Sunday, 21 June 2009

I've got the last of the peas and beans in, and dug out another weedy patch to make space for the oca. The wigwams are looking a bit bare at the moment, But here are Pea Beans, Cosse Violette, and six varieties of tall peas. The next jobs will be digging a much larger weedy patch to make some room for the tomatoes, and planting out the sweet corn. Meanwhile, I've been chopping and freezing loads of Catawissa onions for soup.

Hive 3 still hasn't laid up that frame I want to use to raise more queens, but they'll get there in the end. Meanwhile, Hive 1 is on seven frames of brood, and they're refusing to use the remaining frames which are pretty horrible. I had hoped they'd clean them up but instead they're chewing them down to the midrib, so they'll have to go ASAP. The remains of a dead cluster from last winter are being propolised rather than removed, so that's another two frames I need to get rid of. Hive 3 has six frames of brood.
Meanwhile, the government here lurches from one scandal to another, with ever more revelations about the abuses of MP's expenses - I feel sorry for the decent ones who haven't fiddled - and more rumblings over the Iraq inquiry. The latest is that Blair, the man behind so much of it, was lobbying to have it held in private, presumably in yet another attempt to avoid some well-deserved embarrassment.
Clumsy fiddling of the Iran election (they could have got away with it if they'd been cleverer, or less arrogant) seems to have finished off their hybrid Islamic/democratic state. Or apparently democratic anyway. It's either dictatorship or democracy, and it'll be interesting to see which way they go. Whatever they end up with is going to have an enormous influence on the direction of the Middle East.


  1. Are you really sure you have catawissa onions? I think you have ordinary Egyptian Walking onions.

    Catawissa onions form topsets on top of topsets on top of topsets. Just because one of your onions had one 2-level topset, isn't proof by itself you have catawissa onions. If Martin has told you something different, he probably knows more than me.

    Catawissa onions are not sold in stores anywhere in Europe as far as I know, whereas Egyptian onions are very common.

    Where did you get the onions from? Can you ask that person where they got them from?

    In my garden the catawissa onions were stringy and too hot to be nice. Also the roots were only about 1cm in diameter.

    Egyptian onions on the other hand are mild enough to be nice to eat raw, and can have roots approaching shallot size.

  2. Some of them do have treble-decker topsets, while double-deckers are universal. As far as I know at present they're Catawissa, though I really need to get some American sets and grow them on to be sure. Most of the bulbs are smaller than shallots, though a few reach that size, and they're too strong to eat raw.

    I'm hoping to get more topsetting onions and learn more about them.

  3. Another thing which I've been told is characteristic of Catawissa is that they're waist high. How tall are walking onions?

  4. My Egyptian onions are a little taller than knee high.

    I think my catawissa onions were waist high.

    I'll send some of my Egyptian onion topsets when I send the Amish onion.

  5. I'd be grateful. The putative Catawissa have been circulating as 'Egyptian walking onions' via the Allotments4all board, but given the state of knowledge about these over here, I wasn't too surprised to be given another name. It may even be that they have different names on opposite sides of the Atlantic. I think it comes down to a case of growing everything myself, just to find out!