GLENNVILLE, GA (WTOC) - This weekend, Glennville and Tattnall County will celebrate their favorite crop - sweet onions - at the annual Onion Festival.
One local farm has helped lead the industry. Robert Dasher of G&R Farms has seen plenty on the farm his family started in the 1940s. He and his late brother, Gerald, could not have dreamed their onion operation would grow like it has since the 70s, but he can gauge it by the number of trucks that haul away onions to markets around the country.
“If we were doing 2-3 a week, we were doing a lot. Now, you do that in half a day,” Dasher said.
The onions that come from their fields go to the chefs at Delta Airlines for entrees on hundreds of flights a day. They’ve become a mainstay in grocery stores around the country. In the beginning, Nashville was their biggest market.
“Then Atlanta got on board. Now, that city probably consumes more Vidalia onions than any city in the United States,” he said.
The technology has evolved over the decades. Electronic scanners help the shed crews sort onions into sizes and help toss out blemishes.
“We want to produce something that we would want to eat ourselves. Don’t want to sell something to somebody that we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves or serve our family,” Dasher said.
He says onion growers work together to maintain quality standards and protect the trademarked Vidalia name.
“We’re not so much about the one-time sale as the repeated business. We’re looking at the long term,” he said.
He hopes in the long term, he has them growing their market even more. That’s one of many reasons Robert Dasher is Proud to be a Georgia Farmer.