In this issue...
  • Onion of the Month
  • From Our Friends
  • Around the Farm
  • Cooking With Onions
  • Q&A: After the Harvest
  • Fun Onion Facts
  • Send Us Your Product Reviews!
  • About Dixondale Farms

  • Affiliations
    Onions Pack a Nutritional Punch November 2009

    Bruce & Wife 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 your health?

    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.

    Quercetin's Role
    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, the better!

    Happy onion-eating,

    Bruce "Onionman" Frasier

    red marble 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 sweet!

    Learn More

    marys dad 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!

    Send us your 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 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 operation running.

    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 exciting."

    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 growing season!"

    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 preference)
    • 1/4 cup of lime juice
    • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
    • 6 cups of narrowly-wedged yellow or white onions
    • 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 peppers
    • 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 Pine Nuts

    • 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons of pine nuts or chopped, slivered almonds
    • 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 vinegar
    • 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 simple salads to complex entrees; and they can also be consumed raw, fried, sautéed or baked. We periodically receive sumptuous recipe suggestions from our employees and from you, our customers. We want to share one with you each month, so that 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 harvest?

    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 stage.

    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 around them.

    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 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 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 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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