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Onions for Good Measure

I would be remiss if I did not include oni0ns on my list of vegetables that may be planted in March. Really, when it comes to vegetables, is there anything quite as versatile as the onion? My wife and I have prepared and eaten baked, boiled, raw, steamed, pickled, creamed, dried, stir-fried, and french fried onions. We think they’re delicious in every application.

Really, the options are practically endless when it comes to the onion. The only difficult part can be deciding which variety to plant when there are so many from which to choose. My recommendation for planting would be the Yellow of Parma Onion, which is included in the Survival Seed Bank. I saved these seeds from the first year I harvested my crisis garden, and continue to plant them every year with magnificent results. The average size of each onion I harvest in the summer is a full pound! Their large round shape and golden color make them just right for all of the applications listed above.

A major added bonus when it comes to onions is their medicinal value. If you have kids, you probably already know how common it is for them to suffer from earaches and infections. The onion is one of the fastest and most effective treatments for an ear infection. This is because an earache is typically caused by inflammation and swelling, and onions contain powerful compounds that work quickly to reduce this swelling, as well as a natural antiseptic that promotes healing.

To relieve a child’s earache, all you need to do is take a whole onion and cut it in half. I would recommend keeping the skin on, as this helps to keep the juices in. Layer a soft cloth over the cut side of the onion, and then place this over your child’s ear. This works quickly, sometimes as fast as in just about 20 minutes. If your child complains of the onion smell, you may want to try steaming the onion first, or sprinkling a little bit of lemon juice over the cut side to mask the odor a bit.

Another good way to treat an earache is to take the onion, leave the skin on to hold in the juices, and steam the onion until it is soft. You can then take a little bit of the warm (NOT HOT) onion juice and drop it into your child’s ear with an ear dropper. Just 2 or 3 drops does the trick, then loosely plug the ear with a cotton ball. My kids always hated getting drops in their ears, so I ended up using the poultice method above more frequently than this one. For kids that don’t mind drops, this is a great option and works almost instantly.

If your child’s earache continues, you can repeat the above treatments as frequently as necessary. There is no danger of over-usage, since it is a completely natural and non-drug treatment. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you’re using onions from your garden that are free of pesticides and herbicides!