Skip to main content


I have never grown onion from seed. One of our local farmers markets, Frog Pond Farms, has always sold bulbs that produced a delicious onion so in the past I have always waited until I was ready to plant onions and picked up a bag of white or yellow and a bag of red onion bulbs for the garden. Initially this year was not going to be any different but when I got there I discovered they had a huge selection of shallot bulbs and if the truth be told I have never knowingly eaten a shallot so I thought I would give them a try with the onions. I have to admit I was/am blown away! This year we grew 3 ten foot rows of onions and about 15 feet of shallots, next year I am going to plant a ridiculous amount of these delicious and healthy bulbs.

I decided to do a little research on the shallot since it was my first time around with this veggie. I planted mine in early spring when the soil could first be worked and just harvested the last of it today. I am going to set aside some of the best bulbs and put those in a raised bed over winter and from what I have read they will be ready by early summer next year. My onions have always been decent in size but the shallots were fantastic, the smallest of the group probably only had four other bulbs around it, while the larger ones in the group were almost the size of my fist.

Shallots have some interesting health benefits to go along with their amazing flavor. They have flavonoids which have been associated with lower risk for cancer, heart disease and diabetes due to the fact that they are antibacterial, antiviral, anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory. Shallots have been specifically linked to fighting stomach cancer. If that is not enough though and you need something a bit more superficial the sulphur content in shallots is believed to make your skin appear healthy looking.

What ever your reason for growing shallots next year give it a try you will not be disappointed, I promise! They grow well in heavy soil, they reproduce quickly and their flavor is absolutely out of this world!

Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here


Popular posts from this blog

Swedish Flower Hen

The rare Swedish Flower Hen has a unique story. Called Skånsk blommehöna(Bloom Hen) in their native country of Sweden this landrace breed was thought to be extinct in the 1970's. (The term landrace refers to the fact that S.F.H.'s were free to develop for nearly five hundreds years without interference from man, so to speak). But in the late 1980's the Swedish Poultry Country Club located isolated flocks in the villages of Esarp, Tofta and Vomb. The gene bank that was eventually created by the S.P.C.C. was successful and there are approximately 1,300 Swedish Flower Hens currently in Sweden.

While enthusiast of rare breeds continue to work hard to increase the numbers it is painfully obvious why they slowly fell out of favor nearly 100 years ago. Though rare and visually stunning they cannot equal the number of eggs some of the top laying hens produce in a peak yearly cycle. Swedish Flower Hens average around 150 eggs over the course of 12 months. Compare that with the nea…

In Winter

I enjoy winter when it arrives at the homestead. Though the gardens are long since dormant there is still plenty to do.The rabbits and the chickens need constant care. A couple of times a day I have to break ice from the animals water and make sure they have enough warm bedding.

I don't mind though. No matter how cold it gets. There is poetry in the garden during summer. Birds sing with triumphant melody. Soft summer rains baptize new growth. But the winter features a more solitary form of art. For the most part there is a resonating silence that is a canvas for the occasional temperamental gust of wind and snow. These same squalls force the breathe from my lungs and scatter the frozen mist before my eyes. Then, once again, there is silence. As any good steward I try not to disturb this peace. If anything, I try to move unnoticed among it.

When it is cold enough the trees will produce an individual moan as they threaten to splinter in the darkness of the woods. They all have their…

The Land of Plenty

The idea that I am about to present to you is certainly nothing new. Wonderful organizations such as Ample HarvestPlant a Row for the Hungry and countless food banks and pantries across the country have been confronting the issue of hunger in our communities head on for some time.

Food insecurity is a cornerstone of the human condition. A little research will lead you to discover a long history of charity in opposition. For example, the seventh century Irish Benedictine monk St. Fiacre who was a master herbalist eventually settled in France and practiced a reverse tithe by keeping 10% of his harvest while giving away 90% to those less fortunate.

Life is complicated, as we all know. There are no easy answers to any of the problems that plague our society but there are some very simple issues that could be addressed that could in turn have a ripple effect on a number of other dilemmas such as poverty, health and even violence.

According to the USDA 40% of the $161 billion dollars’ (yo…