The Walking Onion

18 May

I just had to share with you this crazy onion.

It, an Egyptian Walking Onion, was one of the first things I bought for the garden nearly two years ago now when we bought the house. I plopped it into one of the previously-overgrown garden plots, not really realizing that walking meant “walking” and that the onion would try to skip its way across the garden.

Early this spring I dug it and all its little bulbils out of that plot and plopped them into a new spot, outside the garden where they can run free. I think they like the feel of freedom, because they’re going wild.  And I just can’t stop looking at those scapes; they’re simultaneously amazing and creepy.

But mostly I can’t wait for the aerial onions, which toe a fine line between shallots and garlic and make some of the best vinaigrette we’ve ever had.

And then there’s Tom Thumb, a tiny little pea that’s just perfect for growing in containers (I’m lookin’ at you Hungry Bruno).  Tom obviously wants to be the star of the class, because there he sits, on the upper deck in his little pot, waving his first teeny tiny pea around like he thinks he’s me in 6th grade Science class.

Lucky for Tom, I love a show-off.

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9 Responses to “The Walking Onion”

  1. Tes May 18, 2010 at 7:04 am #

    It’s freaking amazing. What a plant! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Adrienne May 18, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    Oooh, Tom Thumb is so cute! We’re growing Caselode peas this year (a bush type, and according to Johnny’s, good for growing in containers, too). They’re climbing all over the mini-fence bits we put in the container, but they haven’t flowered yet.

    And we have walking onions, too! I actually clicked through from google reader to comment that they are indeed SUPER CREEPY looking but I can’t wait to try them – a coworker gave me a handful of the bulbs last fall and I stuck them in an pot. They started poking their heads up in early March but they’re just starting to form the bulbs at the top.

  3. Nathalie May 18, 2010 at 10:25 am #

    Mmmh, walking onions? If I ever needed to explain what a what a triffid might look like to me, can I use your first photo?

  4. Toni May 19, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Clearly it’s been a while since I’ve visited your blog – LOVE the new look!!!

    I must check out that Tom Thumb. I have a tiny house on a substandard sized lot. My kitchen is a generous size, but my growing is all done in pots. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. Christina May 24, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    I love my walking onions too. This year, I planted a very long row of them, and I’m hoping to have enough little bulbs to can a jar of little tiny pickled walking onions bulblets to use in martinis.

    As always, Ann, your photos are gorgeous. You do such good work.

  6. ann May 25, 2010 at 6:32 am #

    Tes — You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by!

    Adrienne — Caseload. I’ll have to remember that one. Tom is so well-mannered. He’s staying so nicely in his pot!

    Nathalie — Well, if I ever need to explain to anyone what a tiffid is, I’ll sure use a Walking Onion for it! I had to run off to wikipedia for that one :-)

    Toni — Awh, don’t worry, I have problems visiting everyone’s blogs too, but thanks for the compliment. I like it too. I bet you could even bring Tom inside if it got too hot out. He’s a portable little fellow.

    Christina — Mmmmmm … pickled onions. I tried starting some pearl onions for making pickled onions this year, but like many of the seedlings I started this year, they didn’t make it. Someday I’ll get all this starting down pat.

  7. outsideoslo May 29, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    I found your blog through The Wednesday Chef. Gorgeous photos! What kind of camera do you use?

    • ann May 29, 2010 at 8:12 am #

      Outsideoslo — Hi! Welcome! And thanks for stopping by. Isn’t Luisa the greatest? I use a Canon G9. I LOVE it. It’s somewhere between an SLR and a point-and-shoot. It’s got lots of customization, but isn’t bulky and fits into pockets and purses. Highly recommended! If you’re a flickr user, my username is martine266, make me a contact. I love seeing everyone’s pictures.

  8. tempusflits June 17, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    A Tom Thumb pea? Next year, I’m going to look for seeds for those.

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