Last week, the Produce for Kids team had the privilege of visiting Shuman Farms for the start of Vidalia® onion season. We got to visit the offices, tour the packing facilities and take a stroll through some of the farms.
Did you know that Produce for Kids was founded by John Shuman, president of Shuman Farms? Back in 2002, he had a vision to bring the produce industry together to help support children’s charities. In 2003, we ran our first in-store campaigns with Publix and Meijer to raise funds for local children’s hospitals. Over the years, Produce for Kids has evolved into a year-round healthy resource for families. Together with Shuman Farms, we’re working toward our mission of creating a healthier generation!
Now that you have some background, let’s talk about the amazing day we had at Shuman Farms! Our first stop after touring the office was to hit the fields. Shuman Farms has always been a grower of Vidalia® onions, but are now expanding into pecans, broccoli and sweet potatoes. We had the opportunity to see some of the pecan trees orchards, which are in the very early stages and won’t be ready for harvest for another 6 years, before heading to the onion fields.
Vidalia season officially kicked off on April 12, so harvesting of the onions was already well underway. Here’s how these super sweet onions are harvested:
Step 1: A tractor runs through the field and digs up the onions. The onions then lay out in the field for several days to dry out.
Step 2: Each onion is clipped by hand and placed into drying bins.
Step 3: The bins are brought to the packing facility where they’re cured in specialized drying rooms, graded and inspected before being packaged for shipping to your local grocery store.
After checking out the farms, we headed to a few of the packing facilities so we could check out the drying rooms, watch the onions being inspected, and of course, take home some freshly packaged onions!
To learn more about how Shuman Farms gets onions from seed to store, check out their website.
About Shuman Farms
Beginning with a family farm more than 30 years ago, Shuman Farms is proud to have grown into an industry leading grower, packer and shipper of world-famous sweet onions.
Since great taste shouldn’t be seasonal, we grow in Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, Peru, and Mexico to ensure that only the best-tasting sweet onions are available in your local grocery stores all year long. Our sincere dedication to quality can be found in each and every RealSweet® sweet onion we ship.
Still a family-owned business today, Shuman Farms prides itself on providing only the sweetest, highest quality and safest sweet onions available.
We hope you enjoy our RealSweet® sweet onions as much as we enjoy growing them! Visit www.realsweet.com to find out more.