|Farmers Market Resources||July 2011|
Thanks to consumer interest in obtaining fresh, locally grown produce, farmers markets have surged in popularity in recent years. Indeed, the number of farmers markets listed in the USDA National Farmers Directory has skyrocketed from 1,755 in 1994 to 6,132 today.
It's no surprise, then, that a large percentage of Dixondale Farms customers either buy or sell produce at farmers markets. If that's the case with you, here are a couple resources you may find helpful:
The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) administers programs that facilitate the efficient, fair marketing of US agricultural products, including food, fiber and specialty crops. They continually update a searchable comprehensive list of US farmers markets. The independent organization Local Harvest also maintains a directory of farmers markets, which you can find here.
In addition, the AMS provides grant opportunities through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). This financial support is intended to improve and expand domestic farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and similar marketing opportunities.
Buying and selling through farmers markets helps strengthen the local economy, reduces unnecessary fuel costs, and ensures the freshest possible food. Whether you're buying or selling at farmers markets, we commend you for participating in them!
Happy buying and selling,
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
Product of the Month
10-lb Mesh Netting
Our Mesh Netting is an inexpensive and ideal way to store your onions for later use. The 10-pound plastic mesh is light but strong. It not only provides the ventilation the onions need to store properly, it keeps them safely isolated from each other.
It's easy to use, too: just tie a knot at the end of netting, drop in a dried onion, and then use a binder clip, plastic ring, or another knot to close it off. Repeat until the netting is full. At that point, hang the bag over a nail or rafter in a cool, dry area, and your onions will be safe and fresh until you need them.
Each net measures about nine feet in length, and if you order ten or more, you can get them for just a buck each!
|July 2011 Photo Contest Winner!|
This month's winner is Glen Smith of Cypress, Texas, who sent us this photo of his impressive Hybrid Southern Belle Reds, one of the three varieties of onion (along with Texas 1015Y yellow and Contessa white) that are included in our standard Short Day Sampler. Here's what Glen had to say:
"I thought you might like to know that my one bunch of Short Day Sampler did great this year, in spite of the freeze and the early heat we got this spring. I wish I had the space to plant more, but it just goes to show you what you can grow in a converted flower bed in your backyard in the midst of an exploding city!"
Your Dixondale hat and T-shirt are on the way, Glen!
Remember: our contest is ongoing until September of this year. We've received some great photos so far, and look foward to receiving more. So get those cameras ready, and start sending in those onion photos ASAP!
Here's a quick rundown of the rules:
- You may submit one photo per month through September 2011.
- All onions displayed must be grown during the November 2010- August 2011 season.
- One winner will be chosen each month.
- Each month's winner will receive a Dixondale cap and a Dixondale camo T-shirt, and will be featured in the next month's newsletter as well as on our Facebook page and Web site.
- A Grand Prize winner will be chosen from the past monthly winners to grace the cover of the 2012 Dixondale Farms Catalog, and we'll feature a bio in the November 2011 newsletter and on our Web site and Facebook page.
- The Grand Prize judging will be held in-house, with Dixondale holding all rights to the pictures.
To send us your contest photos, just click here. We can't wait to see 'em!
| Around The Farm|Dixondale In the News
Dixondale Farms was featured prominently in two different news venues lately, most recently on the July 5 KENS-TV newscast out of San Antonio. In that report, Bruce discussed how the terrible drought we've been experiencing, along with increased water use by the oil industry, is affecting local farmers. Check it out!
And in a recent edition of Country World News discussing the enduring popularity of Texas onions, Bruce was quoted as a major source. Among other things, he points out in the article, "People quit eating out as much as they used to, and they planted a lot more gardens. The popularity of growing your own produce, either to save money or because of concerns about health or food safety, all combined to help send our sales through the roof." Click here to read the entire article.
|Cooking With Onions|
- 2 cups of sweet onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cans of undiluted beef consommé (not beef broth)
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Swiss cheese slices
- French bread, toasted
Sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium heat until they're tender, then remove them from the heat and stir in the beef consommé. Add the Worcestershire sauce, and stir thoroughly. If the resulting mix seems a little strong for your taste, you can thin it with beef broth.
Next, pour the soup into individual oven-proof serving bowls, and top them with the Swiss cheese. Pop them into a 300-degree oven until the cheese is melted. Top it with toasted French bread, and serve.
This recipe comes to us from reader Guy Shealy of South Carolina. Thanks, Guy!
Onions can enhance so many dishes, and can be consumed raw, fried, sautéed or baked. Please send us your favorite onion recipe, so we can share it in an upcoming newsletter. You can email it to us here. Digital photos of your dish are also welcome!
Q&A: Onion Tops
Q. How long from the start of onion bulbing to when the tops drop?
A. It usually takes about 30 days from bulbing to the tops falling over. The top will remain up until so many carbohydrates have been transferred to the bulb that it can't support the weight of the leaves. Remember, you'll need to irrigate your onions more often during the bulbing process.
|Fun Onion Facts|
Did you know that onion juice has strong antiseptic qualities? Soldiers used the juice to clean their wounds for centuries, although this practice was mostly discontinued after the American Civil War, when more effective chemical alternatives became widely available. The juice is also purported to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes onion slices a good provisional first-aid choice for soothing insect bites.
|We're on Facebook! |
Join the community of friends and growers on our Facebook page! You can connect with us and fellow growers to share stories, recipes, and even weather information and other tips. We encourage you to add your pictures and growing stories, and to leave something on our Wall.
By the way, check out our YouTube videos! We've been posting links to them on the Facebook Wall. One of our latest entries is a recent overview of the maturing cantaloupe crop. Please take a look!