September 2015
  
We hope you've harvested a veritable bounty of onions this season. How do you plan to use them?

As far as we're concerned, there's no such thing as too many onions. There's no other vegetable that can be prepared numerous ways, adding a variety of tastes and textures to meals. 
 
Fresh, sliced onions may be the most common choice for salads, burgers, and dips, but there are loads of other delicious options too. For instance:
 
Easy Grilling
Nothing beats a grilled onion as a side, or to top some fish or meat. You can use a favorite grilling recipe, or simply put a peeled onion in foil with some butter, salt, pepper, and spices as desired. Cook on a grill, or in your oven until the onion is soft -- about half an hour.
 
Ready-to-Cook Onion Rings
The best onion rings are those made with your own homegrown onions. You can easily freeze some rings now to fry later. To do so, follow these steps:
  • Wash, peel, and slice the onions into rings.
  • Blanch them in boiling water for 10-15 seconds.
  • Cool, drain, and coat with onion ring batter.
  • Arrange the rings in a single layer on a tray.
  • Freeze them.
  • Put them into containers or plastic bags, separating the layers of rings with plastic.
  • Label the bags with the date, and refreeze.
When you want to fry some, just thaw them and fry in 375-degree oil until golden brown.
 
Caramelizing
The caramelization (browning) of onions turns their flavor sweet. We have a very quick and easy recipe for caramelizing onions featured in our Cooking With Onions section below. Caramelized onions can be used in pasta dishes, to sweeten hummus -- and even in desserts!

Pickling
You can easily pickle some onions by mixing half a cup of apple cider vinegar with a tablespoon of sugar, a teaspoon and a half of salt, and one cup of water in a bowl, whisking the solid ingredients until they dissolve. Then thinly slice an onion, place the rings in a bowl, and cover them with the pickling mixture. They should last about two weeks in the refrigerator. Tuck them into sandwiches, use them as a condiment, or toss them into salads. Their crunchy texture and piquant flavor will perk up almost any dish.
 
Spicing Things Up
You can also turn some of your storage onions into a fine powder to add pizzazz to meals for months to come (sweet onions have too much water content to powder). First, peel and finely chop some onions and spread them on a cookie sheet. Heat them in an oven at 150 degrees, until they are dried and crumbly; this can take several hours. Alternately, you can use a food dehydrator. Either way, put the cooled pieces in a food processor, coffee grinder, or spice mill and grind to get them to a powdery consistency. Then store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can use it to spice up soups, stews, and dips. It makes a great rub for meats, too.  

Freezing
To prepare onions for freezing, peel the onions, rinse them under water, and blanch them until their centers are heated -- about three minutes for small onions, and up to seven minutes for larger ones. If you choose to freeze the onions in pieces rather than whole, use the small-onion blanching time as a guide.
 
Drain and cool your blanched onions to room temperature. Arrange them on cookie sheets, and place them in the freezer. Once they're frozen, put them in plastic bags labeled with the date, and then back into the freezer. 

Once frozen, onions aren't recommended for eating raw because of their mushy consistency. However, they can be cooked in many delicious recipes.  Caramelized onions can also be frozen in plastic zipper bags for later use if they're not used right away. 
 
Endless Options
There are so many ways to enjoy your onions, so cook some now and save some for later. Freeze them, make onion powder, pickle or caramelize them. Onions are so versatile -- time to get slicing, drying, grilling, and frying!

Here's to delicious onion dishes,  


Jeanie and Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
Spotlight on Longtime Customers
Jeremy Mayneland is 71 years young, and has been a vegetable farmer for most of his life. He's also been a Dixondale customer since 1998. Jeremy has grown Dixondale reds, Sweet Spanish, and whites over the years. His onions are sold at his farm stand, mid-July through October. He sells all the colors to appeal to different customer preferences.
 
And indeed that approach has worked very well. The onions are a sell-out every year. This year in particular, demand has been very strong for onions.
 
To visit his Illinois Mayneland Farm Web site, go to Maynelandfarm.com. You'll find onions, seasonal vegetables, berries, and other tempting items for sale.
 
We thank you, Jeremy, for being a loyal customer and good friend! 

 
 
Featured Products
Harvest Aids
Mesh Netting

The best way to store onions is in mesh netting like the kind pictured here. Just drop in an onion, tie a knot above it, drop in another, and continue the process until the netting is full. Hang it up in a cool, dry place, and you're sitting pretty.


We also offer orange mesh storage bags in three sizes that are light, strong, and provide the ventilation your onions need to stay fresh.


Pick up an onion caliper tool, so you can measure your onions and brag about how big they were this season!

From Our Friends
Dixondale customer Janie Eilers reports the sad news of her husband Charles' death at the end of last year. Mrs. Eilers sent us this photo and message: 



"Charles so loved gardening and the joys it brought him as we worked side-by-side. Our dog (pictured in the photo) is named Jedi. He loved Charles, and would follow him on his rounds when Charles was plowing our fields."

Janie, we're very sad to hear about Charles -- he will certainly be missed. Thank you so much for sending us the photo.
Visiting a Fair or Festival?
Share Your Onion Award Photos!
There are many state, county, and local fairs held in the fall. Are you planning to attend one?  
 
If you are, please take some of your Dixondale onions and a camera with you, in case you enter a competition. We would love to publish photos of you and your prize-winning onions in an upcoming newsletter.
Around the Farm
Fine Gardening Magazine Features Dixondale Farms
We were so pleased that our friends at Fine Gardening magazine asked us to contribute an article to a recent issue. In case you missed it, they've posted it on their Web site:  " The Secret to Big Homegrown Onions. " Thanks, Fine Gardening !

Another Successful DGA Conference
Last month, several of us Dixondale folks attended the Direct Gardening Association Conference held in Philadelphia, PA. There were many informative presentations and panelist discussions, and we had a great time.  
 
 
Despite the long trip from Texas, we're still smiling as we arrive at the hotel in Philadelphia. Left to right: Jeanie Frasier, Bruce "Onionman" Frasier, Bonnie Hernandez, Brian King, Emily Lord, and Mary Caddell.
Cooking with Onions

Caramelized Onions

  • 3 pounds yellow onions
  • Cooking spray, as needed
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Halve and slice onions. Coat 12-inch skillet with cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook onions in oil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soft and golden. Stir in thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Serve warm or cover and chill for up to 5 days. Makes 12 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Dixondale Farms; click here for more delicious recipes. If you have an onion recipe you'd like us to print, email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.
Q & A: Using Previously Frozen Onions
Q. What kind of recipes can be used for frozen onions after they thaw?    

A. If you've stored some of your onions in the freezer for later use, you can incorporate them into any "cooked food" recipes. Onions that have been thawed are too mushy to be eaten raw. How about a mouth-watering recipe for Slow Cooker Chili?
All Your Questions Answered
We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click the link for information on when to order your onions and how to find your frost and freeze dates, as well as for tips on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing them.

You can also print our electronic Planting Guide, or download a PDF version for easy reference.

And be sure to review our short videos, on topics ranging from bolting and fertilizing, to how onion plants are harvested, and how they deal with cold weather.
Fun Onion Facts
Did you know that four states have a sweet onion as their state vegetable? Namely...Georgia: Sweet Vidalia onion; Texas: Texas sweet onion; Utah: Spanish sweet; Washington: Walla Walla sweet. Considering that only 14 states have official state vegetables, that's quite a showing!
About Dixondale Farms

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, request a catalog, or for growing tips and cultural information, visit our Web site. We're also available from 8:15 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us at customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

 

Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success.

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We're extremely honored to be part of the New Holland Agriculture Smart series with Agro Equipment. Check us out in action at https://youtu.be/2YFaYuXYN3w.
 
We're on Pinterest too! Check out our pins , which cover every aspect of onion-growing -- including photos and stories from fellow growers, how-to articles, and a wide variety of guidance for growing the best onions ever.