Honored Guests: I am here tonight to give you my annual State of the Onion Address.
First of all, the State of the Onion is sound, and at least they aren’t garlic. There are things which resemble onions, I think, such as shallots, leeks and chives. But no one knows them apart or which is which.
Generally, the onion is OK, but it sort of depends on what color onion you are. Red Onions look good but offend Native Americans, and because they may have come from Bermuda, a foreign nation, may have been sent here to kill us. Yellow onions over-achieve.
But dominant now among onion colors is white. White onions are sweeter and you don’t cry as much. White onions are ascendant primarily because Moses Coleman accidentally invented the Vidalia in 1931, which in a couple generations have all but displaced ordinary onions, the kind you cut up and put in your beans, and which have survived 7,000 years.
Never miss a local story.
To be precise, onions are 7,007 years old. I know that because in 2011 our county agent told me onions were 7,000 years old. That would make them older by a thousand years than Adam and Eve, so I doubted it.
But there is danger in loving an onion that can only be grown in Georgia (less sulfur). I tried growing sweet onions here one time and soon realized that you cannot throw dirt on them. The roots are important. You would think throwing dirt at it would make something grow, but no.
The other threat to the state of the onion is that nobody knows how to plant an onion seed, or even how to find them. We plant “sets,” somebody’s else’s doing. No sets and soon no way to fix French onion soup, an ingenious way the French invented to get rid of that tasteless rubbery cheese.
Planting seeds is thus good for the state of the onion, but you have to be patient. It takes a long time for onion seeds to sprout, so long that the weeds will take over and you will forget where you planted the onions.
Hint: Plant a few radish or turnip seeds with the onion seeds. They will come up sooner and you will know where your rows are and then you can remove the radishes. To form a more perfect onion, we must avoid destructive things, like thrips, which suck up the good from the onion crop, to get fatter themselves, or even worse, maggots, which bore into the very basis of the onion and cause it to rot from the root.
So now that my speech is almost over I want to introduce you to some of the audience. We have here tonight a lion which has fearlessly agreed to put its head in Matt Bevin’s mouth.
We have here two guys who came in on a train with talk of starting a marching band and a battery factory. We have here a snapshot of President Donald Trump on business in Moscow, with his hair done up in one of those onion domes with a point on the top. No collusion though.
Reach Larry Webster, a Pikeville attorney, at websterlawrencer