Well, the I'itoi Onion can multiply. Does that count?
Last fall I decided I wanted to try some type of multiplier or
walking onion. I did some research and finally decided on the I'itoi
Multiplier and the Fleener's Top Set Walking Onions. I was particularly attracted to
the I'itoi because it is on the Slow Food Ark of Taste, which has this
to say about the I'itoi:
only is the taste of the I'itoi Onion bold and complex, but also is its
ambiguous history. The original US harvest of the wild I'Itoi Onion
took place on I'Itoi Mountain, which is also known as Baboquivari
Mountain. This mountain is regarded by the O'odham nation as the navel
of the world – a place where the earth opened and people emerged. The
name I'Itoi signifies the Elder Brother, who is the creator deity in
Tohono O'odham legends; consequently the onion is a sacred reminder of
the O'odham creation story. Botanical studies place the I'Itoi onion
among a very old line of clumping onions brought to the US by Jesuit
missionaries in the late 17th century, concluding that the onion is not
necessarily a US native. Regardless of the contradicting histories, the
I'Itoi Onion has a special place among Sonoran Desert culinary culture.
sharp, peppery flavor of the I'Itoi is well suited to southwestern
stews and sauces, which often have robust, piquant flavors. The I'Itoi
plant grows easily and prolifically in the deserts of the American
southwest. Left in the ground during its summer dormancy, the onion
re-sprouts toward the end of the season at which point it is harvested
and replanted. The flavor of the I'Itoi Onion is garnering
interest at a small, but highly visible, commercial scale throughout
the arid southwest. The onion may provide one of the best examples of
crop survival due to the stewardship of backyard gardeners.
Sometimes the little things are what excite me, like this I'itoi Onion bulb.
One bulb multiplies to this.
And, from the 10 bulbs I planted, this is my harvest.
I would say there are approximately 20 bulbs in each clump. I think that's a pretty good return on my investment, don't you? I plan to reserve the biggest and best for replanting in the fall. I love that, if managed well, these onions will provide a sustainable way to enjoy onions year after year.
I also planted the Fleener's Top Set Walking Onions, but that's another post for another day.