Onion, Rose de Roscoff Keravel (Organic)
Allium cepa. Pink Storage. 105 days.
The pretty rosy-pink skin of this onion is not the only thing that sets it apart. Flavor is both delicately sweet and piquant, complex yet not overpowering. White flesh with light pink layers. Good for braiding and long storage. Rose de Roscoff Keravel is a selection of a type of onion known as Oignon de Roscoff in France. This French heritage cultivar has been grown since the 17th century in Roscoff, Brittany. High in Vitamin C, onions from Brittany were sold to merchant ships as a cure for scurvy. From the 1800s until the 1950s, “Onion Johnnies” would travel as far as England selling their famous onions, often on bicycles draped with onion braids. The climate in Brittany must be similar enough to our location in the Pacific Northwest, because Rose de Roscoff Keravel is right at home here. We want to thank Myrtha Zierock for sourcing the seed and bringing this variety to Oregon.
For bulb onions, sow indoors in flats with good potting soil February through March. Transplant into the garden in April or May, when plants are at least the size of a No. 2 pencil lead. Space 6” in rows that are 1’ apart. Onions benefit from frequent watering and shallow cultivation. Stop irrigating in August. Harvest when stem has shriveled and tipped over.
To save seed, replant at least 20 onions (to avoid inbreeding) in the second spring. Large, beautiful globe shaped flowers attract pollinators. Cut whole seed heads when they open and show the black seeds. Thresh gently and winnow to remove debris and hollow seeds. Isolate from other Alliums of the same species by at least ½ mile.