Food

Gwen Fowler

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

A Sweet S.C. Onion

Posted 5/17/2010 1:46:00 PM

Vidalia onions from Georgia won’t be the sweet onion of choice for South Carolinians, if a small group of farmers have anything to do with it.

Farmers in Lexington, Barnwell, Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties have planted about 60 acres of sweet onions this season. Compare that to about 14,000 acres planted in Vidalias, and that’s enough to make the most positive a little reluctant to compare.

“We try to stay away from the V word,” said Stephen Hudson of the S.C. Department of Agriculture.

Still, there’s great potential in the market, considering the increasing appetite by consumers to buy food grown close to their home.

“We would want you to buy the one from South Carolina, and the farmers will tell you it rivals the taste,” Hudson said.

The green sweet onions with tops are being harvested now, and the bigger dried onions will be available within the next couple of weeks. The onions were planted in the fall and should be harvested through June.

Hudson said he expects IGA and Piggly Wiggly stores to carry the onions.

For more information, go to www.agriculture.sc.gov or www.certifiedscgrown.com.