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In this issue...
  • Onion of the Month: Selection Criteria
  • From Our Friends
  • Around the Farm
  • From Jeanie's Kitchen
  • Q&A: Pearl Onions
  • Fun Onion Facts
  • Send Us Your Product Reviews!
  • About Dixondale Farms

  • Affiliations
    MGA
    On Price, Quality and Freshness February 2008

    Bruce & Wife Dear Fellow Gardener,

    As you may already know, we're committed to supplying you with the highest quality onions at affordable prices. We do our best to hold the line on prices from year to year, but sometimes events conspire against us.

    Carrizo Springs, Texas has an ideal climate for growing onions, but unfortunately, we're a fair distance from many of our customers. Because delivery times affect quality, it's important that your onions are delivered as quickly as possible. To expedite your orders, our refrigerated trucks leave our packing house on Saturdays and Sundays and deliver to UPS hubs on Monday morning, keeping the total transit time at 2-4 days.

    All our product prices include shipping as a matter of course, so that you can be aware of the actual cost of your purchase. Unfortunately, we've seen an unprecedented increase in shipping rates in the past year. The rising cost of fuel has had a ripple effect on our costs, and freight costs have skyrocketed.

    Over the past year, UPS fuel surcharges have gone up roughly 20%. In some cases, when it's faster and/or more economical, we ship through the U.S. Postal Service. But their costs have sharply increased as well.

    If you've noticed that your onions cost a little bit more more than they did last year, that's why. We want to emphasize that we're committed to providing you with the best product at the best value. We'll try to keep any price increases minimal, but we'll never compromise on quality or freshness. You have our word on that.

    This year we have several varieties where the seed is limited, but we plan to have enough available. We do advise you to order early, however, just to be sure!

    signature
    Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

    OnionofMonth Onion of the Month: Selection Criteria
    How We Choose Our Onions

    Instead of focusing on a particular onion this time, we'd like to address the process we use to include specific varieties in our catalog. First and foremost, we're looking for varieties that are either proven, or perform best in the trials we've set up throughout the country.

    Second, we have to consider how difficult it is to produce the seed. It's getting harder and harder to get good onion seed, partly because farmers are reluctant to take the huge risk of producing it when they're almost assured of a profit growing wheat, corn, or soybeans. Traditional seed companies have also seen huge increases in costs, which they're not shy about passing on to us.

    Since it does us no good to promote a variety just to find out there's no seed available, we're usually forced to buy seed a year or more in advance. Sometimes, though, the seed for a particular variety becomes scarce despite our efforts, and we know of no fairer way to allocate the available stock than on a "first come-first served" basis.


    Helen From Our Friends

    Our buddy Chuck sends us this:

    "Attached is a photo of my wife, Helen, with a couple of her prize-winning Candy onions. Each year we plant Candy, along with several other varieties we purchase from Dixondale. Although we reside up in the mountains at 6,000 feet altitude and have a very short growing season (it often snows in June and September), Helen has won blue ribbons with them every year at our Wasatch County Fair (in Utah). The local gentry, who purchase these onions from us, rave about the size, quality, and taste of these beauties."

    We love hearing from our customers. Send us your favorite "onion photo" and we'll try to include it in a future newsletter, our next catalog or our upcoming online Photo Album. Click here for details on how to submit your photos.


    Field Picking Around the Farm

    We're famous! Dixondale Farms was recently featured in the February 2008 issue of Texas Agriculture. In fact, we made the cover, and Bruce is quoted extensively. The article we're in is mostly about one of our constant concerns, the perennial shortage of good field labor -- but it also covers all the other obstacles we have to overcome to bring you great onions, from weather to disease. You can read the entire article here.

    Onions are a labor-intensive crop, so having good workers is crucial. Shown here are two of our most valued employees, Juan (right) and Loudres Sanchez.

    Full story

    From Jeanie's Kitchen
    Crusty Onion Bruschetta

    • 1 French bread baguette
    • 4 ounces of light cream cheese
    • 1/2 cup of nonfat or low fat ricotta cheese
    • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoons of dried basil
    • 1 cup of canned pizza sauce
    • 1 medium onion, cut into paper-thin wedges
    • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
    • Parsley flakes (optional)

    Slice the baguette lengthwise in half, and remove enough bread from the center of each half to leave a 1/2-inch shell. Mix the cream and ricotta cheeses, oregano, and basil together with a fork, then spread them over the bread shells. Add a thin layer of pizza sauce over the cheese mixture, and cover it all with one layer of onions and sprinkle on some Parmesan. Bake it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until the onion tips are darkened and the onions themselves are tender. Before serving, cut it crosswise into strips and, if desired, sprinkle the parsley on top. This dish serves eight.


    Q&A: Pearl Onions

    Q. What onion do you recommend for growing pearl onions?

    A. The White Bermuda onion, mainly. It will produce a nice white scallion within 30 days in most climes. Also, since the White Bermuda is a Short Day onion, it will not mature to its full size in the northern states, making it ideal pearl onion stock for that region.


    Fun Onion Facts

    A serving of onions has only thirty calories, even for the sweet varieties -- so don't hesitate to chow down!


    Send Us Your Product Reviews!

    In addition to sending us photos of your onions, we encourage you to give us feedback on our products via the Product Review options on the Web site. You'll find a "write your own review" link on every product page. Don't be shy -- we need your opinions!


    About Dixondale Farms

    As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in the US, 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 by clicking here.

    Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of acres, we're committed to your success. If you have either questions or suggestions, we'd love to hear from you. You can reach us from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Central Time at 877-367-1015, or e-mail us any time at customerservice@dixondalefarms.com.

    phone: 877-367-1015
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