Edible and Useful Plants

Was just searching the internet for information on what is used to inhibit sprouting in onions (and potatoes) in Australia and came across a series of well written and informative articles on useful and edible plants by Penny Woodward.  Well worth having a look at.  She includes some unusual and interesting members of the onion family and herbs as well.  She has written a series of books (available for purchase through her website) which look interesting too.  Unfortunately she doesn’t have a subscription link to her blog, offering only advice on new material via Facebook and Twitter, neither of which I use.

Haven’t definitely nailed the anti-sprouting issue yet.  But I did discover that, like many fruits, onions can be stored for long periods before appearing in the shops.  It’s time we had a “harvest date” advice on fruit and veg.  It appears that the most common approach is some formulation of Maleic Hydrazide, often as Potassium Maleic Hydrazide.  I don’t have time to chase it up further right now, but it appears that while the potassium salt might be relatively harmless, one can’t say the same for Maleic Hydrazide, particularly in relation to its impact on aquatic organisms.  If anyone has detailed information on what is used in Australia, how it’s used, and what the impacts are please add a comment.

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