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Wild Onions

By Lara DeHaven

Wild onion growing in the middle of the pasture.

Wild onions are not only pretty flowers in the pasture, but they are also tasty treats from the wild.  We have them growing here and there all over the countryside.

Some people fear eating anything from the wild.  They carefully avoid wild plants and fruits in order to be safe.  They are afraid of becoming ill or eating the wrong things.

This is a concern, which is why being informed is key.  Read up on the different plants in your area.  Make sure that the book identifies the plants with pictures.  Otherwise read the descriptions and use the internet to find photographs.  Mushrooms are one of the most dangerous.

Wild onion from flower to bulb.

For onions, make sure that it looks like an onion and smells like an onion.  There are plants that only smell like onions and they happen to be poisonous.  Once you properly identify the plant and harvest the wild vegetable or fruit, then you can confidently enjoy nature’s bounty.

One of my step-mom’s favorite dinners is wild onions and eggs.  She fries up some bacon in a frying pan.  She washes the wild onion bulbs and chops them up finely.  After she removes the bacon and leaves about three tablespoons of the grease in the pan, she sautes the onions.  When the onions become translucent, she adds beaten eggs to the pan.  Then you cook the eggs and serve to your liking with strips of bacon on the side.

Wild onions have a more pungent and strong taste than the onions to which we are accustomed.  A little goes a long way.

Research the edible plants and fruits that grow in your area.  Learn how to best prepare them so that you can enjoy foods for which you did not labor.  It makes you feel like a hunter-gatherer of old.

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3 Responses to “Wild Onions”

  1. Adrienne

    I have two super books on this subject:
    The Illustrated Guide To Edible Wild Plants, Dept. of Army, Lyons Press 2003 (Most numerous color plates are in this book)
    Edible And Useful Plants of Texas And The Southwest by Delena Tull,
    UT Press 1987(Fewer color photos, but does have drawings and give textile, dye use, recipes, etc.
    One warns of the toxic onion look-alike that has a “musky” smell called crow poison and has drawings of them side by side. Basically, they both say if it smells like an onion(not smell-less or musky)and looks like your pic above, it’s an onion…
    These have been SO helpful!

  2. Lara DeHaven

    Thank you for the two book suggestions. Lara

  3. Marjorie

    But, if your dairy cow eats a lot of these wild onions she will produce onion flavored milk! I remember this happened when my Aunt’s cows got into the pasture where there was wild onion….maybe garlic. The milk was interesting to say the least on your morning cereal. I think that is when my dad began to buy store milk for himself. Onion milk on his Wheaties was not cutting it. LOL!!


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Psalm 128:2

"You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessing and prosperity will be yours."