Appalachia Gardening

Aliens In The Yard?

Strange plants

Over the last few days there have been some strange happenings around the Blind Pig house.

Strange happenings in brasstown

Oh well that was just The Deer Hunter talking to the chickens-so maybe that wasn’t so strange. Or maybe I’m the weird thing happening since I’m taking creeper photos.

Spreading onions

But just look at this-doesn’t it look like an Alien hatching from its pod?

Onions that grow over winter

And worse there seem to be lots of them hatching!!!
Okay enough with the silliness-what you’re actually seeings is my very own multiplying onions. A Blind Pig reader, Bill Dotson, sent them to me well over a year ago. The onions are just now beginning to take off. Many people call them Egyptian Onions because of the weird way their seed pods open up-like you see above. This is the first year we’ve eaten the onions. What do they taste like? Exactly like regular green onions you plant in the Spring only we didn’t even have to plant them because they spread/multiplied over the winter. (Thank you Bill!!)

Salsify bloom

As I was out admiring the alien pods I decided to check on my Salsify. Maybe you remember me telling you about the Salsify seeds I got from Sow True Seed. Salsify is a root vegetable.
Salsify is commonly called oyster plant-because people say it tastes like oysters. I love oysters-so I’m hoping it really does-but I’ve heard other folks say while it is tasty it tastes nothing like oysters. So mostly I’m just hoping my plants grow enough for me to find out myself.
As you can see from the photo, when I checked on my Salsify plants I noticed they were about to bloom.

Growing salsify

After seeing the bloom I started worrying-thinking that’s probably not even Salsify; silly me I’ve probably been cultivating a weed!
I googled around and discovered Salsify does indeed bloom. And even better I discovered the greens of the plant are also edible! Click here to read the Salsify info I found.
So there are weird things happening around the Blind Pig house-but thankfully they’re all weird in a good way.
Recently, one of my friends was talking about how she had gotten in the habit of walking around her yard every morning to see what had developed over night. These days I don’t get to walk around the yard every day, but when I do I always see something interesting or lovely to brighten my day.




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  • Reply
    RB Redmond
    May 11, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    We have things popping up all over our yard too, even things we thought weren’t going to make it through the winter have come up, and one plant that never did anything after we planted it last year that we thought was a goner, has come up this spring. It’s almost like magic happens during the night. LOL
    God bless.

  • Reply
    bill wise
    May 11, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    tipper, get each post to give a state so we know where it comes from or would be too nosey ?

  • Reply
    May 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    You come up with the neatest things to grow and eat. I just love to read your stories.

  • Reply
    Tim Mc
    May 10, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    I could do some onions but I don’t do oysters ,yuck,, I’ve done something I never done this year.. I planted our little garden in half barrels with miracle grow garden soil mixed with potting soil..the ground here is so wet most folks are still waiting for the ground to dry out. The weather folks say we have had 50 out of the last 60 days with measurable rain fall.. I catch myself looking each morning to see how much the tomatoes and squash has grown and waiting for the cucumbers and pepper plants to take shape, sorta relaxing… with out the hoe…

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    Your onion photos are great!

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    May 10, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    those onions look so interesting.. but what a treasure to have them growing in your garden and be able to pick fresh anytime you need to use them in cooking.. 🙂 isnt nature wonderful.
    sending much love to you and yours on mothers day.. as always love hearing the music.
    thanks so much for being you 🙂

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Congradulations! Today you are
    Graduating and we’re all very proud
    of You!
    Those onions are fascinating to
    see. I don’t try to grow onions,
    I just buy a bag of the hotter
    ones to cook with. And there’s
    nothing wrong with the Deer Hunter
    talking to the chickens. My mama
    did this all the time and they’d
    come up to her and let her pet
    ’em. I just talk to my dog…Ken

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    May 10, 2013 at 11:41 am

    We used to walk around outside early in the morning carrying our coffee. Anymore the better half waits until later in the morning as do I…Our old bones can’t take the real cool air especially since it has been so damp.
    I’m going out in a while, to get pictures of some new iris blooms.
    We have multiplier onions. Given to my family and then given to me.
    Ours make a big bulbous thing on top and then opens up to a zillion little mini bulblets, they in turn drop to the ground and take root. We have grown the onions you have but don’t know what happened to them. I wonder if they “Just walked like an Egytian” (remember the song?) on down into the pasture…??? LOL…Just had to get that in! Haven’t grown Salsify, but might try it now that I see the bloom on your plant, very intriging.
    I love oysters, only fried! Would you cut up the root into little pieces, roll in egg and crackers and fry? Maybe I will wait until you try yours first…Mamma used to fix it some way, but as a kid I never ate it…just pass the potatoes…LOL
    Thanks Tipper,
    Sort of disappointed that their wasn’t a real alien, like maybe a cat-a-mount track or something.
    We have Armadillos close by, but only saw one dead on the road! I sure don’t want them in the garden!

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

    The best sign of a healthy garden: the gardener’s footprints.
    Wonder if walking onions and salsify would grow in central Texas. . . . I’d never heard of either but they are so intriguing!!

  • Reply
    Gina S
    May 10, 2013 at 9:54 am

    I so loved spring onions that my uncle pulled me a grocery sack from his garden every year. Grandpa Bass grew an onion he called Dutch White multiplying onion. I remember them as being very strong for they burned my young tongue. Salsify isn’t something I’ve tasted, but I want to change that for I adore oysters. Great comment above about saving a turtle…all creatures great and small.

  • Reply
    Pamela Moore
    May 10, 2013 at 9:11 am

    My grandpa used to grow Egyptian Walking onions. We called them that because they walked all over the garden.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    May 10, 2013 at 9:03 am

    Tipper, I am glad to see that your onions are doing well, I was looking at mine the other day and was going to e-mail you to see if you needed more sets but looks like you are going to have plenty yourself.

  • Reply
    Bill Dotson
    May 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Tipper, when we were growing up Mom always had oyster plant every year and I thought it tasted like oysters, she would make oyster soup and scalloped oysters, that is the only two ways I can remember her fixing it. I planted some a few years ago and didn’t get very big but was flavored good. Dad loved it and made sure there was a bunch put in the freezer each year.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2013 at 8:04 am

    Tipper, your blog seems to draw thoughtful, honest folks. There is something so innately honest about a person who takes time to walk around in their yard. This is the height of stopping to smell the roses, or better known as stopping to view the salsify. So many times it is just the little things that keep us grounded and make this life well worth living.
    I so very well remember driving hurriedly along only to view a Mallard Duck swimming along the roadside in a mud puddle. It brought such a pleasurable feeling to an otherwise stress-filled day.
    Way off the subject, but just had to share an experience. Well, it ties in sort of?? Yesterday there was a big turtle trying to get across the road at a very busy intersection. Traffic stopped at a traffic light, and some lady jumped out to try to pick the turtle up. Two attempts were made with this turtle trying to snap her. She dropped it! Just when everyone thought the turtle was doomed, two disheveled youth jumped out of the car and grabbed it by the tail carrying it to safety. I will always feel good about humanity as long as there remains folks who enjoy the small things, and youth who still want to rescue a turtle. This is still common in Appalachia.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 10, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Aliens indeed. I can’t decide if they look more like aliens or abstract sculptures, anyway something out of this world.
    I’ve never eaten salsify, actually never heard of it. I’m anxious to learn more about it…..specifically, is it good?
    I would think a daily walk around one’s domain would be very educational. It’s a new world every day.
    We’ve had so much rain lately it’s fun to go out and see what is coming up following the rain. The Hostas look like spears emerging from the earth.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 10, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Back in the 60’s my father had salsify in the garden on Wiggins Creek. I don’t remember what it tasted like but it was supposed to taste like oysters, so never having eaten oysters, I wouldn’t have known the difference. He also grew chives and garlic, also unusual plants in an Appalachian garden.
    My mother had multiplier onions in the garden. Regular white ones and some red ones that might actually been shallots. Mommy would pull some to dry and eat and save to plant next year. She left some in the ground to eat all winter. Some of our regular onions would develop alien characteristics like yours. Those we pulled and ate early. We called them barrel onions, because of to shape of the stalk that supported the flower head I guess. The barrel onions, if left to grow, never turned into much and didn’t have a good flavor, sometimes too harsh to eat.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    May 10, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Always make time to visit the garden, it restores your soul.

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