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There is information on Onions and onions as a Biennial from the Seed TOPIC in the Food section of Troubled Times.  

Prefers full sun; sandy, rich, acidic(low pH) soil; long growing season; tolerates wind. Some varieties of onions are perennials. Most are biennials. You can speed up the process with onions if you plant the seed indoors in the fall and let them grow until they have started to form little bulbs. Then you pull them and bundle them. Put them in the vegetable drawer in the fridge and make sure they stay moist enough to stay alive. Check them every couple of days to make sure they are not wilting and/or molding. Once the outside temp is above freezing most nights you put the onion plants in the ground and they will definitely go to seed in that season!
1998 Observations
Growers Nancy and Mitchel found onion germinated but died off inexplicably in non-acid soil. Grower Nancy found that Scallions were not as sensitive to pH and flourished.