Because Onions are small and their tissues leave little or no trace, no one is sure where onions started their long life. Some believe that they go back to prehistoric days as one of the first vegetables in the prehistoric diet. Many botanists believe it originated in central Asia over 5000 years ago.
Onions may be one of the earliest cultivated crops because they last months with proper storage and could be preserved to help families make it through the winter when times were tough.
The onion symbolized eternity to the Egyptians who buried onions along with their Pharaohs. The Egyptians saw eternal life in the anatomy of the onion because of its circle-within-a-circle structure. Paintings of onions appear on the inner walls of the pyramids and in the tombs of both the Old Kingdom and the New Kingdom.
What compound in onions brings tears to your eyes? Sulfuric compounds. To cut down on the crying, chill the onion and cut into the root end of the onion last.
Choose a sunny site with fertile, well-drained soil, and loosen the planting bed to at least 12 inches deep. Mix in a 1-inch layer of mature compost. Make a 4-inch-deep, V-shaped furrow in the prepared bed. Fill the bottom of the furrow with 1 inch of rich compost or a light dusting of dry organic fertilizer, and then water the prepared furrow. Set out seedlings or sets 3 to 6 inches apart, depending on the plants’ mature size.
Another reason to plant fall bulbed onions, their blooms. If you choose to leave them in the ground you will receive the most delightful blooms in late spring, early summer. They are a favorite of bees, and make wonderful cut flowers.
The start off their bloom with a paper covering, that eventually splits away and the bloom pushes it’s way out. Then the bloom sits with a paper hat on its head until it throws it off. The bloom them grows and grows. I have some that max out at 12″ wide globes. Just Beautiful!
Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda
You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
of the snowy anemone
2 comments on “The Many Layers of the Onion”
Beautiful photos – and a wonderful blog! Best wishes, Helen