I use spring onions in a lot of my cooking. From a sprinkle on top of a soup to a key ingredient in salads. They just make things fresh and zesty. Like most vegetables they are full of good nutrients and plus, they are easy to prepare.
But, perhaps, the thing I love the most about Spring Onions, is that you only need to buy 1-2 bunches per year. Yep. They’re one of those amazing vegetables that will self-propagate indefinitely given the right environment. I have three pots of spring onions constantly on the go and it serves me pretty well. I rarely have to buy more (unless I’m doing a big asian cook up).
Here’s how it works:
Buy good quality organic spring onions with the roots still attached. I insist that you need to buy organic, as you are going to be using these spring onions for a while and therefore you may as well spend the extra dollar or two and get yourself off to a good start.
Pop the spring onions in your fridge until you are ready to use them.
When you use them, chop the bottom (root) section off leaving between 2cm-1inch.
Place the bottom bit in a small jar with water covering the roots. I use a shot glass but you can use anything including a normal glass just not overly filled. If the root is falling over in the glass, push a wooden/bamboo skewer through it and then balance the skewer/root over the glass with the roots in water. Works much the same although I like to try to avoid damaging the spring onion. (Don’t know why, but I just do).
Leave it by a sunny window sill for a few days. Change the water if it’s looking a bit funky. I change the water every two days.
Eventually you will see the middle start to shoot out.
I wait until it’s grown a few centimetres and then plant it out into a pot in the garden. Spring onions don’t need a huge amount of light, but ensure they get a good hour or two each day.
If your spring onion doesn’t shoot and starts to wilt or rot, then throw it away and start over. This is sometimes caused by:
- The cut was too close to the root;
- The water is yucky;
- There wasn’t enough water (although this will generally make it dry out not rot);
- There is too much water (ideally you just want water covering the roots);
- The spring onion wasn’t getting enough sunlight;
If you don’t have a garden, you can just get a small pot and put these by the window-sill somewhere. Just make sure you water them regularly and they are getting enough sun. I’ve not tried them as an indoor plant, but if you’re going to I would urge you to remember to fertilise occasionally and pop in some rock dust seasonally.
By using this process and giving yourself perpetual spring onions, you are not only guaranteeing that you have them on hand for spritzing up your meals, but you are growing your own food, using less resources, taking away from energy needed for growth/transport of new spring onions and making your home a little greener.
It doesn’t seem like much, but each thing we can re-use and re-cycle is something new that doesn’t need to be created for consumerism and is a step in the right direction.
Tiny Change for the Day: next time you need to use spring onions take the above steps. You’ll have them for the forseeable future!