The original Iwatsuki long onion is a green spring onion species native to the southern part of Saitama Prefecture. The leaf sheath is medium thick, and the leaf blade is rather thin. In particular, the marketability of the sprout shipment is high, and the trust of consumers is strong and has a good reputation. Originally, it is not very cold tolerant, so it is mainly used as sprouts and summer green onions, but it is dormant in winter, so it is also possible to use year-round green onions. Sowing is mainly done in March and September, and direct sowing is also possible from late May to early June. It is recommended to plant the plants in 70 cm wide ridges with slightly wider spacing between plants. Fertilizer is compost and phosphate fertilizer as base fertilizer, and additional fertilizer is applied about four times. Also, it seems that it is necessary to pay particular attention to dryness when cultivating summer crops.
Iwatsuki green onion is a sweet and soft green onion that grows from one to over a dozen. Appearing in the classic Rakugo stories “Tarachine and Enyohaku”, it is a traditional ingredient that has been loved and eaten by the common people since ancient times. However, due to its characteristic softness, the leaves tend to break easily, making it unsuitable for mass display. In the Iwatsuki area, this excellent agricultural product has been produced since the Edo period, mainly along the banks of the Moto-Arakawa River. Green spring onion, which has about 10 stems growing from one stock, is lovely.
Saitama Prefecture’s long onion cultivation seems to have become popular since the early Meiji period. Currently, in 2013, the amount of agricultural output is the number one production area in Japan, and it is one of the representative vegetables of Saitama Prefecture. At that time, the national average production per 100 agricultural workers was 18.32 tons, but Saitama Prefecture produced about 89 tons, more than four times the average. In addition, it seems that since before the Edo period, deep-rooted green onions were cultivated in the Kanto region for eating the white part (leaf sheath), while in the Kansai region, soft green spring onions were cultivated that were edible to the tip of the green leaves. It seems that a food culture was established in which people in the Kanto region ate white and people in the Kansai region ate green. In recent years, due to the movement of people and the development of transportation methods, it seems that Japan’s unique long onion, which is proud of the east and west, has come to be used according to the cooking purpose.