August 2015
New Header 100 Straight
  

Want to enjoy homegrown onions for months? Proper harvesting, curing and storage are key. Keep these tips in mind:

 

Harvesting

  • Onions are fully mature when the tops start to turn brown and fall over. 
  • Harvest your onions on a day when no rain is forecast, and let them dry in the sun. 
  • Lay the tops of one row over the bulbs of another, to protect the bulbs from sunscald.
  • If it starts to rain, let them dry in a shed or garage, or on your porch. 

Curing 

  • Don't remove the thin, outer skins of the onions; they help maximize storage time. 
  • Lay the onions out in a cool, dry place with good air circulation until they're cured.
  • Curing may take up to 2-3 weeks. 
  • When you can pinch the neck and it doesn't slip, an onion is ready for storage. 
  • Curing is complete when the outer skin is papery and a uniform color.  

Storing

  • Store your onions in a cool, dark place with good air circulation; a fan set on low will help.
  • Do not store onions with potatoes, which emit moisture.
  • Mesh bags and mesh netting are great for keeping onions aerated.  
  • Check your onions regularly, and discard any that have gone soft or started to rot.
  • Don't let a decaying or diseased onion touch another, because the decay will spread.
  • Don't store cut or bruised onions; use them right away.

Follow these harvest and storage tips, and you can be enjoying onions well into the winter!

 

Here's to delicious onions, 


signature
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

Spotlight on Longtime Customers

Over the years, Sonya and Ray Berry have shared many onion crop photos that feature them with their beautiful Akita dog, Kimo. The photo below, of their 2011 crop, landed them on the cover of our annual catalog. In addition, we've featured their granddaughter Petra, grandson Cyril, and Nemo, who is like a goddaughter to them, in both the newsletter and catalog.     

 

 

 

The Berrys grow Intermediate Day onions such as Candy, Super Star, and Red Candy Apple. Here's their 2013 Intermediate Sampler crop (below).

 

 

Their whole family recently came together to celebrate a wonderful wedding. 

 

 

  

Congratulations, Ray and Sonya, on your beautiful family -- and your onion-growing prowess!

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
Wonderful Wyoming Onions

This month's featured customers are Suzanne and Raymond Lemay of Basin, WY. Customers since 2001, the Lemays have always grown Long Day varieties -- and it looks like they've done very well with them!  

 

 

Suzanne writes about the picture above, "This was part of our harvest in 2014. Raymond is holding up the rest of the Ringmasters. We were taking them in to dry out. Great onion for Wyoming, and are huge onions that store well."  

 

What an excellent crop. Thank you for sending in your photo, Suzanne and Raymond!

 

Got some onion-related photos to share? Click here for submission tips. You just might see your photo in a future newsletter!

 

Calling All Onion Prize Winners

 

Please send us photos of your prizewinning  Dixondale onions from state, county, and local fairs, festivals, and other events.  Be sure to include your ribbons in your shot, and tell us your full name, the event and year, and the kind of onions that won  you   your prize. Before long, you may see them featured in a future newsletter!
Around the Farm
Our 2015 T-Ball Team

Dixondale has been honored to sponsor the Astros T-Ball team for many years now. These 3- to 5-year-olds just completed another great season. To celebrate, team members and their families had a swim party at a local swimming pool. 

 

 

In the picture are: Coach Roy, Coach Yvonne, and Coach Frankie standing in the back. The back row of kids are Naisha, Aidan, John, Ava, and Eli. Front Row: Matthew, Xavier, Felix, Ethan, Toni, and Alianah. 

 

Way to go, guys! We had a lot of fun this year! 

Cooking with Onions

Party Quesadillas with Jalapeno Jack and Fresh Chard

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion
  • Vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped chard leaves, packed 
  • 4 flour tortillas (8-inch)
  • 1/2 pound jalapeno jack cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Sauté onion in large oiled skillet for about 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Add chard and sauté 1 minute longer. Steam tortillas in steamer or in microwave oven for about 1 minute or just until flexible. Top one half of each tortilla with one quarter of the cheese. Spoon one quarter of the onion-chard mixture on top of cheese. Fold each quesadilla over like a turnover and pat to stay folded. Wipe out skillet, then heat over medium-high heat with a little oil in bottom. Add quesadillas and cook, turning once, until light golden and cheese melts. Cut each quesadilla into 3 or 4 triangles. Arrange on plate, garnish with red pepper, and place in 250 degree oven until ready to serve. Makes 12 to 16 servings.


For more delectable recipes, visit our Web site.  If you have a recipe you'd like us to print, email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

Q & A: Preserving Your Onions
Q:  If I can't store all my onions, how else can I preserve them? 
  

A: You can preserve onions in a variety of ways, including freezing, drying, and even canning. This page from Clemson University describes each process in detail, listing everything you need to know about preserving onions and garlic.

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

Can you name the only drink in which onions are a required ingredient?

 

Give up? It's the Gibson martini. A cocktail that may have been invented as early as the 1850s in California, the recipe calls for a naturally sweet pearl onion pickled in brine containing small amounts of tumeric and paprika. Cary Grant orders one on a train in the classic movie North by Northwest.

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 8:00 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.

Join Us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Join the community of friends and growers on our Facebook page. You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, photos, recipes, weather information, and other tips.  

 

 Facebook Icon 

In fact, now you can put us at the top of your news feed with Facebook's new "See First" feature, so you're the first to get our tips and stories. To learn more, click here.

 

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.