Onions & more

I could not imagine living without onions, leek or garlic for that matter. I use them in almost every roast, stir-fry, stew or baked dish to enhance flavor. There are many varieties, each unique in what they “bring to the table”. Order early to get these started at least by early March.

Will remain online for educational purposes. Operating on a “Hobby” basis. .

Occasionally we may have extra seed or bulbs. Pkts. marked below. If nothing marked…then it is “N/A”

  1. Ailsa Craig Sweet Onion – a gardener by the name of David Murray, working for the Marquis of Ailsa, introduced this one in 1887. Because of it’s unusual size, it was used extensively as an exhibition onion. Bulbs can grow large (3 lbs+) almost round with pale straw-colored skin and white flesh. Flavor is mild and sweet. Not recommended for storage.
  2. American Flag Leek – I have been growing this variety from the first moment I discovered that I loved leeks in soups. Leeks are just milder and sweeter flavored onions! That white “bulb” portion can reach about 6-7″ long and the over-all height of the plant…about 20-30″. Blue/grey/green leaves are the essence of stews, soups (See “Leek Soup” in our recipe section…) and many meat dishes. Can be wintered over if well insulated with bales of hay or straw (and snow). I have had it winter over the first winter even on occasion without nothing but snow, providing that enough snow arrived before the real cold hit! 115 days  
  3. Autumn Giant – Here is an old tradition variety grown extensively through out Europe. Extremely cold hardy…perfect for late fall (Nov./Dec. ) harvesting. Start seeds in March. Grow cool. Resists bulb formation and bolting. 100 – 120 days.
  4. Amish Bottle Onion – a “bottle” shaped onion that takes 2 years to fully develop from seed. A genetic trait finds (1/4) of the bulbs splitting into double or triple bulb-lets! Apparently it has excellent flavor and is a good winter keeper. Skin is reddish brown with cream flesh. If it is cooked, will almost completely dissolve away! Great for cooks in who’s home there is someone with an “onion” phobia! 
  5. Australian Brown Onion – in 1894, C. C. Morse & Co. obtained 5 lbs. of Brown Spanish seed from Australia. In 1897 they sold rights for the seed to W. Atlee Burpee, who renamed it “Australian Brown“…. (c/o S.S.Ex.) Flattened globes, with medium firm flesh (pungent) in medium-sized bulbs. A good storage onion. 100 days from transplant. 
  6. Autumn Giant Leek – Said to be a larger version of the “American“. 
  7. Deep Purple Bunching – another  slim “bunching” type, only lower stems offer great eye candy with their burgundy red tones. Not as aggressive, but certainly worthwhile growing. Bulbs are never formed.
  8. Egyptian (The) – (aka Top Set, aka Winter Onion, aka Walking Onion) Been with our family from the beginning of my parent’s farm…over 100 years. Super hardy early spring var. with fresh greens and scallion like bottoms. Matures to long 3 ft. hollow stems with several mini-onion sets on top. When too heavy will fall over…thusly called “The Walking Egyptian”! Once established, you will never be without! Perennial for the North.   3 Bulb sets…$3.00.  No shipping!
  9. Evergreen White Bunching – does really well by us. Super hardy to -40C. A perennial of mild tender greens all season long. Multiplies heavily, at its base, almost completely bulbless 3” white fleshed. Green stalks will reach 20” and once flower stems arrive, they will be closer to 28” in our heavy garden soils. Seeds arrive mid-summer after which it will rest. Fall arrives and it takes off again to remain green thu our coldest winters. Be vigilant for seeds self-sowing, as they will give you a crop you never wished for. 
  10. Flat of Italy Onion – Italian heirloom mentioned by Vilmorin in 1885. These guys really like their onions and small wonder! A beautiful bright red “cipollini” type (when young…) of gourmet quality, ending up very flat when mature.
  11. Garlic Chives – (aka Allium tuberosum) Where would we be without a clump of this fine over-wintering perennial.  And its offerings of early spring green goodness?? Great flavor for soups, salads, potatoes and stir-fries. Very hardy!
  12. Multiplier Onion – (aka Potato Onion, aka Yellow Multipliers, aka Hill Onion, aka Mother Onion, Pregnant Onion, aka Dutch Shallot) A lot of cute names for just an onion we, around here, call the Multiplier! A variety that has been growing in Southern Manitoba for a long time. Simply one of the best storage/cooking onion varieties afforded to folks who don’t have a lot of money to buy fresh seed or bulbs every year! Nice small, almost round, a little bumpy var. that once one is planted, ”the mother” gives birth and soon half a dozen bulbs are seen completely around it! Highly flavorful, drought resistant with great storage qualities. Bulbs are golden tan brown skinned. Will winter over the longest of any onion I know, if kept in a cool (not too dry) spot. Does not top-set. Grown locally! Bulbs range from 1″ to greater than 2″. Please order in the spring. Will ship as soon as weather permits. 
  13. Ramps – (aka Wild Leeks, aka Allium tricoccum) Multiplying slowly! Patience!
  14. Red Baron Bunching – Well…you are very familiar with white bunching onions. Now here is a bunching onion that has vermilion red/purple where the white should be. Is that a good thing? Only if you happen to like red onions! Will never form a bulb, always maxing out as a very small bulb at its most mature point. Greens are still dark green and you can grow a lot in a small space. Will it winter over like my white ones do? Will have to experiment. Stunning! 
  15. Red of Florence Onion – Another Italian heirloom. Deliciously sweet and mild. Oblong shaped and bright red. According to those who (might) know, perhaps a cross between an onion and shallots? Great planted in early spring. Long Day. Rare  
  16. Rossa di Milano Onion – another Italian! Large 3″ to 4″ wide flattened tops, with torpedo looking bottoms! Onions look beautiful with deep shiny red skins. Flesh is pungent and flavorful. An excellent keeper that will do well here. 
  17. Shallots Red Skinned – As grown by a very dear sweet long time country gardener, Kay Galka, living half way between the town of Garson and Oakbank, Manitoba. She was kind enough to share these with me, admitting that she has grown them for as long as she can remember. I was soooo impressed with them for their health and huge size. The chubby bulbs range from 2″ to 4″ plus! I haven’t seen such sizes even in stores! Skin is quite deep reddish gold. Flavor is terrific and strong! Seems storage is just as good as “The Multiplier” listed above. A single bulb will send offsets of 4 to 6 per.  
  18. Shallot Zebrune – Grew these out and really like the size these formed. Bulbs are chubbier and wider than the torpedo forms you see in stores, bearing a reddish/brown outer layer. Finally a variety you can keep over the winter and replant, much like our regular “Multipliers“. 
  19. Stuttgarter – We offered these as bulbils last year and they were extremely popular with our growers and gardeners. A semi-oval/flat bulb with excellent mild flavor. Slow to blot with great keeping qualities as they develop quite solid.   
  20. Tropeana Lunga Onion – heirloom from Tropea, in southern Italy. This var. has a beautiful fluted (tropedo-like) shape…like a large 4″ shallot. Skin is light purple and its flesh is white. This bulb will get very strong if grown in “sulfurous” (acidic) soils.
  21. Walla Walla – Good heavens! Will the real N.A. ancestor of this onion step forward? [It appears that in 1890, Giovanni Arbini left his native Italy & settled in the Walla Walla Valley….Arbini Family Tradition, 1999] The another story lays claim to fame…[…began over a century ago on the Island of Corsica, off the west coast of Italy. It was there that a French soldier, Peter Pieri, found a sweet onion seed and brought it to the Walla Walla Valley.] We will agree a very famous onion, heavily grown in Walla Walla, Washington. In 2007, this smelly onion won the battle for Washington’s official state vegetable! It is also agreed…”that this sweet onion developed over generations through the process of carefully hand selecting onions from each year’s crop, ensuring exceptional sweetness, jumbo size, and round shape. Today’s growers realize they’re not just raising sweet onions, but cultivating a tradition”.    
  22. Yellow Flat Dutch – Said to be offered by the RH Allen Seed Co. in 1888 : “A good variety. Mild flavored, large & keeps well.” This is a long day variety, great for northern gardens. The first time I saw these, was in my parents garden. They were their winter staple…where I saw Mom, after they dried down, flipping the shortened small necks over and tying a twist tie or small rubber band over to prevent it from sprouting or rotting. For the sake of this memory, I really feel a need to get these into my home grown collection.
  23. Yellow Globe Onion – This mid-season var. offers nice round medium to large bulbs, with smooth, golden brown skin. White flesh is pungently flavored. A great storage onion with small necks.  
  24. Yellow of Parma Onion – large oblong globe shaped. Italian variety. Late onion makes an excellent keeper. Have seen 1 lbers. Long day var. Rare  
  25. Yellow Sweet Spanish – these are the “hunkers” of all sweet onions. Not suitable for storage, but if the summer is easy on the heat with loads of moisture, they should be as sweet as can be. Start early like in mid March.