I just posted all my various seed onion bulbs on ebay. These onions are my main source of income for the last several years. Last year I offered a collection of multipliers on ebay, but it was a hassle packaging and keeping track of stuff, so I'm not doing it this year. It's really cool though, so I decided to offer blog readers a few of them because I think it's the coolest thing ever. One order per person and once they are sold out, that's it. If you want larger quantities of any of the rest, buy them on ebay HERE. Shipping is so much easier and cheaper through ebay that I won't be selling onions here on the site except for these few collections. The varieties may or may not all do well wherever you live, but at least you get to test them out without buying whole orders of each one. Here is the store link and the description below.
I'm putting out a limited number of these for my blog and youtube followers. I sold collections like this on ebay last year and it was a big hassle, but I think it is super cool, so wanted to offer at least a few to you all. This is a rare opportunity to test a collection of multiplier onions that are traditionally grown from bulbs instead of seed. 2 Green Mountain Multiplier, 3 Heirloom Yellow Potato Onion, 3 Copper Shallot, 4 I'itoi's, and 2 Pink Seeds Blum. All are planted as single bulbs only partly covered and will grow into a cluster. All except I'itoi tend to keep in storage extremely well.
The Yellow and Green Mountain Multiplier Potato onions are cold hardy. The others I'm not sure, though I suspect that the I'itoi are not very hardy.
Green Mountain Multiplier: I have had so much trouble curing these out that I'm not going to grow them anymore. I'm not sure if other people have that problem. I haven't heard of it. Once cured, they tend to keep very well. They are whitish and much larger than Yellow Potato Onions. They were selected from seeds of the Yellow Potato Onion and are probably very hardy, though we don't know for sure as they are very new. Kelly says he has not had any negative feedback about their hardiness. The size and the fact that they have fewer papery divisions within the bulbs make them an improvement on the yellow potato onion, but I have losses up to 50% during curing from mold. It has a tendency to run to seed, though Kelly Winterton, the originator, says that trait should lessen over the years as they are propagated from bulbs repeatedly.
Yellow Potato Onion: This is the old and once popular Potato onion, probably of great antiquity. Read more about them in my research piece on historic potato onion references. They are extremely hardy having been grown in Alaska and Siberia. I know a guy in Alaska that grows them. He says it's the first thing he can eat in the spring. They keep very well once cured with losses during curing about 5 to 10% for me. I've kept them all the way until the next harvest time. They are good grilled whole, cooked whole in stews, caramelized or anywhere you'd use any onion. Reproduction is about 6.5 for every one planted, similar to other multiplier onions and shallots. Large onions will produce many small onions when planted and small onions will produce fewer, but larger, onions.
Copper Shallot: This is probably an old french type of shallot renamed here in the U.S. It is medium sized to small and very similar to the Yellow Potato onions, but with a distinct coppery skin when thoroughly cured. They keep very well.
Pink Seeds Blum: Presumably originated from the now defunct Seeds Blum seed catalogue. This one produces large, handsome, elongated bulbs with few papery divisions between the bulbs. It keeps very well and cures out very with few loses too. For all those reasons, It is the best shallot I've grown all around. I have never seen it go to seed.
I'itoi: (pronounced E-E-TOY) A very rare native heirloom from the Southwest. These are said to have originated from Europe brought by the Spanish and have been grown by the O'odam for Hundreds of years. It is drought tolerant and extremely prolific. It can be left to grow as a perennial and harvested for chives or the bulbs replanted each year to be pulled as scallions or matured into very small shallot-like bulbs. Or, best of both worlds, they can be left to grow in place and used as a reservoir of planting stock from garden growing. I have no idea how hardy they are, but probably not super cold hardy.
But wait, theres more! You also get a small packet of potato onion seeds so you can make your own potato onion selections! This is seed that may have crossed out with other bulbing onion varieties, or at least that was the idea! It will grow anything from "white" to red and shades in between. I've grown out quite a bit of this seed and it consistently produces multiplying onions. The first year they will grow only single bulbs, save those to replant and grow them out to make the best selections. Maybe you can name your own variety some years from now.
The I'itoi do not keep well out of the ground. The others all keep well once cured, but no guarantees they will all keep if held through the winter. In my mild climate I plant any of them between fall and spring, preferring to plant sometime between the winter solstice and March. All are planted only partly buried and similarly about 12 inches to 10 inches apart on an even grid spacing across wide beds, or a little closer if you want in rows further apart.
All of these type of onions are threatened as we move further and further toward commercial food supplies. Commercial growers for instance now grow shallots mostly from seed instead of bulbs, so if you get a shallot from the store and plant it, most will go to seed. The modern food market has no use for potato onions as they are much more suited to home gardeners. If you grow these, please push them on all your gardening friends and acquaintances. They multiply exponentially, so you'll have plenty to eat and share pretty soon. These are an investment. My mom bought a few bulbs of Yellow potato onions about 15 years ago and I'm still growing them and have given away and sold many thousands of bulbs!
For more on Potato Onions, read and watch all my various stuff about them