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

  • Affiliations
    Beware of Onion Thrips! April 2008

    Bruce & Wife Dear Fellow Gardener,

    One of the most common and destructive insect pests we onion-growers face is the onion thrips, a tiny bug barely big enough to see (the plural and singular of the term is the same -- so it's always thrips, with an "s").

    Professor A.M. Shelton of Cornell University is an expert on onion thrips, and he recently published an article about them in the March 2007 issue of Onion World. This is the clearest, most thorough discussion I've ever seen on the subject, so I've obtained permission to reprint it. Click here to read Dr. Shelton's article.

    We hope you find this information as useful as we did. Be sure to keep an eye out for those thrips, and enjoy your spring growing season!

    Happy planting,

    Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

    Walla Walla Onion of the Month: Walla Walla
    Pride of the Northwest

    This fast-growing long-day onion, a native of Corsica, was introduced to Washington State in the 1800s by a retired French soldier. An open pollinated yellow variety, it matures in as little as 90 days. It's semi-flat, yellow, and is the sweetest of all the long-day onion varieties.

    Abbie & Casey From Our Friends

    Customers from Indiana sent us the following:

    "Our daughters Abbey and Casey received Champion Garden Collection for two years in a row, primarily due to our Dixondale onions. Our onions have been awesome to show, and even better to eat!"

    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.

    Donna & 3 Others Around the Farm

    In addition to Pam Martin (featured here in the last newsletter), there are four other remarkable women who are members of our customer service team. We asked each of them the following four questions:

    • How long have you worked at Dixondale Farms?
    • What have you learned about onions that you didn't know before working here?
    • What do you like best about your job?
    • What would be your number one suggestion to customers who are growing onions for the first time?

    Donna Tollett
    I've worked at Dixondale for over ten years. I'm really amazed at how hardy onion plants are, even in the poorest of growing conditions -- they are determined little vegetables. I enjoy hearing from customers who are excited about growing onions. The best advice I could give first-time onion growers is to get your plants from Dixondale Farms!

    Victoria Lumbreras
    I've worked at Dixondale Farms for three years. I didn't realize how many people love onions. What I like best about my job is being able to work with a great team! The best advice I could give a first-time onion grower is to plant the right variety for your area at the right time. I cannot stress enough how important this is to a successful growing experience.

    Mary McKaskle Caddell
    I've worked at Dixondale Farms for five years now. I love talking to customers from across the U.S. The best advice I can give a first-time onion grower is to read our planting guide that arrives with your plants -- it answers several questions to start your growing experience. Have a fun growing season!

    Vicki Russo
    I've worked at Dixondale Farms, seasonally, for the past five years. I never knew there were so many different varieties of onions! I enjoy the people with whom I work. My number one suggestion for first-time onion growers is to talk to the Onionman!

    Photo: Left to right, standing: Vicki Russo, Donna Tollett, and Victoria Lumbreras. Seated: Mary Caddell.

    From Jeanie's Kitchen
    Mixed Greens with Spiced Onions

    • 1 quart mesclun greens
    • 1 Gala apple, cored and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
    • 1 quart spiced onions
      • 2 medium red onions
      • 1 cup of sugar
      • 1/2 cup of water
      • 3 cinnamon sticks
    • 2/3 cup balsamic cranberries
      • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries
      • 6 tablespoons of water
      • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
    • 2/3 cup lime dressing
      • 1/2 cup of olive oil
      • 2 tablespoons of lime juice
      • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper sauce
      • Salt to taste

    First, you'll need to prepare the spiced onions, balsamic cranberries and lime dressing. Each of these "sub-recipes" is simple and quick, and all three are included here, as follows.

    Spiced Onions: Note that you need to prepare this item at least 24 hours in advance. Combine the vinegar, sugar, and water in a sealable container and mix well. Break the cinnamon sticks in half and add them to the mixture. Then slice the onions into rings, and put them into the mixture to soak. Seal the container and refrigerate the contents.

    Balsamic Cranberries: Bring the water and vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan, and stir in the cranberries. Immediately take them off the heat and allow to soak.

    Lime Dressing: Combine the olive oil, lime juice, brown sugar and red pepper sauce and mix thoroughly; then add salt to taste.

    Now, on to the feature presentation! Line your plates with the mesculan greens, then take the spiced onions out of their marinade (using a slotted spoon to drain them thoroughly), and spread them over the greens. Do the same with your balsamic cranberries, and drizzle the whole with the lime dressing. Sprinkle your salads with the apple and almond slices for some added zest.

    Q & A: Onions from Seed

    Q. Why not grow onions from seed?

    A. Because it's much harder to establish onions from seed than from transplants. Since onions typically have two lives (that is, two growing seasons), they can take a very long time to bulb -- so long that the time between the initial planting of seed and the harvesting just isn't long enough for effective bulbing. Generally, a transplant with four or five leaves can be planted at the same time of year as a seed, so you can get a head-start on making large bulbs if you use a transplant instead.

    Fun Onion Facts

    Over 380 semi-truck loads of onions are consumed each and every day. That's a lot of onions!

    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

    phone: 877-367-1015
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