Onions Pack a Nutritional Punch
Dear Fellow Gardener,
We've got two things for you this month:
first of all, keep your eye out
for our 2010 mail catalog. We just mailed it
out, so it should be along soon.
We know you're breathless
with anticipation! Please let us know if you
haven't received yours by the end of November.
And now our feature presentation: did you
know that eating onions is actually good for
It's true. Not only are onions nutritious and
delicious, they can actually have health
benefits. Back in the Colonial era, American
settlers turned to onions to treat their
colds, asthma, and coughs of all kinds. In
Chinese medical tradition, onions have long
been used as remedies for angina, coughs,
bacterial infections, and breathing problems.
Sure, these are folk traditions, but they do
have a scientific basis. It just so happens
that onions contain a natural compound called
quercetin, a so-called phytochemical which is
part of the pigment found in not just
onions but in apples as well. This powerful
chemical is an antioxidant (a substance that
protects against harmful substances called
free radicals that damage tissue), and acts
as a natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory.
The antihistamine action explains why onions
help respiratory ailments like asthma,
coughs, and the like; and the
anti-inflammatory properties make it a good
pain reliever for ailments like arthritis.
Quercetin can also benefit men worried about
prostate issues, and may also help reduce
fatigue, depression, and anxiety symptoms.
But Wait, There's More!
In addition to quercetin, sulfides called
organosulfur compounds are present in onions
that may help lower blood lipids and blood
pressure. The abundant flavinoids in onions
have been shown scientifically to protect
against cardiovascular ailments, and other
chemicals in onions suppress clotting.
Some of these protective phytochemicals build
up in the body after long term usage, and
tend to be more highly concentrated in the
more pungent onion varieties. So what does
that mean? Why, that you should eat lots of
onions, of course, and the stronger tasting,
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
Onion of the Month
Red Marble Cippolini
This month we're turning the spotlight on the
Red Marble Cippolini onion, which we're
adding to our catalog for 2010. Like its pale
sibling the Borettana Cippolini, this gourmet
Italian red onion is flat (less than an inch
thick) and rather small, which makes it ideal
for braiding or storage. You'll rarely see
one of these onions grow larger than three
inches across, and most average about two;
this is great for those of us with
minimal growing space. This singular onion,
which actually falls somewhere between the
long day and intermediate day categories,
also grows well in
cooler climates -- and it tastes wonderfully
From Our Friends
This month, we feature a photo from the father
of one of our employees, Mary McKaskle:
"This is my Dad in Stanton, Texas. He
raised short-day onions, and says that these
are really the smallest but the prettiest he
raised... these guys with green thumbs!"
We love hearing from our customers. So far
this year, we've received hundreds of
pictures from you good folks, which we've
scattered throughout our catalog and website.
Thanks for being such loyal customers, and
keep those photos and letters coming!
favorite "onion photo" and we'll try to
include it in a
future newsletter, our next catalog or our
online Photo Album. Click
here for details on how to
submit your photos.
Around the Farm
This month, we wanted to post an update on
the lovely ladies who work for up front for us,
helping us fulfill orders and keep the
Front row, left to right: Pam Martin and
Dora Ochoa. Back row: Gabby Herrera, Laura
Krause, and Mary McKaskle.
Dora Ochoa: "Hi everyone -- I'm so excited
to be back here after being gone for 6 years.
I know that a busy 2010 season awaits us,
thanks to our customers. I look forward to
serving both established customers, and new
customers as well."
Gabriela "Gabby" Herrera: "Hello! I'm new on
the team, and I would like to thank everyone
for giving me this opportunity to serve you
during 2010, which I hope will be busy and
Laura Krause: "The 2009 season was my first
year with Dixondale Farms. I appreciate your
patience with me this last season, and I look
forward to working with you again."
Vicky Lumbreras (not pictured) : Vicky has
gone part-time with us this year. She's just
given birth to a beautiful daughter, and is
still pursuing a college degree, hopefully
finishing next semester.
And the old timers: Pam Martin and Mary
McKaskle are still here, looking forward to
the 2010 season and catching up with old and
new friends. "We enjoy what we do, and welcome
all our new girls. Here's wishing you a great
Cooking With Onions
In celebration of the health properties of
onions, this month we present not one but
three delicious onion-related recipes,
courtesy of the National Onion Association.
Why not try 'em all?
Onion and Turkey Lime Salad
- 1/4 cup of Tequila (or frozen grapefruit
juice concentrate, depending on your
- 1/4 cup of lime juice
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 6 cups of narrowly-wedged yellow or white
- 6 cups of slivered sweet red peppers
- 1 clove of crushed garlic
- Lettuce leaves
- 1 tablespoon of grated lime peel
- 1-1/2 teaspoons of dried, crushed hot red
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 6 cups of shredded cooked turkey
First, sauté the onions and peppers in
the oil on medium heat until they become
tender; then add everything except the lime
juice and heat the mixture thoroughly,
stirring occasionally. Next, take it off the
heat and let it sit briefly. After mixing in
the lime juice as a preservative, cover the
mixture and refrigerate it.
Later, serve it in 1-1/2 cup portions on
lettuce-lined salad plates with sour cream,
as desired. Makes six servings.
Broccoli with Carmelized Onions and
- 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of pine nuts or chopped,
- 1 cup of chopped onion
- 4 cups of broccoli florets
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly-ground pepper, to taste
Toast the nuts over medium-low heat until
they're lightly browned and fragrant,
stirring constantly; this should take 2-3
minutes. Pour the nuts into a small bowl and
set them aside to cool. Add the oil to the
pan and turn the heat up to medium before
adding the onions and salt. Cook the mixture,
stirring it occasionally, until the onions
are soft and golden brown. Meanwhile, steam
the broccoli for 4-6 minutes.
Once everything is ready, toss it together
in a large bowl and serve it immediately. It
makes up to four servings.
Open Face Roast Turkey Sandwich with
Caramelized Balsamic Onions
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic or red wine
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cups of sliced yellow onions
- Lettuce leaves
- 8 halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 pound of sliced roast turkey
- 4 rolls, split, buttered and toasted
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
Gently sauté the onion slices in the
olive oil on medium heat until they're golden
and tender; then add the vinegar, and cook
the mixture down until the liquid is almost
gone (approximately two minutes). Arrange the
turkey and lettuce on the rolls, then top the
sandwiches with the onions and the rest of
the ingredients, and dig in.
Onions can enhance so many dishes, from
salads to complex entrees; and they can also be
consumed raw, fried, sautéed or baked. We
periodically receive sumptuous recipe
from our employees and from you, our customers.
We want to share one with you each month, so
you can take full advantage of the fruits of
your labor! If
you have one you would like us to print,
please email it
to us at
Q&A: After the Harvest
Q. How do I care for my onions after
A. It's best to dry and cure them if
you're planning on storing them for later
use. This is a fairly straightforward
process, since onions tend to rest for 4-6
weeks after harvest, depending on their
variety and the weather during their growth
This process is generally begun in the field
for several days, before moving into a cool,
well-ventilated storage area. Be sure the
bulbs are well-separated, and air can flow
When properly dried, the neck of the bulb
will be tight and dry to the touch, and the
outer skin dry and uniform in color. The
papery outer scales should be loose and make
a rustling sound when touched.
Fun Onion Facts
The yellow onions we know as "Texas Sweet"
first arrived in Texas from Bermuda in 1898.
It wasn't until 1904 that substantial yellow
onion acreage was planted in south Texas;
that year saw the cultivation of 500 acres.
But the yellow onion soon caught on big-time,
and by the 1920s, Texas growers had
eliminated Bermuda as a major competitor. A
hundred years of breeding and experimentation
has resulted in the delicious, nutritious
vegetable we know today, and nowadays onions
are Texas' leading vegetable crop.
Send Us Your Product Reviews!
In addition to sending us recipes and photos
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
About Dixondale Farms
As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in
Dixondale Farms offers a wide selection of
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
Whether you're planting one bunch or
acres, we're committed to your success. If
either questions or suggestions, we'd love to
from you. You can reach us from 8:00 AM to
Time at 877-367-1015, or
e-mail us any time