Learning About I’itoi Onions
Last week we had the privileged to go to Crooked Sky Farms and get the full tour of what’s growing from Farmer Frank himself! One of his favorite pieces of produce out in his fields right now is the I’itoi onion.
So what is an I’itoi onion?
“These wildly popular and prolific multiplier onions resemble the wild onions harvested on I’itoi Mountain, also known as Baboquivari Mountain, by Tohono O’odham people. 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. Today they are eagerly sought out by chefs for their mild shallot-like bulbs and slightly spicy greens. The peppery flavor pairs well with Southwestern cuisine. They are very easy to cultivate and in the low-desert will grow in response to both winter and summer rains. In cooler regions their growth is in the summer. Rarely flowers and set seeds; propagate by division of the bulbs. When the greens dry down dig up the bulbs and divide. Enjoy some but be sure to save a few for your next planting. The name I’itoi signifies the Elder Brother, who is the creator deity in Tohono O’odham legends.” – Native Seeds/SEARCH
Want to learn more about native produce and how to acquire it to grow yourself? Check out our friends at Native Seeds/SEARCH.