I see this ridiculously lovely onion, about as thick as my thumb, as a dividend of laissez faire gardening. I did not plant it this year. This year being my first with a solid crop rotation in place, last year’s allium patch is this year’s bean patch. But it looks like I missed a dozen or so onions last fall. No biggy. Were I meticulous and the food on my plate couldn’t touch, I’d have weeded them long ago, and accordingly missed out on this lovely piece of produce. Because it was hanging out in place since last year, it’s far ahead of any other onion sown this year. And since I added a pile of soil to said former allium patch, it had to grow 8″ or so before seeing light, making it look far more like a wicked leek than an onion.
This outcome is one of many reasons allium are to play a sizable role in my front yard forest garden. I don’t see why I should fuss about planting shallots each year, for example, when I can seed a pile of them, harvest only a portion in the fall, and let the rest remain in situ to split and produce more down the road. With some well tended neglect, I hope to have roughly a zillion of them in a few years. Zero till. Zero effort other than harvesting a portion in the fall. I wouldn’t call myself ‘lazy’, per se, just minimizing effort allows me to add value somewhere else.
It does look like a leek. I can’t seem to be quite as relaxed here, even though I am south of you quite a ways. We have so much moderate rain, rather than freezing weather, that can make shallots rot in the ground.
Love your blog. You have motivated and inspired me to produce more of our own food in the garden, and source the rest locally. Thank you for that. I love “veggie volunteers” and I leave them alone, too. They ALWAYS seem to grow stronger and faster than the specimens that I seed and tend to lovingly. I currently have 4 tomato plants that are “volunteers” in various locations of my vegetable garden. They are healthy, strong and nearly as big as the plants I started from seed back when we had snow on the ground! In my experience, those volunteer specimens are the strongest and healthiest plants so I plan to use them for seed this year. Nice onion!
I am learning consistently through your learning… love the onion. I also let things that I recognize grow where they pop up and love those surprises in the garden… My carrots are still not even pencil thick. But, we have been eating a LOT of salad greens – and with all this wedding company, I am keeping up with the amount growing which would have been very hard, otherwise… and am loving all of my herbs. My chive vinegar was tested tonight on a fresh lettuce and herb garden salad and was sublime. You should see my celery. It is ready to harvest! I am shocked, but am leaving it to see what will happen, and just using stalks as I need them.
I am excited you will be on the edible gardens tour. I plan to attend!
Looks like we should be hilling onions like we do potatoes. I did read somewhere that that is a good idea for garlic. Who knew?
I love your locavore passion. I’m wondering if you would like to come visit our garden on the University Farm. We have about three acres under cultivation and are a collective 50 member NFP. We grow about 50 varieties of organic fruit (Northern Wine Grapes, U of S romance series cherries) and veggies (Rainbow carrots / asian greens, heirloom pole beans) a stones throw from the Foote Field LRT.