Genuine, Walla Walla Sweets Onions grown only here in our Valley that we call home.
This week we are highlighting the incredible local farm, Castoldi Family Farms! Located right here in our Walla Walla Valley, this 4th generation family farm has been producing the most delicious genuine Walla Walla Sweet Onions for generations.
There really is something special in our soil around here.
With Paul Castoldi at the helm, this farm grows about 15 acres of Walla Walla Sweet Onions each year. Harvest starts in early June and runs until the middle of August.
Paul’s grandparents started this farm all the way back in the 1900’s. You could say that love for our Valley and our delicious namesake onions runs in their blood. Celebrating their 100 years on the same farmland next year, Paul and his nephew, Nathan, work tirelessly every day to produce only the most delicious Walla Walla Sweet Onions.
But, as true experts, what is their favorite way to prepare this delicious onion variety? Paul loves Walla Walla Sweet Onion slices on a hearty burger, and he says that dehydrating onion slices makes for an incredibly tasty treat. Sweet like candy, Walla Walla Sweet Onions are amazing when dehydrated! What a great way to enjoy these special onions all year long!
Castoldi Farms grows more than just our Walla Walla Sweets – they are hard at work year round growing lettuce, beets, radishes, carrots and more, and you can often find them at our Farmer’s Markets selling all of their gorgeous produce. We love stocking their produce in our stores to make enjoying their crops as convenient as possible – you can find their Starter Walla Walla Sweet Onions in our stores in early February, and their Walla Walla Sweet Salad Onions later in spring. Committed to supporting local, we take any chance we can to offer you truly local and fresh products.
The Castoldi family also grows Candy Winter Sweet Onions – available as the Walla Walla Sweet Onion season ends in August, you can enjoy these onions fresh from the field until October. Perfect for storing, these onions are here to get you through the winter!
How do all these incredible onions make it from the field to our store? They first have to be hand harvested in the summer sun – it can take 3 to 5 days for 5 people to harvest an acre of these onions!
Through truly hard work, these onions make it from the field to you.
After harvest the onions are sorted, and the less than perfect ones are set aside. The Castoldi Family donates onions to the Blue Mountain Action Council and sends others off to our favorite local mustard facility, AJ’s, to be turned into the Walla Walla Sweet Onion mustard. If you haven’t tried their mustard yet, here is another reason too! Two local businesses coming together to create the tastiest of condiments? What could be better?
What does it mean to be a genuine Walla Walla Sweet Onion? Well – as we all know – our soil is special around here. From wine grapes to onions, there really is something in our soil. Over 20 years ago, our Walla Walla Sweet Onion growers came together and submitted a Federal Marketing Order and set a formal boundary. This boundary is the line between genuine and not-genuine. While you can grow the Walla Walla Sweet Onion variety in any soil, it’s not genuine if it’s not grown in Walla Walla soil within the boundary. And – trust us – you can taste the difference. This boundary preserves our namesake and legacy, and keeps this true specialty crop available every year.
Have you ever noticed the Onion Man on the Castoldi Farm’s onion bags? This charming little man came to be after the family sought inspiration from children’s books. Filled with joy from his love of onions, we adore the Castoldi Onion Man. What is your favorite way to enjoy your locally grown Walla Walla Sweet Onions? Pick some Castoldi Family Walla Walla Onions up at both our locations today!
Your destination for nourishing food, we love to partner with our local farms to serve our incredible Walla Walla Valley.
- Andy’s Market