Baker Creek Seeds is honored and proud to introduce the Shirley Hammond Multiplier Onion. This gorgeous white skinned variety was shared with us by Shirley Floyd Hammond of South Carolina. Shirley has been growing and sharing this variety in her area for 75 years.
Shirley's daughter shared with us the history of this strain - a story which could be the poster-child of heirloom seeds and shows why seed saving and sharing is so important to maintaining a healthy diversity of crops in our diet.
Each clove will produce 7 to 15 cloves. Plant in fall to overwinter under mulch or plant in early spring for a summer harvest. We have a very limited quantity available at this time.
Here is the complete story as shared by Shirley's daughter: "Mother has known of these onions since a young girl (born in 1938) when her mom Augusta Floyd (born in 1900) and sister, Retha planted them at her childhood homestead in the Berea Community of Horry County, SC. In 1963, she took a set of the "seeds" for planting at her marital home in Finklea, SC. She and her husband, my father Jimmy Hammond, were both avid gardeners and enjoyed sharing their harvest with the community and have since perpetuated the "seeds". My mother said Jimmy described a similar onion that was planted by his mother (Roxie Cleo Buffkin Hammond) that she planted until her death in 1947 which she referred to as the "Seven Sister's Onion" after the Wild Onion Wives Indian legend for creation of the 7 sisters constellation. My mother has sold her onion "seeds" locally to mom and pop feed and seed stores in both Tabor City, NC and Loris, SC. They can be planted in early Spring (February) here in SC and harvested in June or planted in Fall for overwintering and may pull at leisure for eating in spring or just keep them in earth until June when dieback of stems occur and pull at usual time. Typically one onion "seed" will produce anywhere from 7-15 bulbs. She finds the onion especially tasty in roasts.
When I married in 2003 I moved to Camden, SC. My father died in 2009, and once he did, it sparked a fire in me to start my own garden. At that time, my mother mailed me a set of the onion bulbs. I have since been planting the onion.
Upon her death, a 4th generation (my two nieces Summer and Sloan Blair) will hopefully take up the torch and become the new stewards of "The Shirley Hammond Multiplier Onion".