Spring onions!

Last year, our neighbor Tina gave us some onion seedlings for our new backyard victory gardens. I planted them, and they grew well. I gave a bunch to Tina, and we enjoyed the rest. After the last one was harvested, I figured they were done, and forgot about them.

Then in March or April of this year, I noticed what some plants that looked like onions were emerging from the ground. Sure enough, we had some “volunteer” onions that perhaps managed to leave seeds last year. I noticed the leaves were looking rather wilted, and some onions were protruding from the ground, so I pulled them up. And, wow! here they are:

Freshly harvested spring onions
Freshly harvested spring onions!

Their stems grew quite tall, almost four feet. The what ball at the bottom of the picture is actually the onion’s flower. I’ve saved it and another flower to see if we can get onion seeds. In total, I pulled five spring onions, and two smaller non-spring (fall?) onions that I planted a few months ago.

Here’s a closeup:

Freshly harvested spring onions, close up
Close-up view of the freshly harvested spring onions.

That’s dirt on the roots. These babies are that fresh! You can almost smell the moist earth and sweet onion smell. It’s a much more subtle aroma than that of any supermarket or restaurant onion that I’ve ever experienced, resembling that of Vidalia onions from Georgia, but not even that strong. They’re now in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for about a week. I also kept the lengthy greens, which can be used in a number of dishes. As we’re frequently eating at home, we should be able to sue most of it up. We’ll start tomorrow with some omelets.

The best part is, they came from my back yard in Milwaukee!

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Author: Jason Haas

Jason is an elected member of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors, occasionally moonlights as an amateur gardener, and is a proud father of two, or three, depending on how you do the math.

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