What are we going to do when the Vidalia’s are gone?
Every year we get letters from our fans expressing their disappointment that they can’t purchase our delicious RealSweet® Vidalia® onions all year long. Shuman produce believes in customer service, and although we cannot yet supply Vidalia onions on a year-round basis, we have come up with a solution that will help you survive your cravings for Vidalia sweet onions even when they aren’t in season.
Why can’t we grow Vidalia’s all year long?
The Vidalia onion is highly regulated to ensure that consumers are getting the real thing. Every part of the onion growing process must be approved by the Vidalia Onion Committee, a committee designed to implement, and regulate the guidelines in place for Vidalia onion production. Yes, there is such a thing as the onion police. Why? Because we are serious about the integrity of our famous sweet onion. Vidalia’s can only be grown in a small area of South Georgia that consists of 20 counties, and even the seed variety must be approved. Aside from these strict regulations, the fluctuating temperatures and erratic weather patterns in this area make it only possible to grow Vidalia’s during the short days of the year. The strict regulations, limited space to grow, and the weather restrict the amount of Vidalia Onions grown annually.
So how did we solve the Vidalia-drought during the 8-month gap from mid-August to late-April?
Shuman Produce purchased farmland and built a packing facility in Ica, Peru. We shipped the same seed varieties we use for the Vidalia Onion and we planted a crop. The climate in Peru is ideal for growing a sweet onion when we are unable to do so here in the Vidalia growing region. The mild temperatures, the fertile rocky soil, and the ability to regulate irrigation allows us to plant and grow enough RealSweet® brand Peruvian sweet onions to supply our customers for the rest of the year.
Wait…the Peruvian sweet onion season is over twice the length of the Vidalia season. How could you possibly keep the onions fresh?
Unlike Vidalia season which consists of only one harvest, the Peruvian sweet onion fields are planted in stages and there are multiple harvests throughout the season. That means that we may be 6 months into the season, but the sweet onion on your plate may only have been harvested 1 month prior. Staggering the planting and harvest ensures the onions stay fresh and quality is consistent throughout the season.
Shuman Produce believes in doing whatever it takes to provide our loyal customers with a quality sweet onion that is similar in shape and flavor profile as our Vidalia. Our RealSweet® brand, Peruvian sweet onions are THE premium sweet onion from mid-August to late-April. Look for them in stores!