Walla Walla Sweet Onion Harvest Pt 2

Walla Walla Sweet Onion Harvest Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
I'm Bob Larson. With this year's onion harvest nearly complete, growers of Walla Walla Sweets appear pretty happy with their crop despite an unusually wet and cooler Winter.

Mike Locati, owner-operator of Locati Farms, says that got them off to a bit of late start ... only to deal with the heat of summer ...

MIKE LOCATI ... "Yeah, it made it pretty tough. I mean, it's hard to work out in the heat like that and the onions get rip pretty fast, but we do a lot of things to combat Mother Nature that way with the way we plant with three different plantings and move along with our harvest at onions ripen. So, we had some fields that got a little riper than we'd like to, but we still didn't see the poor quality that we would have."

Locati says they beat the heat with early starts to the work day ...

MIKE LOCATI ... "Oh yeah, we started harvesting at 2 o'clock in the morning like the second week in June. We just went back to harvesting at about 4 o'clock, but yeah, for most of the summer we harvest from 2 o'clock in the morning on. I mean, you can't work in that heat."

Locati says harvest should wrap up within a week or two ...

MIKE LOCATI ... "We should be able to ship Walla Walla's out of our packing facility until, probably, the last week in August, but harvest will end probably a week prior to that. It just depends on how it goes with the crew and the packing shed's needs."

In order to be "official" Walla Walla Sweet Onions, they must be grown in the legal production area that covers Walla Walla County in southeastern Washington and a small part of northeastern Oregon just across the stateline.

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