SHALLOT / POTATO ONION (APR-SEP) ***SOLD OUT***
BOTANICAL NAME: Allium cepa var. aggregatum syn. Allium ascalonicum
COMMON NAMES: Golden Shallot, Eschallot
FAMILY: Alliaceae, the onion family
A perennial similar to onions with a mild, delicate flavour with plant to 30cm high. Each plant divides into 6-12 bulbs approx. 6cm across depending on variety, which are able to be divided stored for up to 12 months.
The bulbs are used like a regular onion either raw, boiled, pickled, baked, fried or added to soups and stews.
Leaves are used raw or cooked. A pleasant onion flavour, though they should not be harvested in quantity since this would reduce size of the bulbs.
Flowers may be used raw as a garnish on salads. While they are somewhat dry compared to other varieties they are still pleasant.
The growing plant is reputed to repel insects and rabbits. A spray made by pouring enough boiling water to cover 1kg of chopped unpeeled shallots is said to increase the resistance of other plants to diseases and parasites.
The juice of the plant is effective when used as a moth repellent and can also be rubbed onto the skin to repel insects. It has also been used as a rust preventative on metals and as a polish for copper and glass.
A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the skins of the bulbs.
Shallot juice rubbed into the skin is also reputed to promote the growth of hair and to be a remedy for baldness as well as being used cosmetically to fade freckles and blemishes.
Sub-Tropical Areas: Plant March to April
Cooler Areas: Plant Winter to Early Spring
Best planted in a sunny, well-drained position in rich, loamy soil but will grow in most soil types. Will not perform well in heavy clay soils. Avoid using manure, as too much nitrogen will reduce the bulb's shelf life. Bulbs should be planted so that the tops are still visible. Space bulbs 15-20 cm apart. Plant bulbs firmly and protect with netting to deter birds until the bulbs have rooted - they seem to have a fascination for pulling bulbs out and leaving them on the ground. :0l
Plants are very tolerant of high temperatures up to 30°C and bulbing will only occur at temperatures above 20°C
Harvest prior to flowering when the tops start to fall over in autumn. Spread on a wire screen in a cool, well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Store in a cool, dry place or hang up in well ventilated hessian bags. "
Will not be eaten by rabbits, kangaroos or wallabies.
LIKES: Celery, Chamomile, Cucumber, Dill, Summer Savory, Zucchini, Squash, Capsicum, Silverbeet, Rocket, Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Pumpkin, Cabbage, Carrot, Chilli, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce, Nasturtium, Rhubarb, Spinach, Strawberry, Tomato
DISLIKES: Asparagus, Bean, Eggplant, Onion, Garlic, Pea, Turnip, Legumes