Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

As I've mentioned on occasion, I grow my own 'onions' -- my own Spring Onions./ Scallions/Green Onions.

You can imagine how many I can get through over any one year.

In the heat of Summer, harvest peters out and I need go out and buy bunches.While I have spring onions growing in my patch, I'm handicapped by the absence of accessible seedlings (due to there not being any in this Covid times )so I need to grow my own from seed.

Never that successful for my greenoid thumbs as I've tried to grow many different varieties of Spring Onions with middling success.

I am, you see, Spring Onion dependent in the kitchen and these  are at the base of so much of what I cook.

As for taste and versatility I loves them heaps.

Onions are just onions. A tad sulphuric in taste. Pungent. Not subtle.

Allium fistulosum occupies a core place in my lifestyle.And it is the Welsh I primarily eat.

I've tried to grow Walking Onions (not successfully) -- and, of course, I grow leeks -- but this time of year my garden often comes up short.

So my new workaround is chives. Anyone can grow chives. 

Here's some usefuli information from The Saltshaker:

Some people just don’t know their schoenoprasum from their tuberosum. We’ve all had days like that. Now, most of us are pretty familiar with the type of chive at the bottom of the picture ... the common “French” chive, your Allium schoenoprasum to get all Latin on it. But if you’ve shopped in an Asian grocery of pretty much any sort, though most particularly Chinese, you may well have seen the other two, the Allium tuberosum, the top one being the “garlic chive” and the middle one being the “flowering garlic chive”. They’re actually the same plant, the former are the leaves and the latter is the bud stalk of the plant prior to the buds opening into flowers. The Chinese call these gau choy, the Japanese call them nira, and the Koreans refer to them as buchu.

And they too are tasty in a dish.But there is one rider: you need to add them at the end of cooking as heating too much heat reduces their flavour.

I mainly use the 'garlic chive' as it has a better flavour hit. Cooked -- but only added towards the end of cooking. They also make a dish 'pop' if you blend up the stems and add the chives as a green sauce.

Chive sauce is very versatile.

Nice to know that if family members are gut challenged, chives and the green parts of Spring Onions are more FODMAP  friendly than other oniony things.

Then there's the clincher in regard to Chives: they are perennial --so if you work them into your day to day menu there will be many days to chive your cuisine. If you keep dividing the clumps you'll be set for life.

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Comment by Dave Riley on April 7, 2020 at 7:34

Ah. Woolies call them eschallots. and sell 'onion shallots' but there they are confused.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 6, 2020 at 21:25

Leek like body but less tough and smaller.  No bulb.  Round leaves not flat.  The leaves are hallow and leak fluid when fresh and cut.  They come from plants that woolies and coles sell as "shallots."  Each spring I buy a few bunches, cut the tops off and replant in the aquaponics.  They boom during longer day months but don't do well in winter on that side of the yard (nothing really does).  

Comment by Dave Riley on April 6, 2020 at 21:11

Do you actually mean 'shallots' -- which are wee oniony hard bulbs that are hard to peel.Or do you mean spring onions?

This is also where the chives come in. They are perennial, build into a big clump,grow almost anywhere, produce all year, will thrive on neglect, survive Summer heat...you just have to cook em right ...or is it 'when'?

They will work well on garden borders because they have a dense root system.

I've not had much success growing shallots. Great sweet taste. Hard to peel. Expensive to buy as a veg to eat.

Thats' where the glorious Leek comes in. They will grow well here. You can cook with the whole plant. So slice it off as you use it. Expensive in shops to buy but resolute in the veg bed. Grow well here in SEQ. Great flavour. In an initial Holy Trinity fry I much prefer leeks to any of the others in the fam. Not as strong as onions but more intense than spring onions.

People talk about the Welsh and their leeks  but really the Japanese are musters of all things leek and spring onion. Here's an introduction to the range.

In the subtleties of umami flavourings the Japanese know their onions.

Comment by Andrew Cumberland on April 5, 2020 at 20:47

My shallots are in the aquaponics which is on the south side (no sun in winter).  Alas, while rich in shallots in summer, I am about to go into shallot drought.  Oh the pain. 

Comment by Fiona Ryan on April 5, 2020 at 20:04

Yes, I’m a lover of spring onions and chives. In fact, tonight when I went to snip some spring onion tops and a few pack choi leaves for an omelette, I discovered a large caterpillar munching through some greens. It was swiftly dealt with. I was meant to get those spring onions!

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