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Spring onions, anyone?

By Penny Stine

I started a perennial onion bed a couple of years ago with these way cool Egyptian Walking Onions. They were ready to dig a couple of weeks ago, but since we were going on vacation and I had more important things to do, I didn't bother. I figured the onions would still be there in the ground when I got back.
Boy were they ever. As you can see from this pic, they're not only in the ground, but they started growing again, sending up new tops.




I wasn't sure if the bulbs would be firm like an onion or mushy, so I dug a few and found that most of them were firm, although a few weren't. 




I hate to let anything go to waste, so I cut the green onion tops off and stuck them in the fridge. Now I wonder what to do with a grocery sack full of green onions. 



When I dug up the onions, I collected the little bulbettes that form on the top, which I will plant now so I'll have more spring onions when it's actually spring. First, I have to dig up the rest of the onions so I'll have room to plant the bulbs.

I don't know how well these onions store, but from what I've read, you're supposed to let onions dry or cure, which will help them store better.  I'm leaving them on the tray for a week or two just to see how they look. I'll brush the mud off as it dries and becomes dust. I've seen onion braids, but knowing how miserably I failed at braiding garlic, I think I'd rather just stick them in a bag in the spare fridge. 

I've got about a hundred more of these little onions to dig, so I'm also thinking about making some pickled onions, since I don't think this particular variety of onion is one that stores well. 

When I used to make refrigerator pickles, I always put in onions, garlic and tiny slivers of hot chiles. My favorite part was the onions, which stayed crisp and delicious for months. I'm going to see if I can find my refrigerator pickle recipe and just omit the cucumbers. Will post a pic if they're any good. 


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