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Deborha d'Arms

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since Apr 18, 2013
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Recent posts by Deborha d'Arms

Another Protein root for temperate zones;

Mashua (Tropaeolum tuberosum)- edible roots and greens that make a nice groundcover/vine and can grow in partial shade and
cloudy areas.

Tubers contain around 14% protein when dried. Prefers its roots in shade and tops in the sun, with moist soil.
Hates heat. Related to nasturtium. Most varieties need a long growing season to produce tubers (6- 8 months). Mounding
increases yields.

Last year’s plants will survive after tuber removal in mild areas, otherwise store seed tubers in dry sand or
sawdust. Protect young shoots from mollusks.

Propagated by stem cuttings and not by seed.

6 years ago

Siberian Pea shrub, black or honey locust trees, autumn olive, goumi berrie are all varieties i am using in my high dessert zone 5/6 forest garden.

All are very happy, except the goumi, which in my harsh climate is a challenge.

BTW all parts of the locust trees are edible, wood is great for building; called iron wood for good reason, makes gorgeous fragrant blossoms bees make delicious honey from, and great forage for wildlife. can be invasive but not in zone 5.

6 years ago

Have you tried the Yellow Potato Multiplier (aka; the 'Mother. or 'pregnant' multiplier)? This old heirloom--earlier than 1790, grows 4" bulbs, less strong yet very flavorful. Great producer, and onions can be stored up to a year in good conditions. Great low maintenance perennial for all the onions one would ever need.

Source below;
6 years ago

How can we spice up our forest gardens in a low maintenance equation if we want our traditional Onions? –And we gotta have ‘em…

With Perennial Onions of course.

Multipliers yes, but without the Math thankfully

You’ve never heard of Perennial Onions? Probably because you’re no doubt under the age of 110. However, if you WERE ‘of an age’… you would know all about Perennial Onions, aka ‘Multiplier Onions’, which, were once grown in every respectable cottage garden all over Europe and the UK.

What on earth are multiplier onions? These are perennials which form a cluster of underground bulbs from each bulb planted. And once these are established in your garden –unlike conventional annual globe onions –multipliers improve in size and quality, and their bulbs can be replanted year after year after year.

The multiplier onion, aka the 'Potato onion' was very popular until the turn of last century when onions that were more easily farmed by nouveau mechanical means, became the focus of commercial farming. Because this onion multiplies so effortlessly –one bulb soon becomes 6 or 8,– it is making a comeback among savvy gardeners. And so, doing the planet (and us) a great favor in saving their gene bank heritage by planting them. One great food source for the Self-Sufficient, and a Must for the edible forest garden eco system on auto pilot.

Heat up your Garden, your Dinner, and those Pests

There are yellow multiplier onions, white multipliers, potatoes onions, and topsetting onions—aka walking Egyptian onions. All wonders that will keep you in onions once planted, for the rest of your life sans any grocery store.

And although we may appreciate these tasty bulbs spicing up our dinners, the smaller furry set most certainly do Not. Meaning… if you’d like another modus operandi for skedaddling mice, voles, gophers and the like out of your garden, then a good set of spicy Egyptian Onions might be right up your alley. These are also effective to plant surrounding coveted edibles such as your strawberry patch, (and no worries; the berries do Not take on the onion flavor).

Multipliers are planted in Fall as is garlic, 6” apart allowing the tips of the bulb to lie even with the soil surface. Spread a few inches of compost over your bulbs, and fertilize with high nitrogen (like fish emulsion or seaweed mix) once and again after 8 weeks.

Walk Like An Egyptian

Topsetting Onions Allium cepa, Proliferum Group: Egyptian onions, also known as tree or walking onions, are very hardy Heirloom perennials. These fascinating onions form several small bulbs underground, plus they produce clusters of reddish hazelnut-sized bulblets that form at the top of each seed stalk. Oddly these actually have no normal flowers.

The underground bulbs have a very strong flavor and can be used in a wide variety of your favorite recipes. The stalk bulblets are somewhat spicy, are delicious pickled, and can also be used when pickling other garden vegetables. Be sure to replant some of the bulblets to keep your walking onion patch going.

Plant these 5-6 inches apart, 1 inch deep in rows or clusters spaced 12 inches apart. Once Egyptian onions have established themselves, you can harvest and cook with the bulbs at the base of the plant, and replant the bulblets gathered from the top of the stems. If left untended, you will understand the term “walking onion”, as the onion stalks will bend down to the ground and take root all by themselves; walking across your garden. (However; can one have too many onions?)

Harvest walking onions from late summer through early fall, and use a garden fork to gently lift the clumps and separate the bulbs. In more severe microclimates, bulbs should be stored and planted in the Spring. And these onions store brilliantly –up to 1 whole year in optimal storage. Bulbs should be dried on racks or screens out of direct sunlight. Select and save the biggest and best bulbs for replanting in fall and store inside a mesh bag in a cool, shaded, dry location. Because the bulbs store so well, and because the multiplier onion rarely produces seeds, and so is grown by planting the incredibly prolific hardy bulbs, it is one effortless crop guaranteed to bring success to any kinder-gardener or seasoned one.

An Anti-aging Antioxidant Worth Having Around

On a health note; interestingly, onion enthusiasts tend to develop fewer cases of certain cancers owing to the presence of Quercetin, a potent antioxidant capable of suppressing the rapid spread of malignant cells. Laboratory studies also point to quercetin’s effective anti-inflammatory properties --now known as one of the major culprits of aging --, for pain management, and its ability to treat fibromyalgia. Like its cousins in the onion family, the multiplier onion also helps reduce cholesterol, protects the nerves and the cardiovascular system, and gives a powerful boost to the immune system.

So how can you get these into your own garden? Southern Exposure at the link below has an excellent selection of Multiplier Onions, along with many other great edible Forest Garden plants.

Check it out, and enjoy the benefits of forever heirloom Onions in your own backyard~


6 years ago

Thankyou for the heads up. Thats wierd. Here's a repost, it works for me; (it looks like when Bolded it loses the URL hyperlink)
Otherwise try my website; and in the Design Board; first post is this same article.

Here is the repost;

6 years ago

Looking for a way to spice up your garden, your dinner, and keep away pests?
Look no further than the Heirloom Multiplier Onion~~ Read about these hardy
wonders at the Forum below:

6 years ago

Do you have a tight urban backyard and wonder how the complex layering of a Food forest could ever
squeeze into your space?

Many do, but there's hope. Check out the article below for ideas on packing edibles into petite places;

6 years ago

Sounds like a terrific work you are doing in New Mexico creating your food forest.

i run a website and Forum on this subject for people interested in learning this and connecting community. we would love to
have you share some of what you are doing and any ideas with us there. the more we all connect, the faster we learn of new edibles, evolve, and
create new equations for better more resilient edible ecosystems together.

Love to have you if you have the time;


6 years ago

Just for clarification; Edible Forest Gardening is not Gardening IN the forest. it is gardening LIKE a forest, utilizing the patterns we find there and replicating these in our own gardens to create edible eco sysytems virtually on auto pilot from the ground up. Unfortununtly the name coined by Robert Hart, has its misnomers.

--Sea berries are indeed wonderful BTW; extremely cold hardy and prolific, with 10 times the vita C of oranges, these do however, require both a male and female plant for pollination. For a full plant list of hundreds of Forest Gardening edible perennials, shrubs and trees, see my book Jardin d'Or. (

For more Edible ideas;

6 years ago