Sometimes I wish I'd chosen a different name for our farm. "Wild Onion Farms" seems to translate in some people's heads into "the farm that should have onions all the time." I regularly get some pretty amusing spam emails from large international onion distributors (if you ever find yourself with five tons of onions on your hands, let me know, I can refer you to a buyer). I've been scowled at countless times by market customers for not having onions. I've been lectured by little old ladies for daring to charge a whole two dollars for 'what anybody could pull out of their yard' that were actually carefully cultivated scallions. It's all in the name, I suppose.
Why 'Wild Onion Farms' then? Ten years ago we were shopping around in the area for some good-but-cheap farmland. In an area that is rapidly turning into a sea of subdivisions, I lucked into finding Mr. Brown, a cranky old farmer that had held a ten-acre parcel in his wife's family for generations. He'd already sold off most of the road frontage for small residential lots, but the back of it was still prime farmland. Mr. Brown wanted to retire, but was dead set against selling out to a developer. The first time we looked at the property was on a cold and windy March day, and the land was teeming with clumps of wild onions, those almost ramp-like weeds you can likely find in every roadside ditch in early spring. Mr. Brown asked what I wanted to do with the land. He spat, snorted and recommended I take my money to Vegas instead. After many months of negotiating, he was happy enough to take my money for his onion-riddled farmland. There you go.
I reasoned that if the land grew wild onions so prolifically, it would grow some pretty good cultivated onions too. And it does, just not in every season. I've you've been craving something oniony, we have scallions again for a while through the fall months. Scallions are a spring and fall crop, bulb onions are a summer crop in this climate, leeks are a winter crop; there's inevitably a gap in the progression here or there. And remember, it's just a name :)