April 28, 2014
Toombs County, GA
Home of the famous Vidalia onion which are being harvested this time of year. Coming to a store near you, soon!
The Vidalia onions are grown on 14,000 acres in 20 counties around Vidalia, GA and owe their sweet taste to the low-sulfur soil and climate of the region. To preserve their mild taste, the use of sulfur fertilizers are kept to a minimum.
Vidalia onion seeds are planted in September in starter fields, and after eight weeks are pulled and transplanted in the production fields - by hand. Most of the onions are also still harvested by hand.
At harvest time (April/May), when the onions start to fall over, they are undercut - again by hand - and left to dry out. They are then collected, sorted, graded, packaged, and thanks to modern storage technology, can be sold through December.
Each acre produces 300 50-lbs bags of onions. That's a lot of onions. 75,000, I think.