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Sweet Clover doubles organic onion acreage for 2011 season

The new crop of direct-seeded organic sweet yellow onions and conventional sweet yellows from Sweet Clover Produce in Walla Walla, WA, will start shipping mid-July, according to Bill (Sweet Willie) Brownfield, Sweet Clover sales manager.

Mr. Brownfield said this year’s organic acreage has been doubled, and the operation’s growers, Grotz Bros. and Mercer Farms, are anticipating both excellent quality and excellent supplies.

“Tell people those organics are growing well, and it looks like a very good year,” Mr. Brownfield said in early June.

Grotz Bros. in Hermiston, OR, and Mercer Farms in Washington are part of the Sweet Clover family of growers that also includes Grigg & Sons, producers of the famed single-center Red Wing variety; Fernando Enriquez and Castoldi Farms, growers of Walla Walla Sweets; and Froerer Farms in Nyssa, OR.

As with Sweet Clover’s reds, whites, Walla Walla Sweets and hybrid yellows, the organics will be available in two-, three- and five-pound Carry Fresh bags this season. Sweet Clover also offers a 25-pound specialty pack carton.

Leading up to the new organic and conventional sweet yellow crop, Mr. Brownfield said in late April he was expecting Walla Walla Sweets to begin shipping in mid-June and will likely run through mid-August.

The Walla Walla Sweets, organic sweets and yellow sweets are part of Sweet Clover’s well-known, year-round sweet onion program. Also supplied year-round are domestic reds, including the Red Wings.

Each variety and all growers represented by Sweet Clover are third-party audited. Sheds are GAP-certified and are in compliance with state and federal food-safety protocol.

The company’s labels are “Sweet Clover,” “Columbia Pride,” “White Tiger,” “Basin Best” and “Quincy Queen,” and Mr. Brownfield said other labels could be added as Sweet Clover expands.