Some I'itoi Onion Bulbs Available for Subscribers

I’itoi (pronounced E-E-toy) are small and prolific multiplying onions.  The story goes that they were acquired from the O’odham people in what is now Arizona and N. Mexico.  They produce a very small Shallot like bulb that can be peeled and eaten, or they can be used as greens or pulled off during the growing season for “scallions”.   They are very rare at this point and were put on the Slow Food movements Ark of Taste a list of endangered food varieties.  I tossed a bag of old dried up ones that I thought were probably dead out in the rain a month ago, and a lot of them sprouted, so I thought I’d pass on what is left to readers of this blog rather than tossing them in the compost.  These are the ones that were too shrunken to sell, though perfectly viable, and now they are just barely hanging on for dear life.  They have a small core of viable bulb left and I think that if they are potted up soon most will still grow out.  You really only need one as they are very good multipliers.  I made up small packets of about 8 bulbs and tossed in a small sample seed pocket/packet of bulgarian giant leek seeds in each.  There are about a dozen packets ready to ship, first come first serve if you pay shipping, which just $1.50 should cover.  You can paypal that to me after contacting me through the contact link on this website.  This is offered for people who are subscribed to my blog. I'itoi peeled and whole

I don’t know much about cold hardiness of I’itoi.  They certainly do fine with light freezes, but growing them outside in really cold climates is going to be a bit of an experiment.  I'd appreciate any reports back on how they do.  These bulbs are barely hanging in there, but they are tough little guys and still have a living core waiting to find some soil and water.  Plant them immediately.  In warm climates, plant in the ground now.  In cold climates, I’d start them in a pot indoors and then plant out when warm weather arrives.  They reproduce like crazy and even if only one survives, you’ll have plenty to share, replant and eat soon enough.  I started with just a few and have sold and given away many hundreds of bulbs.

This is one cluster of I'itoi grown in about 3 or 4 months.  They are very prolific.

If left in the ground, they’ll form a dense cluster that can contain hundreds of small bulbs.  If replanted singly and well tended, they will form much larger bulbs than if left alone, but again they are still quite small.

Peeled I'itois.  Good if you have the patience.

First come first serve.  Contact me through the contact link on this page.  Again, this is for people who are subscribed to my blog and they'll probably go fast, so don't contact me next week or next month or next year.  I'll probably have them on ebay again this summer and I would think that they will be more widely available from seed suppliers soon.

If you have the patience, peeled I'itoi onions are nice for dishes where they are left whole, such as Risotto or in stuffing.  These are frying in chicken fat.

A google search will turn up a little info on I'itoi onions, but there is only so much out there.  This link is a good page to check out for more info.

And This video

Posted on January 12, 2015 and filed under Uncategorized.