Roots 'n' Shoots: Monsters, Garions and Onlics

Why is RnS Moving to

Google had brought out an algorithm update in May 2017. With previous updates like Panda or Penguin, Mr G had penalized blogs or websites with low quality content and those more focused on aggressive adverts (including multiple ads or pop-up ads in articles). However, many blogs/websites that weren't shady got penalized beyond recovery too and a lot of people lost their income. The May 2017 update has had wide-scale effect on blogs and websites, but without any explanation from Mr G as to why or what it does. RnS has been hit by it too and hard. RnS organic search stats (i.e. users from Google) have dropped by 75% since. Even though RnS is not a source of income, I tried to figure out why RnS is being culled. It seems that it doesn't really have anything to do with RnS per se, but likely because RnS is FREE and not paying for page ranking (via AdWords or Ad Ranking). Now it is likely being aggressively shoved to lower page rankings to accommodate the paid ads.

I cannot rely on Mr G anymore to get RnS' content where it is needed. So I am busy moving RnS to Wordpress where you can find me as Whisker Flowers @

I am also imposing 301 redirects from already moved posts and pages!

- The Shroom - (AKA Whisker Flowers)

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Monsters, Garions and Onlics

I have been growing onions and garlic in the garden for quite some time. The onions have been very successful, although the larger bulbs do take there sweet time to develop. The garlic grows fine, but for some reason I have strange things happening to the garlic come harvest time.

The first odd occurrence came when we planted about 40 Hadeco garlic bulbs in the beginning of 2013. These were all planted outside near the veld where the Alfalfa patch is situated. Garlic also takes its time to develop, so they only received as much attention as the Alfalfa (but, the onions that grew there where fine!). When harvest time came around, the garlic well... had disappeared!!! I mean 40+ bulbs just vanished! We still haven't figured out who or what the garlic monster was, but I decided to then plant them in the main garden lest the Garlic Monster strike again.

Our recent oddity regarding my garlic growing endeavours was when I purchased a bunch of cloves in a brown paper bag, about 10 or so. (I can't remember the manufacturer, when I see them again I'll post it here). I dedicated a pot for them and they grew very happily for a few months. Harvest time came round again and I was grossly disappointed, many of the bulbs had hardly developed and others seemed more... oniony...

The minute garlic cloves did not have any proper flavour at all and the oniony ones had such a pungent garlic smell that all vampires would have fled from Ruimsig! Thus investigation into the garlic-onions began...

...We suspected that these garlic-onions are likely the result of garlic x onion hybrids. I have never heard of garlic x onion hybrids before (which I refer to as garions and onlics LOL!) but I have found that there have been attempts to create garlic-onion hybrids for future culinary use. Maybe our bulbs where rejects from the breeding programmes or simply accidents from allium farms, which have lead them to be sold to the unsuspecting home gardener?

I have a link to a patent here that describes the process of establishing a garlic x onion or onion x chive hybrid - Patent US5367111. In this patent the onion (Allium cepa) is the ovum donor and garlic (Allium sativum) is the pollen donor, resulting in a near-intermediate garion/onlic plant. Here is a photo of the one of the garions/onlics from my garden:

Garlic x Onion

The leaves represent that of garlic whereas the bulb is fleshy and layered like an onion. I am not sure about the plants developed from the patent, but these garions and onlics from my garden are definitely not a culinary delight! Alas, I will wait patiently until Hadeco brings out their garlic bulbs in Feb/March to plant once more...

There will be garlic! I will not let Garlic Monsters, Garions or Onlics prevent me from savouring homegrown organic garlic!

[Garlic Monster Picture Credits: Monsters; Aleksandr Obuhov. Garlic; Eric Jewell]

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