In this issue...
A Quick Survey
Featured Products
From Our Friends
Around the Farm
Cooking With Onions
Onion Q&A: Refrigerating Onions
Fun Onion Facts
All Your Questions Answered
About Dixondale Farms
Join Us on Facebook!
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Preserving Your Onions

August 2014



Judging by the comments we received, last month's recipe newsletter was one of our most popular ever. So we thought we'd continue with the culinary theme this month and offer suggestions on how to preserve your onions for months more of enjoyment.


This goes above and beyond the longevity of normal storage onions. In fact, you don't have to depend on storage onions at all for the following methods.


Freezing Fresh Onions

Freezing is an excellent preservation method for your fresh onions. After you thaw them, cook them to enhance soups, stews, and salsa. They can't be consumed raw. To prepare for freezing, start by peeling the onions, then rinse them under water, and blanch them until their centers are heated. This usually takes 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.


Once your onions are blanched, let them drain and cool to room temperature. Then 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 back into the freezer.


Ready-to-Cook Onion Rings

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, then put them into containers or plastic bags, separating the rings with plastic. Label the bags with the date, and refreeze. Whenever you're ready to enjoy some delicious onions rings, just thaw them, and fry them in 375 degree oil until golden brown.


Dried Onion Powder

Onion powder makes an excellent spice, especially for meats, soups, and stews. Start by finely chopping your peeled onions, then spread the pieces on a cookie sheet. Heat them at 150� in your oven, or in a food dehydrator, until they're dried and crumbly.


Once you've allowed the dried onion fragments to cool, grind them in a food processor, spice mill, or even a coffee grinder until they're powdery enough for your taste. You can then store the powder in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can also freeze the powder.


Pickling Onions

Pickled onions will easily keep in the refrigerator for at least two weeks, and they sure are delicious! Just mix 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.


After letting them sit at room temperature for an hour, cover the bowl, and put your pickled onions in the refrigerator. Let them cool, and you'll have a tasty treat!


Easy Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions make a savory addition to many dishes. The caramelization ("browning") of the onions turns their flavor sweet.


There are countless recipes that include caramelized onions, from using them as a poultry topping, in pasta dishes, to sweetening hummus -- even in desserts, such as caramelized chocolate cake (this month's featured recipe). And caramelizing onions is easy! You can visit our recipe list for a good recipe, or find one on the Internet. After they're caramelized, you can put them in plastic zipper bags, and store them in the freezer. They'll defrost quickly for later use. 


Enjoying Onions Long After Harvest

There are so many ways to enjoy your onion harvest, so why not put some aside for later? Freeze some, make some onion powder, pickle them, or caramelize them. Not only will you be able to extend the life of your onions, but you can also experiment with some fun and unusual recipes. Follow the tips we've outlined here, and you'll be able to put away for later enjoyment everything you can't give away or sell.


Want to learn more about preserving your onions and other veggies? Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more tips.


Happy preserving,



Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

A Quick Survey

For Highlander and Red River Growers


We'd appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to tell us your growing experiences with our two new onion varieties - Highlander and Red River. If you grew either one of these this past season, we would really like to hear from you.


Just click on this link and answer a few questions.


We always appreciate feedback from you on your growing experiences. That's how we're able to provide the best producing onions year after year. We look forward to your responses!

Mesh Netting Featured Products 
Storage Aids


Don't forget: we sell supplies to make storing your onions much easier. 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. 
You'll also need an onion caliper tool, so you can measure your onions and brag about how big they were this season. 

From Our Friends 

Family Tradition


James R. of Sesser, Illinois sent us this picture, along with the following message: "Here's a picture of my granddaughters, Maddi and Klaire, out helping bring in the onions."


Adorable grandkids and beautiful onions -- what a great combination! Here at Dixondale Farms, we've always prided ourselves on being a family operation, and we love to see it when other families share the enjoyment of growing and harvesting our onions.


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


Back in mid-June, we were invited to come into the two Austin, Texas Fiesta Mart locations, and have a meet and greet with the customers who purchased our Carrizo cantaloupes. 


This photo shows Becca Frasier and Jeanie Frasier giving out samples of cantaloupe from the recent Dixondale harvest at one of the Fiesta locations. Bill and Pam Martin, Jeanie's brother and sister-in-law, represented us at another Fiesta location across town.


All in all, it was a very successful event that earned lots of converts and sold plenty of our cantaloupes!

Cooking with Onions
Caramelized Secret Chocolate Cake
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 c. finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 c. vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. milk, soured with 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • Easy Fudge Icing (recipe follows)

Melt chocolate in saucepan, stirring over low heat, or in microwave oven. Caramelize onions by saut�ing them over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes in 2 Tbsp. oil in skillet until soft. In a large bowl, beat remaining oil with sugar, eggs, and vanilla until thoroughly mixed and fluffy, about 2 or 3 minutes.


Beat in warm melted chocolate and caramelized onions. Mix flour with baking soda and salt; stir into batter alternately with milk. Divide batter evenly into 2 well-greased and floured 8-inch round layer cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until a pick inserted into center comes out dry. Cool 15 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to thoroughly cool. Spread on icing. Makes 12 servings.


Easy Fudge Icing: Melt 8 ounces unsweetened chocolate with 1/2 c. butter in saucepan, stirring often over very low heat. Mix in 1/2 c. hot water, then turn into mixing bowl. Beat in about 5 c. powdered sugar, a portion at a time (adjust as needed to make a good consistency). Quickly fill and frost cake while icing is still warm. If some icing gets too cool to spread easily, place it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave briefly, until softened and lustrous. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.


Recipe courtesy of Dixondale Farms. If you have a recipe you'd like us to print, email it to

Q&A: Ordering for Next Season


Q. When can I start ordering onions for the next growing season?


A. You can start ordering our onion plants beginning November 1, 2014. From that date on, order any time during the growing season, and we'll ship on your requested date.

You'll receive your catalog sometime in November, which can help with ordering decisions. Let us know if you want us to add a friend or neighbor to the mailing list!

Fun Onion Facts


If you're into onions for their food value, as most of us are, you may be surprised to learn that there are such things as ornamental onions that people grow just for their flowers! While they do produce bulbs, it's the deer- and rodent-resistant fuchsia, lavender, pink, purple, yellow, and white blooms that are the attractor factor here.


The Globemaster variety, for example, grows up to three feet high before producing hundreds of little purple star-shaped flowers grouped in a cluster the size of a softball. The late-blooming Jeanine produces bright yellow flower clusters two inches across, while the Ambassador yields deep purple flowers up to four inches across.


Needless to say, the bulbs aren't edible by the time the flowers bloom, because the flowers use up the nutrients that would normally provide the onion's flavor.

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. 

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.


Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success. We've posted answers to frequently asked questions about growing onions on our FAQ page. You can also go to the Learn section of our Web site for growing guides. And of course, we're also available from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us any time at

Facebook Icon Join Us on Facebook!


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.


If you're curious about our summer crop, cantaloupes, take a look at this picture from mid-June. This is how many cantaloupes we harvest every 30 minutes. They're all hand-harvested, graded, and packed. This variety is called "Navigator."

phone: 877-367-1015