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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Wild Onions

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wild Onions

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     One of our favorite wild foragables is wild onions. My family and I had a hard time NOT picking every wild onion we found on our property. If we had, we would not have any for next year. Wild onions go naturally in our yard. They are small, but they are very good! I have sauteed them as a side dish, added them chopped in soups and stews, but our favorite use for them is adding about 1/2 cup of sauteed onions to our meat loaf mixture. Now mind you, they are tiny and it is a bit of work, but so worth it! I am not a big fan of onions, but these I love! 

Benefits of adding onions to your diet:
(all onions, not just wild ones)
  • Increases your immunity
  • Regulates blood sugar
  • Helps fight cancer
  • Heart Healthy
  • Helps prevent ulcers
  • Helps with cataracts
  • Fights the growth of tumors
  • Strengthens the arteries
  • Helps to combat disease
   
   Here is some more information I have found on wild onions from Merriweather's Foraging Texas. This site is my 'Go To' site for wild foraging. If you are interested in wild foraging, especially in Texas, you will enjoy his site! (Highlighted pink information was taken directly from the above mentioned site.)

Onion - Wild

Scientific name: Allium species
Abundance: plentiful
What: bulbs and young stems/leaves
How: raw or cooked as seasoning
Where: open, sunny areas
When: all year, more common in cool weather.
Nutritional Values: Vitamin C plus small amounts of other vitamins, minerals, some carbohydrates.
Other Uses: juice acts as a weak insect repellent
Dangers: Toxic "Crows Poison" plants look just like wild onion but only wild onion smells like onion. If it smells like onion it is safe to eat, if it just smells like grass it is toxic Crow's Poison (Nothoscordum bivalve).

     There are also a poisonous plant that looks just like them called 'Crow's Poison.' Crow's Poison grows right along with it. We found several of the poisonous kind. We have noticed they smell like grass vs the lovely onion smell. They also seem rounder than wild onions. Even my 10 yr old could tell the difference. We are not too concerned with mistaking them for wild onions. Not only are they easy to spot, you would also have to eat quite a lot to feel the effects of the poison, which might be a slight stomach ache. 
Wild Onions Growing In My Yard Early Spring
     As with all wild foraging, do not take all of the plants you find. If you do, there might not be any for next year. Take a few from each cluster and leave the rest, pulling from a multitude of spots. We found a large area on our property and have named it the 'Wild Onion Patch.' It will be left alone until next year. They seem easier to find in the early spring time where I live. 

Update:
Spent Thanksgiving with my family. Why they were all inside, visiting, guess what Zoey and my nephew were doing? Foraging for wild onions! She taught him how to identify them by smell and looks. :)



We will be adding these to our meat loaf this week!


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