|Onion Seed Shortages||January 2011|
Happy New Year!
Every year, we remind you to order early to avoid disappointment, but this year it's especially important. You see, this past year had to be the hardest year ever for onion seed production. Most seed is produced in western states such as California, Utah, and Oregon, and those states were hard hit by extreme heat in 2010. Ultimately, they produced only about 20% of the average crop of onion seed.
But we're on top of the situation! We saw this coming, so we quickly reserved seed in advance. However, there are limited supplies of most onion plant varieties this year.
In the event of a shortage, we'll honor the orders on a first come, first served basis. We don't foresee any shortages, but we do recommend that you order early to ensure your onion plant supply for this year.
A Quick Note About Our 2011 Catalog
Due to an unfortunate snafu, some customers didn't receive our
2011 catalog that mailed at the end of November. We've just mailed out more catalogs this week, and everyone should have one in their hands within the next week. If you happen to receive a duplicate, please pass the extra on to a friend. And remember, you can always order online at http://www.dixondalefarms.com.
Our sincere apologies to anyone we've inconvenienced!
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
| Product of the Month |
Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10 Fertilizer
This is our bestselling fertilizer, and one of our bestselling items period -- and for good reason. In addition to substantial quantities of the "Big Three" nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium), our Onion Special also contains a unique blend of organic humic acids and essential micronutrients such as magnesium, zinc, boron, copper, iron, manganese and molybdenum. According to an independent study conducted by the University of Tennessee, the Onion Special increases yields by up to 40%!
Easy to Follow Instructions
Our fertilizer is very easy to use. Just prepare your onion beds, and dig a four-inch trench between the rows. Sprinkle in one cup per 20 feet of row, and then cover the trench. Plant onions six inches on either side of the trench; never plant directly on the trench, or the plants are likely to get "burned" by receiving too much nitrogen and other nutrients all at once. For best results, re-apply the fertilizer every 4-6 weeks until the onions start to bulb. Do not apply any fertilizer during the bulbing stage!
We offer this product in 4 pound or 15 pound bags, and any time you purchase two or more, we offer a $3.00 discount per bag.
The Importance of Nitrogen in Fertilizer
All the nutrients included in our onion fertilizers are valuable, but nitrogen may be the most important. Your plants' need for nitrogen may vary, with higher-yielding onion cultivars requiring slightly more, but nitrogen is an absolute essential. The amount you should apply depends on numerous factors, including the amount of nitrogen in the irrigation water, how much and the type of plant residue you've plowed under, and the carry-over from the previous crop. We recommend that you test your soil for nitrogen first, using an inexpensive kit or electronic tester, before applying more fertilizer. Too much nitrogen can "burn" the onion plants, delay maturity, result in thick necks, and make curing and storage difficult.
| From Our Friends|
Our friend Randy Patton sends us this message:
"This picture is of my father-in-law, Dick Lochbaum, who passed away on August 5, 2010. Dick was an 87-year-old retired farmer who always had a big garden, and always said, 'Never let the August sun set on your onions.' He will be missed. The onions are Big Daddies."
We love hearing from you! 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|
Bruce recently appeared on the front page of the Business section of the December 11, 2010 edition of the Houston Chronicle, Houston's only major newspaper. The article he was featured in, "Agriculture Grows Wary of Mexico," covered one effect of the recent drug violence in northern Mexico: the fact that many agricultural companies are now avoiding our neighbor to the south until things settle down. Not only is Bruce quoted in the paper regarding his recent decision to no longer travel in Mexico, a photograph of him in the onion fields here at Dixondale headlines the article!
Just to clarify: we greatly appreciate our friends and clients south of the border. However, we've reluctantly concluded that it's best that we stay closer to home for a while, due to recent incidents. Bruce's decision not to visit Mexico hasn't affected our business; it's just changed our approach a bit, at least for now.
|Cooking With Onions|
- 2-3 cups of diced sweet onions
- 1 cup of reduced fat mayonnaise
- 2 cups of an Italian cheese blend
- Garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
Mix all your ingredients together, put the mixture in a casserole dish, and bake it at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown (about 30-40 minutes). Serve with garlic toast, or your favorite crackers. YUMMM!
Lisa Shenk, Meriden, KS
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q&A: Fertilizer Basics
Q. What do the three numbers on a package of fertilizer mean -- for example, 10-20-10?
A. These numbers indicate the percentage (by weight) of the three primary nutrients required for healthy plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N-P-K). These are always represented on the label in the same order. Therefore, a 50-pound bag of 10-20-10 fertilizer will contain 10% of a nitrogen compound (five pounds), 20% of a phosphorous compound (10 pounds), and 10% of a potassium compound (five pounds). This is important if you know that you have to add a specific weight of each nutrient per unit of garden area.
|Fun Onion Facts|
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, about 6.7 million acres of onions are grown globally, producing about 52,500,000 tons (105 billion pounds) of onions per year. Some 142,000 of those acres (and six billion pounds) are produced by American farmers. Americans eat about 20 pounds per person per year, amounting to a total of about 380 semi-truck loads per day. That's a lot of onions!
|We're on Facebook! |
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