|Three New Varieties for 2012||November 2011|
As we prepare for our 99th year in business, I often stop to think about how we reached this milestone. It's taken a lot of dedication from key employees and family members during the past century.
Another big reason for our success is our open communication with you, our customers, especially your willingness to let us know what you want us to offer. This year we're selling three new onion varieties based on your requests: one long day onion, the Redwing, and two short day types, Texas Early White and Red Creole. We haven't introduced many short day varieties in the past, so we wanted to offer those of you in that area something you won't be able to find at your local nurseries.
We're especially proud of our Texas Early White, which has been selected to receive the Green Thumb Award. This award is presented annually by the Direct Gardening Association for the best new products introduced that year.
Our Texas Early White Story
We waited many years to purchase Texas Early White seed. Back in 1974, several new onion varieties were evaluated for their adaptation to the tough South Texas environment. One of the yellow varieties was thrown out because it had a percentage of white bulbs. In 1975, several of these bulbs were planted and evaluated for uniform maturity, resistance to greening, pink root tolerance, single centers, bolting resistance, and shelf life. These bulbs eventually produced seed with the desired traits.
In 1991, the Texas Seed Improvement Association finally produced enough seed to release the variety to commercial growers. The developer of each new variety can own the seed rights for up to 20 years; this is called Plant Variety Protection (PVP). Seminis Seeds owned the PVP for Texas Early White until this year. Dixondale Farms has purchased all the remaining seed, so we can start producing this great variety for years to come. Now home gardeners and small farmers will have access to this onion, which will surely be popular at farmers' markets.
I hope you'll try one of our new varieties. I believe you'll be pleased with the results!
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
Planting Time Aids
Dixondale Farms offers several products to help you plant, fertilize, grow, protect, and harvest your produce. The following planting time products include a fertilizer, weed control, a combination feed and weed aid, and an all natural feed and weed option.
Dixondale Farms Onion Special 10-20-10. This exclusive fertilizer contains a blend of organic humic acids and essential micro-nutrients that onions crave, such as magnesium, zinc, boron, copper, iron, manganese, and molybdenum. This is the fertilizer you want to start your plants out with, in order to establish the root systems. Later, apply the Ammonium Sulfate (21-0-0) until the onions start to bulb.
Treflan Herbicide Granules: This chemical herbicide does a bang-up job of pre-emergent weed and grass control, handling even the toughest weeds with ease. Just apply it before transplanting your onions. A one-pound container treats up to 1,200 square feet.
Dixondale Farms Feed and Weed 10-20-10: This is a unique fertilizer and organic pre-emergent herbicide all in one. The 100% natural corn gluten meal blocks weed germination, so you can establish your onions in a weed-free area, while our fertilizer blend provides the nutrients necessary for huge, delicious onions.
All Natural Feed and Weed 2-5-3
: This purely organic product combines an all-natural humus fertilizer with the pre-emergent weed control power of corn gluten meal. It's ideal for preparing a weed-free bed and feeding your onions up to size without resorting to chemicals.
|Dixondale's 2010-2011 Photo Contest Winner!|
We're delighted to announce our Grand Prize Photo Contest winners for this year: Ray, Sonja and Kimo Berry! As you may recall, we featured these folks as the monthly winners in last month's issue of our newsletter. When I talked with Mr. Berry, he told me that Kimo is an Akita, a breed of dog from Northern Japan. The amazing onions that Kimo helped Ray and Sonja grow this year are all Intermediate Day varieties: Candy, Red Candy Apple, and Superstar.
The Berrys hail from Olema, California, population 55. They've had great success with our onions and have been steady customers since 2007, a fact that we very much appreciate.
All three Berrys will grace the cover of our 2012 Dixondale Farms Catalog, and we'll feature them on our website and Facebook page as well. Thanks, folks -- and the best of luck with the 2012 crop!
To everyone who participated in this year's photo contest: thank you for your wonderful submissions. We can't wait to see next year's!
| Around The Farm|Mailing and Shipping Update
Our catalogs just mailed, so look for yours to arrive soon. Order early, because seeds are in short supply again this year. We can hold your onions until planting time in your area. If you don't request a shipping date when ordering for your area, we'll ship according to this schedule.
Short Day Area plants started shipping earlier this week. Here's our expected shipping schedule for the entire season:
- November 7, 14, and 28, 2011
- December 5, 12 and 19, 2011
- January 9, 2012 onward
|Cooking With Onions|
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- 1 pound of sliced onions
- 2 green peppers, sliced in ¼ inch strips
- 1½ cups cooked corn kernels
- Salt to taste
Melt the butter in a pan, then add the onions and cook on medium heat, stirring until they're limp. Add the peppers and continue to cook until they turn dull in color, or about five minutes. Stir in the corn, add salt to taste, and heat through. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe from Dixondale Farms.
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. Can I plant my onions now, and overwinter them for next spring?
A. Unfortunately, this isn't a good idea. The days are getting shorter now, and the onions simply wouldn't get what they need to start producing bulbs until the normal time next spring. Furthermore, the cold weather is likely to kill the onions in the ground before spring arrives, unless you live in an area with mild winters.
Also, while the advantage of planting now might be that you'd have a more established plant next spring, chances are that the onion would bolt when it comes out of dormancy and starts growing again.
|Fun Onion Facts|
People have been eating onions throughout recorded history (and long before), so it should come as no surprise that some notable quotes about these globular vegetables have appeared in our literature. Here are just a few examples:
"Good intentions are not enough. They've never put an onion in the soup yet." -- Sonya Levien.
"Life is like an onion. You peel it off one layer at a time; And sometimes you weep." -- Carl Sandburg.
"It's hard to imagine civilization without onions." -- Julia Child.
All Your Questions Answered
We have answers to your frequently asked questions! Just click here for information on when to order your onions, as well as for tips on planting, caring, feeding, harvesting, and storing them.
|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.