I'm zone 5-6. Got a new house, mowed the lawn per city ordinance. Smelled like alliums. At first we thought onions. If small, they work as chives. As they matured however, the leaves get grassy and the stem produces a little garlic clove. They clump, can handle mowing (though I think they perfer less than more). They dry down to a clove. Tastes just like garlic, however I am growing garlic and it doesn't look quite like it. They have ribbed round leaves. We are on a hill that faces East with a loamy soil. Most people don't know what to do with them & just mow them. I'm guessing with cultivation they'll get nice sized cloves. I saw a few when I tried drying them down.
1. Anyone else have these?
2. Anyone want these? I'm up for giving some away to people who will pamper and proliferate. Moosage me if you're interested in a few bulbs. in exchange, I want a return of some heirloom seeds. I'll take anything (I'm a seed-a-holic), but I'm particularly interested in buckwheat for a future cover-crop.
There are several hundred Alliums worldwide, and there might be half a dozen species to choose from, native and exotic, even in your local area.....you need a field guide, an experienced local teacher, or a serious botany textbook to actually put the full name on therm. But if you're sure it's an Allium (there are a few lookalikes), most, as far as I know, are edible in all the same ways that familiar Alliums are.....
Our neighbors have eaten them for a while, though they say they are too grassey (refering to the big tops). My family has munched and added to food. Technically garlic and onions are toxic (that's why it hurts when they spray in your eyes), but the humans have adapted to eat them....same with jalapenos. Anyway, it still hasn't bloomed, so there's no seed or flower to identify it, only the familiar smell, taste, and plant shape.
Sounds like wild garlic to me. It's endemic around here, and right now it's just beginning to send up flower stalks and form new bulbils. I imagine you might be a month or so behind us here in the South, but if you don't mow it, the flower stalks will get 18-24" tall before they start flowering. If you keep mowing it, it will have no choice but to propagate from the base and add more numbers to the clump.
I use it regularly in my cooking and hardly ever buy garlic at the grocery store. Here's a good way to use it:
I even sell wild onions/garlic at market from time to time. I grew up near the Osage nation, where there was an annual "wild onion dinner" to expose white-bread types to some of the wild local foods all around us. Must have required a ton of preparation; those things are hard to peel!
John Elliott wrote:Sounds like wild garlic to me. It's endemic around here, and right now it's just beginning to send up flower stalks and form new bulbils. I imagine you might be a month or so behind us here in the South, but if you don't mow it, the flower stalks will get 18-24" tall before they start flowering. If you keep mowing it, it will have no choice but to propagate from the base and add more numbers to the clump.
I use it regularly in my cooking and hardly ever buy garlic at the grocery store. Here's a good way to use it]
Went to Taiwan a few years ago, and will always remember the green onion pancakes available from street vendors all over the country. They are incredible!
Ben, down here in Oklahoma near the border between the Creek and the Seminole nations, the spring wild onion dinners are a big deal. And there are one or two folks locally who spend a lot of time gathering every spring, then informally market them, fully washed, chopped for cooking into scrambled eggs, and ready-to-freeze in gallon ziploc bags. They aren't cheap -- I think the going rate this year was twenty bucks a bag -- but the old people who gather for the tribal lunch program buy them up as fast as they appear, from what I've heard.
A couple of weeks ago I found a patch at the edge of some woods that had already fully flowered and developed that seed head full of little tiny onion bulblets. In just a few minutes I harvested a couple of cups of the seed heads, broke them up, and dispersed them all over the area of my property where they already grow a bit every spring. So maybe I'll have more now.
My understanding of native alliums (which I'm not sure where I am deriving this from) is that they like being managed and played with from time-to-time. Anyone else hear anything like this? I think I read somewhere that since Native Peoples have been removed from their lands that although all plants have taken a hit, certain food plants have taken a real blow. Alliums being one of them. I don't know where I read it though, but I'll be harvesting some and re-planting and spacing out others and seeing how they do. I would definately like to incorporate them as a food forest element in my "garden" and a CSA item in my dream future farm.
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