What is a Tohono O’odham I’itoi multiplying onion?

Tohono O'odham multiplying onion becoming dormant So many heirloom vegetables stand near a dangerous precipice, ready to drop into the darkness of extinction. In my book, Baskets for Butterflies, the story of this rare onion illustrates the importance of saving heirloom plants.

Read more about this bulb on a new Tohono O’odham I’itoi Garden page.

Please share this new website with friends who would like to know more about saving heirloom vegetables.

2 thoughts on “What is a Tohono O’odham I’itoi multiplying onion?”

  1. Hi Donna. Allan told me about your book. I am so excited for you!! I’m trying my hand at growing a garden again
    My sister is the one who got me started again. I’m using containers right now. We have a Palo Verde planted in the back yard I’m almost considering planting underneath it. It has such a beautiful canopy now. I was so worried when we got that bad storm. She bent so badly. She survived and is doing fine.
    Is your farm a working farm? Do you sell at any of the Farmers Markets? Do the heirloom seeds you use come from our area? Let us know when your book comes out. Take care . Mary


    1. Mary, I remember you! Thanks for being the first commenter on my site!
      A container garden beneath a tree is a great idea! Pots small enough to move around allow you to place the little guys according to the season, current weather conditions, and needs of the specific plant. With our recent cooling trend, the pots can probably enjoy full sun. When summer comes, relocate the fellows to a shadier location beneath the tree. Continue to watch out for those high-wind situations, though. Move the pots to a safe location during a storm because palo verde are known for ‘self pruning’ by dropping big branches.
      October is the fall planting season in the low desert. Make sure to use flowers, herbs, or veggies that are semi-frost hardy. My winter vegetable garden consists of ‘roots’ (beets, carrot, onion, turnip), ‘leaves’ (lettuce, greens), and ‘cole’ relatives (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower). Winter is too cold for melons, squash, and tomatoes. For pots, I’d consider something small that doesn’t have a deep taproot.
      Heirloom plants have grown in the same general location for many years and have acclimated to the local conditions. In the low desert of Arizona this includes hot dry weather and alkaline soil. An heirloom from another state that has become accustomed to different growing conditions may not perform well here. That’s why it’s important to become familiar with heirlooms from your local area.
      I’ll add a page to my website that lists organizations that may be helpful. Keep an eye out for this.
      As for my little farm, I have an organic heirloom garden but do not grow commercially. Thank you, for being excited about my upcoming book. Ohmygosh, I’m excited, too! It’s important in life to make a difference. Saving heirlooms has been my passion for a long, long time!


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