Thursday, September 2, 2010

Allium Thursday

First off, many thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on yesterday's post.  It was very gratifying to read the compliments.  Stitching and gardening can both be solitary endeavours, blogging allows us to become a community of like-minded souls!

Design - "Wild White Onion"
Designer - Ewe & Eye & Friends
Fabric - 40 count Sandstone linen
Fibers - GAST & DMC
Started - 27 August 2010
Completed - 1 September 2010

Well after lots of fussing and second-guessing, I ended up using GAST Pineapple Sherbet to stitch the onion.  And, in my opinion, it turned out to be the "right" color after all, giving me a yellowish storage onion as the finished product.  The scan is less than perfect, showing as it does the long "tails" of the single stitches.  If I get this piece framed I'll have to trim the tails a bit.

Working on "Wild White Onion" got me to thinking about onions in general.  They are one of my favorite veggies, and are rather remarkable plants.

Let's take a closer look!

Native to the Middle East and Asia, onions have been cultivated for over 5,000 years.  They are grown from seed or sets and can be started in late winter or early spring.   There are two types of onions - spring/summer such as Vidalia or Walla-Wallas - also know as sweet onions, and storage onions such as Copra and Sweet Sandwich.

My sister has a small row of onions in her kitchen garden half hidden
between the zinnias and the squash.
Onion plants are extremely light sensitive.  The tops grow until the summer solstice, then all efforts go into the production of the bulb.  As onions mature they literally heave themselves out of the ground.

Mars - a red storage onion

The health benefits of onions are numerous.  Studies show they lower blood sugars and cholesterol.  They are cancer-fighters and boost bone health. They may also help fight inflammation associated with arthritis and asthma.

Prince - a yellow storage onion

And they taste really, really, good! 
I'm onion sandwich for lunch!

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