We always enjoy seeing your photos and stories about growing onions with your children and grandchildren. Kudos to you for teaching your young ones where their food comes from!
It's also wonderful to see educational environments include more gardening for students. Giving our future generations a chance to help create and care for their food is a lifelong gift, and in this issue, we salute you for it.
Children Learn By Growing
"Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most important events in their lives." - Thomas Berry, Author of
The Dream of the Earth
When children help create and care for plants, they learn many things, including responsibility, independence, teamwork, problem solving, and discovery. They discover more than just the way Mother Nature works; they learn about themselves.
Here are some tips that we find work well for helping kids learn to grow -- both intellectually and in the garden. They're great whether you're growing with your own children or with students.
Start small, figuratively and literally.
Give new growers a small area in which to grow their onion plants, and keep the tasks manageable.
Assign responsibilities: A chart detailing what's expected of everyone is a helpful visual aid. Review this with them periodically to instill confidence in your charges and to reinforce what you expect of them. If you have teens joining your crew, ask them to supervise the young ones which will help generate camaraderie.
Share some of
with your young gardeners, so they can see what some of the onion growth stages look like.
Assure your kids that it's smart to ask questions. Give them short, easily digestible answers.
Record progress: Take photos and videos.Your children will be amazed to see the progress of onion growing from small plant to bulb: their own handiwork. Record these moments as often as you can.
Ask for Harvest Helpers:
Invite some of your kids' friends to help with the harvest, and they will go home with a basket full of fresh onions.
Plan a Cooking Party: Reward the kiddos with a party after your onion crop is dried and ready for kitchen adventures. Include some recipes that young ones can handle. Nothing says success like a celebration!
Success from Start to Finish, and Beyond
Growing onions will teach kids in the most graphic way possible where food comes from and all the effort it takes to grow and harvest it. Their budding relationship with the natural world will help them connect to it, and make them more inclined to continue to treat the Earth with care and wisdom.
Proud parents and first time customers Bill and Anna Lee Munns show off their latest crop of huge Super Star onions. Harrison has spent quite a bit of time in the garden in his short 7 months, proving it's never too soon to get growing.
We especially like Harrison's onion-themed onesie.
Thanks for sharing, Bill and Anna Lee!
Send Us Your Photos
We enjoy receiving photos from our customers, including those of award-winning Dixondale onions. We'd love to publish yours in an upcoming newsletter. Just e-mail your onion photos to
along with a description and your city. You
may see one or more of your photos in a future newsletter or even in our print catalog next year!
Cooking With Onions
Asian Plum Onion Chutney
- 3 cups chopped yellow onion (2 to 3 medium onions)
- 3 cups chopped red onion (2 to 3 medium onions)
- 8 cups fresh plums (3 to 3-1/2 pounds), 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup candied ginger, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup hoisin sauce (7 ounces)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons salt
Combine all ingredients in large pot. Cover and bring to boil. Uncover and boil gently 30 minutes or until thickened and glossy, stirring occasionally. Pour hot chutney into sterilized jars and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or can using USDA canning guidelines for longer storage.
Makes about 5-1/2 pints.
We were fortunate to receive a good rain several weeks ago that helped pre-irrigate our ground for the upcoming season. It's rare for us to receive that much rain in August here in South Texas. That rain has helped kick our 2017 crop off to a great start!
It looks like we've got a pretty good germination rate this year, so we'll have plenty of your favorite varieties.
Our first shipping week of the season is November 7 and will be here before we know it. If you haven't already started planning your 2017 onion patch, now is a good time to start. Catalogs will be hitting your mailboxes in October.
The Next Generation
We have some talented kids coming along in the latest generation of the Dixondale family. Here's Makayla Cantu (in fuchsia), daughter of Customer Service Representative Melissa Romo. Makayla is currently in 7th grade and plays the clarinet in the school band.
Alice Diaz, who works in the Shipping Department, has two young ladies to be proud of. Daughter Jennifer Rose Diaz
, senior in High School, is currently Co-Captain of the Color Guard and on the
Dance Team. Granddaughter Blanca Alicia Diaz
is a freshman in High
School. She plays volleyball and is also on the Dance Team.
We're highly encouraged by all the school activities and interests of our young adults!
Q & A: Onion Seed Origins
Q. How is onion seed produced?
There are two methods of producing onion seed: seed-to-seed production and bulb-to-seed production. Bulb-to-seed is the preferred method, as it's much easier to select desired traits and ensure seed quality. S
eed-to-seed production is much cheaper, though.
Bolting (flower production) is essential for seed production. The onion plant's leaf bases have to be bigger than 3/8" before the onion will flower. In order for the seed stalk to even appear, the plant needs a period of "vernalization," or temperature between 45-55º F. The seed stalks will then grow as spring temperatures rise, followed by the process of flowering, pollination, and seed production.
All Your Questions Answered
|We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click the link for information on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing onions.
And be sure to review our short videos on Facebook. Topics range from fertilizing and dealing with cold weather to how onion plants are harvested. You can view these videos even if you don't have a Facebook account.
As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in the U.S., Dixondale Farms offers a wide selection of top-quality, disease-free, ready-to-plant onion plants. To see our complete product line or get growing tips and cultural information, visit our
New customer? Get on our 2017 catalog mailing list by clicking
. Catalogs will be mailed in fall 2016.
We're available from 8:15 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us at
Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success.
We invite you to join the community on our
. You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, photos, recipes, weather information, and other tips.
And don't forget to find us on
and subscribe to our videos where Bruce will guide you on selecting the right onion variety, applying fertilizer, the best weed control options, and more.
We're on Pinterest too. Check out
which include photos covering small space onion gardens, tasty onion recipes, planting tips, and more.
You can also join us on
, a photo community where we're sharing even more Dixondale photos.