Sustainable Shallot Farming

August 22, 2021 Hansie Britz

                 

Shallots (Eschalots) are members of the alium family, closely related to onions, garlic and chives. Shallot bulbs grow in clusters, similar to cloves of garlic. The biggest distinction between shallots and other onions, besides their milder flavor, is their cellular structure. Shallots break down much more easily when cooked, allowing for a softer level of caramelization, or a more subtle touch when creating a foundation in sources etc.

Shallots are packed with micro-nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and B vitamins. It increase your intake of micro – nutrients, protein and fiber. Shallot differs from the everyday onion in some fundamental ways:

Firstly – Shallots grows like garlic, in clusters rather than single bulbs.

Secondly – Shallots has a softer flavor, bringing all the essence of an onion without the punch.

Thirdly – Shallots is smaller and a little more oval – shaped.

Soil

Fertile, well – drained soil with compost dug in. In clay soil, use raised beds or rows.

Spacing

Single Plants – 15cm each way (minimum).

Rows – 10cm with 15cm row gap (minimum).

Planting

Easiest to sow as sets (tiny bulbs) which are planted direct into the soil from early winter onward. Can also be grown from seed in which case start in pots under cover in late winter before planting out mid spring.

Harvesting

It usually takes 2 months for the shallots to be ready for harvest. One signal that the bulb had reached its maturity is when the top part of the plant withers. Harvested shallots should be stored in cool places and it is advised that you put them inside a mesh or any other breathable storage,

Shallot farming is a profitable business due to the fact that it is not hard to plant and to maintain and is also in demand in the market. Shallots do not require a specific kind of climate to grow and can even grow healthy in a garden directly exposed to sunlight or shaded.

            

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