August 2016
 
  
There's only one thing better than harvesting fresh onions: eating them! Reward yourself for your great growing season by enjoying an onion raw, sautéed, grilled, or even pickled.
 
We've sampled more onion recipes than ever and want to share our all-time favorites with you. Have a look at these tempting delights.
 
Bon Appetit,
 
 
Jeanie and Bruce 
Our Favorite Onion Recipes
 
"Banish (the onion) from the kitchen and the pleasure flies with it. Its presence lends color and enchantment to the most modest dish; its absence reduces the rarest delicacy to hopeless insipidity, and dinner to despair." -- Elizabeth Robbins Pennell, American columnist.
 
Yes, indeed, the onion jazzes up every meal. So, make sure your fresh harvest is included in as many dishes as possible!
   
Easy Pickled Onions

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1½ teaspoons Kosher salt

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Place onion in a jar or bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over the onion, and let it sit covered in the refrigerator. Preferably for at least 1 day. If you are in a rush, let it sit covered at room temperature for at least an hour. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator.
 
Use pickled onions to top tacos, nachos, sandwiches, salads, and more!
 
Fried Onion Rings

3 large onions
Cold water
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon oil
Oil for deep frying

Peel the onions and cut them into half-inch slices, then separate them into rings before refrigerating them in a container of cold water for half an hour. Once they've cooled, drain the rings well. If necessary, pat them dry with a cloth; the batter won't stick to wet onion rings. Then mix together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and the tablespoon of oil, and beat the batter mixture until it's smooth. Batter the onion rings thickly before deep frying them in the hot oil at about 375 degrees F, until they're golden brown on each side. This should take 4-5 minutes. Drain the onion rings on paper towels. Makes about 4 servings.
 
Sweet Onion Casserole  

5 large sweet onions, halved and sliced
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 12)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, sauté onions in butter until tender. Place half of onions in a greased two-quart baking dish; sprinkle with half the cracker crumbs and cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Makes 8-10 servings.
 
Hearty French Onion Soup  

2 tablespoons butter
3 large onions, peeled, sliced, separated into rings
2 cans condensed beef broth
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup seasoned croutons
1 cup shredded mozzarella or Swiss cheese
 
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat, then add the onions and cook them for 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add the broth, two soup cans worth of water, and the steak sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes. Preheat your oven's broiler, then ladle the soup evenly into four large, ovenproof bowls. Top them with the croutons and cheese. Broil the soup for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Delicious Dishes
These are just a few of the dishes we love in which onions play a major role. There are so many more, so keep your eyes peeled for the Cooking With Onions section of this newsletter in the following months. There's always something tasty cooking in our kitchen, and our own onions are part of what makes it so good!
 
Special thanks to  SharedAppetite.com for the Easy Pickled Onions recipe and photo; Taste of Home for the  Sweet Onion Casserole  recipe and photo; and the  National Onion Association for the photos of Fried Onion Rings and Hearty French O nion soup.
From Our Friends
Curtis from Cullman, Alabama reports, "These are the onions I grew this year. I have the Texas Legend, Texas Super Sweet and Candy. This is a picture of the Candy onions. They're the best I have ever grown. Thank you, Dixondale! I'll definitely plant more. The size of these onions is a real eye opener, and I would advise anyone to get their plants from Dixondale Farms."


 
Thanks for the endorsement, Curtis! It's obvious you lavished your onions with TLC and ended up with an excellent crop. Keep up the good work!

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  customerservice@dixondalefarms.com 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!
Products for Healthy Onions
Harvest and Storage Aids
Once you've harvested your onions, they'll need to be stored until you're ready to eat them. Here are a few products that will help you keep them fresh.

Onion Shears: You can clip your onions like a professional onion harvester with these shears.

Ergonomically designed for quick and easy removal of roots and onion leaves, our shears also work on all other alliums, including garlic and our own Lancelot Leeks. They'll help ensure you enjoy your harvest for months by making it easier to prepare your onions for storage.
  
Mesh Netting
Mesh Netting:
The best way to store onions is in mesh netting. Drop in an onion, tie a knot above it, drop in another, and continue until the netting is full. Hang the netting up in a cool, dry place, and your onions will stay fresh.  

When you want an onion, cut below the lowest knot and take the onion that drops off. The nets are a great storage solution, as they keep onions well-ventilated, and disease (if any) can't travel from onion to onion. 

Storage Bags: If you grow onions in quantity, like so many of our customers do,  our orange mesh storage bags are ideal -- especially if you're planning to sell your onions.

storage bag The bags provide ventilation, and they're light but also strong. They're available in three sizes, with the 10 and 50 pound sizes recommended for larger producers.

You can purchase our storage bags individually or in bulk. They're $2.50 each, but if you buy ten or more, they're just $2.00 each. And as with all products at Dixondale Farms, we don't add shipping charges. 
  
Onion Caliper: With this onion caliper tool, you can accurately determine the size of your crop:

Super Colossal: 4-1/4 inches and up
Colossal: 3-3/4 inches and up
Jumbo: 3 inches and up
Medium: 2-1/4 inches to 3-1/4 inches
Prepack: 1-3/4 inches to 2-3/4 inches
Boiler: 1 to 1-7/8 inches

We're selling this handy tool for $4.99. It's great to use at farmers' markets or for bragging rights with other onion growers!  
Around the Farm
Our DGA Conference Visit
Some of the Dixondale Farms staff traveled to the Direct Gardening Association Summer Conference in St. Louis July 24-29. The conference provided remarkable networking and insight from others in our industry. 

Not only did we come back with a wealth of knowledge, but the trip to St. Louis was great! We're now ready to apply some of the things we learned and start preparing for the upcoming 2016-2017 onion transplant season.
Q & A: What Should I Plant Next?

Q.  What crops should I plant when onion season is over? 
   
A.  We recommend something very different from onions, something that is completely non-related. As you may know, we grow cantaloupes during the off-season. This is one way to practice crop rotation and  to   help keep diseases and pests from getting established. Often, the bugs that eat one kind of plant won't like those completely unrelated. Turnips and rutabagas are great second season crops, as well as greens like mesclun, lettuce, and arugula.
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.  

You can also read our electronic Planting Guide or download and print a PDF guide (which includes leeks). 

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.
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 or get growing tips and cultural information, visit our Web site .

New customer? Get on our 2017 catalog mailing list by clicking here. 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 customerservice@dixondalefarms.com .

Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success.
Join Us on Social Media!
We invite you to join the community on our  Facebook page . You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, photos, recipes, weather information, and other tips. 
 
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And don't forget to find us on  YouTube 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 our Pins which include photos covering small space onion gardens, tasty onion recipes, planting tips, and more.

 

You can also join us on Instagram, a photo community where we're sharing even more Dixondale photos.