Woo's Worms
Garden Products 
Shallots

Yellow Dutch Shallots

For the last 15 years I have been selling my homegrown organic shallots on Ebay. I have found them to be extremely popular and my customers have been pleased with the quality. In order to make it easier for my customers to make purchases, I am including them on my Woo's Worms and Garden Products site at the Shallots - Sales page for a more simplified purchase process.  This page will continue to have pertinent general shallot information.

Background
 About 20 years ago I started gardening in a community garden in Green Pond, NJ. A fellow gardener introduced me to shallots, and I have been hooked ever since. I love both eating and growing them. They are an ideal vegetable since they are easy to grow, they require little space, they multiply rapidly, and have very few pest to deal with. I originally started with 15 yellow Dutch shallots which I purchase from a local nursery. After my first crop I was pleased to see I had about 50 shallot bulbs of varying size to plant the next year. Wow, what a deal! I ate a few and saved the rest for next year's planting. So it went for many years until I had hundreds and started selling them.  My harvest now is limited to the size of my gardens and is in the vicinity of 5000. I have lived in Cape Cod, MA since 2005 and shallots grow just as well here as they did in NJ. Every year I start selling my shallot bulbs after drying and cleaning in early September. Make a purchase?

ALL ABOUT SHALLOTS

What is a shallot?
Shallots are a member of the onion family, but they are much milder, easier to grow, and mature faster. Unlike the onion they do not take over the flavor in a recipe and for this reason they are very popular with chefs world wide. 

What is the best type of Shallot to grow?
There are many types of shallots with a variety of flavors, colors, 
sizes, and shelf life. You can research this using Google or the links below. My favorite is the yellow Dutch shallot because it has a wonderful mild nutty flavor and stores longer than most of the other varieties. It is very prolific and one bulb has produced as many as 18 baby bulbs in one cluster for me. These babies produce larger bulbs when planted for the next years crop. I hope you will buy your yellow Dutch shallots from Woo.

Why grow shallots?
They are a tasty healthy vegetable that can enhance the flavor of almost any dish. They can always be used as a substitute for onions. They are very costly to buy in the supermarket, so why not grow your own. It is easy and requires very little space. Once you grow your own you will never have to buy them again as long as you save some from your crop to plant the following year. If you get extras, your can sell them or be popular and give them to your friends.

Preparation for planting
Pick out a sunny spot in your garden for best results. I have grown them successfully in areas with limited sun, but full sun is the best. 
Determine how many square feet you can devote to the shallot crop.
Then you can determine how many shallot bulbs you need to buy using the following formula: 6 bulbs per sq. ft. for 6" spacing or 12 per sq. ft. for 4" spacing. I use more spacing if the bulbs are larger. More spacing is better if you have extra room. Next purchase the number of bulbs you want to plant. When buying make sure the bulbs are not soft and have a healthy appearance.

Garden preparation
Cultivate the garden and yearly add compost to provide a medium that will be nutritious for the shallots. I personally like to add worm castings fertilizer or other organic fertilizer, and rake it into the top few inches of the garden. This can be done in the fall or spring. I loosen the soil with the hand cultivator or rake just before planting which makes planting easier for the bulbs. 

Planting
In MA I prefer to plant my shallots in October or early November.This gives them time to start growing, and they seen to stay green all winter. If I do not complete my planting in the fall, the remainder of my crop is planted in the early spring which works fine. When planting I place the bulbs on top of the loosened soil in a grid pattern so they are 4 to 6 inches apart. When the pattern is to my liking, I press each bulb gently into the soil leaving just the point of the shallot top  exposed. The soil around the bulbs is press firmly to keep them in place.

Growing
Once the bulbs are planted check them periodically to see that all the bulbs are in place. Sometimes critters such as voles or moles will push them to the surface. If this happens just push them back in place. Maintain proper moisture about 1" of water a week is good. Shallots are tough a can survive under poor conditions, but the bulbs produced will be smaller. As they grow in the spring at about 6" a feeding of worm casting fertilizer or some other fertilizer is recommended, and a second feeding later in the season is a good idea. If the bulbs produce a scape (stem for a flower) they should be cut off to force the energy of the plant to go into the bulb production. Don't discard the scapes. They are excellent for eating like a chive. Cut them up when they are young and tender into your salads. 

Harvesting
When the leaves of the shallots brown off or fall over it is time to harvest. When I plant in Cape Cod in the fall, this occurs around the middle of July. The bulbs should be lifted carefully and spread out  or hung to dry. The individual bulbs can be separated from clusters or pairs. It is best not to put them in the direct sun. I dry my crop inside my barn in cardboard box tops. 

Cleaning
When the bulbs have dried for about 3 weeks, the leaves and roots can be trimmed off the bulbs. Any loose skin can be peels off of the bulbs. Let the bulbs continue to dry, In another week of two continue to examine the bulbs to peel the loose skin to improve their appearance. The outer layer of skin peels quite easily while they are well dried. Any soft or damaged bulbs should be removed to avoid spoiling the other good bulbs. I plant the damaged bulbs right away and find often some of them will grow to become part of next seasons crop. I do one final cleaning and peeling of the bulbs when I sort them by size. At no time do I use water to clean the bulbs. Shaking off loose dirt and peeling does a good job. See my cleaning video.

Storing
Once the sorting process is complete, I store the shallots in net bags hung in my barn which is normally cool and never freezes. The yellow Dutch shallots store very well and most remain firm. Bags should be checked periodically to remove any that get soft of dried up. 


Eating
Shallots can be used like onions. Usually they are copped finely for addition to soups, fish, or other dishes. There are many videos of Youtube showing how to chop shallots. If you never have before, now is the time to try growing and eating shallots.  Your comments are appreciated. Email me.

Health Benefits

1. Shallots can help reduce cholesterol.
Allicin is a compound found in shallots when being sliced. The compound inhibits a reductase enzyme that is produced in the liver to make cholesterol. A lowered cholesterol level can help prevent atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

2. Shallots can help manage your blood pressure.
An increased potassium intake and decreased sodium intake has been linked to a lowered blood pressure. When the method is used in conjunction with the action of allicin, which releases nitric oxide, the blood pressure is significantly reduced. One hundred grams of shallots contains 334 milligrams of potassium and only 12 milligrams of sodium.

3. Shallots can help improve heart health.
The recommended 4700 milligrams (mg) of potassium are not obtained by many individuals in the United States, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, despite the benefits of increased potassium intake. One study suggested that individuals who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (approximately 1000 mg per day).

Also, shallots possess an anticoagulant called allicin. This can peripheral vascular diseases, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

4. Shallots can help increase blood circulation.
Shallots contain more iron and copper than onions. These minerals help increase the blood’s circulation by stimulating red blood cell production. More red blood cells are correlated with more oxygen, encouraging cell regrowth, healing, and metabolism.

5. Shallots can help individuals with type 2 diabetes manage sugar.
The fiber content in shallots can ensure a slow release of sugar into the blood. Also, allium and allyl disulfide possess anti-diabetic properties, which can help keep their blood sugar levels under control.

6. Shallots can help aid your brain cells performing better.
Vitamins and minerals like pyridoxine can help stimulate the release the neurotransmitter GABA. This helps individuals maintain low-stress levels and relax the mind. Also, shallots are a good source of folate. Folate has been known to reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline.

7. Shallots can help your eye sharp and healthy.
Shallots are rich in vitamin A with 24 percent of the daily recommended need per serving. Vitamin A is known for improving your eyesight and preventing night blindness from developing as we age.

Tips

1. Put shallots in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to chopping to get tare free results.

2. Remove flowers to force plants to make better tubers.




Shallot Links
Wikipedia
Chopping shallots - youtube
types of shallots
Tips for growing shallots
Roasting shallots in their skins
Shallot.com








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Pictures above illustrate a 1.5 lb shallot I grew in 2012. I have never been able to even come close to growing such a monster again. I try every year. 
Above is a comparison picture of the sizes I sell at Shallots - Sales
click icon above to see shallot care information mailed with all orders.