb size and number of surviving plants. I really like having both red and yellow onions in my winter storage crops, so I'll try a different red this year. I've already ordered my 'Candy' plants!