Last week, local Skidmore farmer Allen Hudson brought in a batch of his very special onion sets. Those who have been around awhile haven’t seen a true multiplying onion here at Gill’s in years! It’s a tasty onion that you can plant year round, with a cool story that we wanted to share.
Allen named these heirloom onions ‘Grandpa Brown’s Multiplying Onions’ after his grandpa. As a kid, they would buy these onion sets at Zimmer’s Nursery in Beeville, plant them together, and watch them multiply.
After going off to college and returning to the area, Allen wondered if he could still find these onions to try and grow them commercially. He ended up tracking them down to a farmer in Toledo, TX and was able to get just 14 onions. He planted all 14, but the cows tore up 7, so he was really only able to start with 7 onions. Now he’s got that number up to about 50,000 at his farm! Rescued from the brink of extinction!
We’re so happy to have some available for you here at Gill’s! Most onion sets are not available until mid-November, but Grandpa Brown’s are ready to plant right now. Allen says plant them “up to the hips”, meaning leave some of the white bulb showing above the soil. They can be planted in clay or sandy soil, they’re heat tolerant, and cold hardy. Allen has tested lots of different fertilizers on the farm and found that the onions love organic Medina Growin’ Green – one of our favs.
They multiply by division, so you can plant a few and have a steady supply of green onions for years to come.