December 2016

 
  

Have you ever wondered what makes some onions
sweeter than others? You might be surprised to discover that it's not  natural sugars, as all onions have those. It's other factors that determine  an onion's pungency or lack thereof. Read on to learn more.

We also want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season!

Enjoy,
 
  
Bruce and Jeanie   
What Makes Onions Sweet
Ever wondered what makes an onion sweet? Well, it's basically how much water is in it. Onions contain roughly 90% water. Sweetness in onions is another way of saying that they lack pungency and are relatively mild. Surprisingly, sugars have nothing to do with it. Some pungent onions actually have more sugar in them than sweet onions, but the sugar is masked by a high amount of sulfur compounds. 

Pungency
The primary factor that determines onion sweetness is genetic, relating to the pyruvic acid level. The pyruvic acid content of storage onions ranges from 10-13%, while it is below 5% in sweet onions.
 
Other factors that can affect pungency levels are growing conditions. Triggers such as high temperatures, drought, and insects will increase the pungency, thereby decreasing the sweetness.
 
Sulphur Content
All onions need sulphur for proper growth, but sweet ones contain far less sulphur than pungent onions. The low amount of sulphur compounds in sweet onions allows the sugar flavor to come
through. Sulphur helps the plants take up nitrogen, and fight off pests and disease. Most of the onion's sulphur uptake occurs late in the season during bulb growth.
 
For healthy onion production, apply sulphur three times during the growth phase using ammonium sulfate (21-0-0) at the rate of one cup per 20 feet of row.
 
The Sweet Harvest
The height of sweetness occurs when onions are harvested; over time,  pungency increases. When preparing onions for meals, cut them as close to  cooking time as possible to get the best flavor.

Want to add some sweet onion varieties to your garden? We have yellow, red, and  white choices for all growing areas right here at the farm.
Dixondale featured on TV's State Plate!
In case you missed it, Dixondale Farms was  featured recently on INSP Television's  State Plate !  Host Taylor Hicks visited the farm to help our Emily Lord prepare one of our signature onion dishes, which they then enjoyed on the air. 



During the show, several facts were mentioned including that Dixondale Farms grows and ships over 800 million onion plants every year. That's a whole lot of onion plants! 
 
In one of the more memorable moments, Emily told Taylor that our 1015Y Texas Super Sweet
onions are sweet as apples -- and when he bit into the onion, he agreed. Check out more from the Texas State Plate episode
here .
 
Here's the recipe Emily and Taylor prepared and cooked together: our  Sweet Onion Casserole!

Ingredients:
  • 5 large sweet onions halved or sliced
  • ½ cup of butter
  • ½ cup crushed butter-flavored crackers (about 12 crackers)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions: 
 

In a large skillet, saute onions in butter until tender. Place half of onions in a greased 2-qt. baking dish; sprinkle with half of the cracker crumbs and cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

 

Yield: 8-10 servings.

From Our Friends
Josef Pociask of Christianburg, Virginia reports:
 
"Here is a photo of your Candy and Super Star onions grown in the mountains of Virginia. This is JJ with some of our bounty. Thanks again. Keep up the good work ."
 
 
 
What a wonderful crop, Josef! We hope you and your family enjoy them!
Q&A: Ordering Onion Plants
Q. When should I order my onion plants?
 
A.  You can order your onion plants  whenever you like, and we'll ship on your requested ship week. If you're ordering from our catalog, your customer number is located on the back cover above or beside your name on the mailing label. Payment is required when your order is placed so that your plants will be reserved for you on the week you requested.
Featured Products: Onion Growing Success Kits
We now offer Onion Growing Success Kits so you have products ready for each phase of an onion's growing cycle. Each kit treats approximately 10 bunches and includes step-by-step growing instructions to ensure bumper crops in the onion patch.
 
Onion Growing Success Kit
We've gathered our products to help make you a successful onion grower!  $59.95;  SAVE 20%
 
* Start plants out and establish root systems with our exclusive Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10 fertilizer.
* Perform pre-emergent weed control at planting time with Treflan Herbicide Granules.
* Boost nitrogen levels with Ammonium Sulfate three weeks after planting for more rings and larger bulbs.
* Use Mancozeb Fungicide with Zinc to control moisture-related issues.

All Natural Onion Growing Success Kit
Grow a healthy onion crop using all natural products in our All Natural Onion Growing Success Kit!  $62.95;  SAVE 20%
 
* Our exclusive Dixondale Farms All Natural Weed & Feed 3-5-3 is perfect for pre-emergent herbicide prevention of weed germination and also feeds the onion with the exact micronutrients it requires.
* Applying  OmegaGrow Foliar Feed two weeks after planting adds nitrogen to soil for top results.
Oxidate Organic Fungicide Preventative and Curative addresses moisture-related issues.
AzaGuard Organic Insecticide controls onion thrips and onion maggots which are two of the most detrimental insects to onion crops.
Cooking With Onions
Canning Onions

One way to preserve your onions long-term is to can them. Canning is a great option if you have a big harvest and want to save some of your onions for later savoring. This is a staightforward, tried-and-true method of preservation.
  • 12 large onions
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 24 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons steak sauce
  • 2 teaspoon salt 
Sauté onions in melted butter in frying pan or pot. In a separate pot, make the broth starting with your water/beef base or beef broth. Add all ingredients, stir and bring to boil. Can your soup by adding 2 scoops of onions to the bottom of each canning jar and ladling your broth over it. Process quarts at 10 pounds pressure for 75 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe provided by The Kneady Homesteader If you have an onion recipe you'd like us to share, please email it to customerservice@dixondalefarms.com
Around the Farm
Our Dixondale Farms crews are busy at  the farm, in the packing shed, and in the office, all getting onion plant  orders out to our customers. We'd like to introduce you to our hardworking crews. Let's start with folks in the packing shed who ensure you get the plants you ordered.
 

  
 
Left to Right - Back Row - (white hoodie) - Noe Granados, Brandon Olvera, Lucas Olvera Jr., Jose Flores, Jorge Deluna, and Guadalupe Mendoza (red shirt).

Front Row - (green hoodie) - Nathaniel Rodriguez, Jason Olvera, Olga DeLaCruz, Librado Ledesma, Marivel Garza, and April Garcia. 
 
Here is our incredible farm crew. These folks stay busy planting, watering, and keeping the onions healthy for our customers.
 
 
 
Left to right, these gentlemen are: Freddy Martinez, Chano Martinez, Julian Lopez, Tim Ortegon, Efrain Bazan, and Buck Lopez.
 
Below is our fabulous office team.
 
 
 
Left to right - Back row - Emily Lord, Aby Samaniego, Bonnie Hernandez, Rose Hernandez, Mary Caddell, Melissa Romo, and Jeanie Frasier.

Front Row - Janice Carrillo and Alicia Diaz. 
 
We all wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Onion Plant Ordering and Shipping

Contact us at 830-876-2430 or visit our Web site to make your onion plant purchases.  To see when your plants will ship, visit our shipping page  and enter the first three digits of your Zip Code.
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? Order your 2017 catalog here. We're available from 8:15 AM to 5:00 PM CT at 830-876-2430, 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.