Planting onions

Farmer Ben Vanderweele, right, places trays of onion seeds in his greenhouse on Saturday, March 20.

There’s still snow on the ground in Southcentral Alaska but our farms are getting back to the business of growing things. Ben Vanderweele, a longtime Matanuska Valley farmer, started planting onions in his industrial-size greenhouse last week. Cold weather — as in below zero Fahrenheit — delayed him but not for long. Vanderweele said he experiments with different onion varieties, trying to find the sweet spot between cold climate success, flavor and storage.

The onions get a head start, but they’ll soon be joined in the greenhouse by trays of lettuce. They won’t be moved outside until sometime in May.