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Onion U-Pick Orchards in Texas in 2024, by area of state

Keep in mind, not all areas of any state, nor even every state, have onions orchards that are open to the public. If you know of any others, please tell us using the add a farm form!

These are the areas of the state that have onion orchards to pick onions. Click on the area closet you!

 

Onion

Onion Picking Tips, Recipes and Information

Vidalia onions

Here's what you need to know about onions, how to choose them, how to harvest them and how to use them!

Know when to harvest onions:

  • Bulb Size and Shape: Onions are typically ready for harvest when the bulbs have reached a decent size and have a firm, solid feel. They should be well-rounded and have a healthy appearance.
  • Tops and Foliage: The foliage or green tops of the onion plant will start to yellow and wilt as the bulbs mature. Once about half of the tops have fallen over or turned brown, it's a good indication that the onions are ready for harvest.
  • Skin and Neck: The outer skin of the onion should be dry and papery. Gently press the neck area between your fingers to check if it feels soft or if it's firm and well-dried. A dry neck indicates that the onion is mature and suitable for harvesting.

How to harvest onions

  • When to harvest: Onions are typically ready for harvest in late spring in the deep South; or in the North in summer or early fall, depending on the growing season and the onion variety you have planted. Refer to the recommended maturity time for the specific onion variety you are growing.
  • Loosening the Soil: Before harvesting, gently loosen the soil around the onions using a garden fork (tine) or trowel. Be careful not to damage the bulbs during this process.
  • Lifting the Onions: Grab the onion bulbs by their foliage or tops, near the base, and gently lift them from the soil. If the bulbs are difficult to lift, use a garden fork to carefully loosen the soil further.
  •  Curing: After harvesting, allow the onions to dry or cure for a few days in a well-ventilated area. This process helps the outer layers of the onion to dry and form a protective layer. Spread the onions out in a single layer or hang them in bunches to cure.

Storing onions

  • Preparing for Storage: Once the onions have cured, remove any excess dirt or loose outer layers of skin. Cut off the foliage, leaving about an inch of the neck attached to the bulb.
  •  Storage Conditions: Onions should be stored in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated place. A dark pantry, basement, or a mesh bag in the refrigerator are suitable storage options. Avoid storing onions near potatoes, as they can release gases that promote spoilage.
  • Proper Containers: For long-term storage, consider using mesh bags, breathable containers, or wooden crates to allow air circulation. Avoid storing onions in plastic bags, as they can trap moisture and lead to spoilage.
  • Check Regularly: Periodically check stored onions for any signs of spoilage or sprouting. Remove any onions that show signs of rot or decay to prevent it from affecting other onions in storage.

Onion recipes

There are few home canning recipes exclusive to onions, since they store well in a cool garage or basement, and being a low / non acidic food, they must be acidified (pickled).

 

Varieties and Types of Onion

The most common types of onions and their uses are:

 

  1.  Yellow Onions: Yellow onions are the most widely available and commonly used variety. They have a strong, pungent flavor and a slightly sweet undertone. These onions have a papery golden-brown skin and white flesh. Yellow onions are versatile and work well in various cooked dishes, such as soups, stews, caramelized onions, and sautés. They can also be used raw in salads and salsas if you prefer a bolder flavor. 
     
  2.  Red Onions: Red onions are known for their vibrant purplish-red skin and mild to moderate pungency. They have a slightly milder and sweeter flavor compared to yellow onions. Red onions are commonly used raw in salads, sandwiches, and wraps as they add a pop of color and a crisp texture. They can also be pickled, grilled, or roasted to bring out their sweetness.
     
  3. White Onions: White onions have a pale white skin and a sharp, tangy flavor. They are milder than yellow onions and have a slightly sweeter taste. White onions are commonly used in Mexican and Latin American cuisines. They work well in raw preparations like salsas, guacamole, and salads. They can also be used in cooked dishes, especially in sauces, soups, and stir-fries that require a milder onion flavor.
     
  4. Sweet Onions: Sweet onions, such as Vidalia, Walla Walla, and Maui onions, have a high sugar content, resulting in a mild and sweet flavor. They have a light yellow or pale golden skin. Sweet onions are delicious when used raw in salads, sandwiches, and relishes, where their sweetness can shine. They can also be grilled, caramelized, or used in cooked dishes that require a mellow onion flavor.
    Vidalia Onions are a type of yellow onion, unusually sweet, grown in Vidalia County, Georgia
    Peru Sweet Onions  - somewhat similar to Vidalia's but grown in Peru.
    Walla Wall Onions  - somewhat similar to Vidalia's but grown in Washington State.
     
  5. Shallots: Shallots are small, elongated onions with a reddish-brown or grayish-brown skin. They have a mild, delicate flavor with a hint of garlic-like sharpness. Shallots are versatile and can be used in various culinary applications. They are often used in dressings, vinaigrettes, and sauces. Shallots can also be sautéed, roasted, or incorporated into stir-fries and risottos.
     
  6. Spring Onions (Scallions): Spring onions, also known as scallions or green onions, have long green stalks and small white bulbs. They have a mild, onion-like flavor and are often used for their fresh and crisp texture. Spring onions are commonly used as a garnish in salads, soups, and Asian dishes. They can be thinly sliced and sprinkled on top of various dishes or used as a flavoring agent in stir-fries and noodle dishes.


 

 

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