Letter from a Grateful Onion Farmer


Since 1996 the black dirt region of Orange County has been hit with a plethora of devastating weather events that have severely limited, if not decimated our crops. From floods of the Wallkill River, to devastating droughts, to large hail storms, we have taken a pounding.

But 2014 is proving to be a fantastic growing season! Adequate and well timed rains coupled with warm but not excessively hot days combined with cool nights have provided an ideal growing season for most crops, especially onions. Even the long and bitterly cold winter was extremely beneficial in terms of mitigating certain pathogens and pests that harbor themselves in the soil and flourish during a mild winter. 


On our farm we are typically yielding 900-1,000 50lb bags of onions to the acre. But what has been most extraordinary has been the quality of the crop. We have virtually no culls or waste!

Though many of us, including Eve and I, are very deep in debt after so many devastating and mediocre seasons, and one very good season will not eliminate the massive debt we are in, this bumper crop will go a long way in reducing that heavy debt burden.

We are very appreciative and feel extremely blessed. Not just because of the growing season but the long standing and overwhelming support we have found over the years from our neighbors in Warwick and the other communities we are located in. We cannot thank everyone enough for their kindness and support over the years. That support makes us even more appreciative as this season hopefully progresses to a successful finish.

Hopefully 2014 will only be surpassed by 2015! In the meantime, I keep muttering to myself, “‘next year’ is finally THIS YEAR!”


chrispawlewskiChris is a 4th generation farmer, married to the same wonderful woman, Eve, since 1990, and the proud father of two wonderful sons, Caleb & Jonah.

When he’s not stuck in the muck at home he’s mired in the muck in Washington DC and Albany, NY, working on public policy issues on behalf of farmers.

His soon to be published memoir, "Muckville: Farm Policy, Media and the Strange Oddities of Semi-Rural Life," details his experiences living on the farm and working on public policy issues affecting agriculture in Washington DC.

Chris signed with a professional literary agent, Elisabeth Dabney, of Elisabeth B. Dabney Literary Services (http://ebdliterary.com/Welcome.html). She is an enthusiastic believer in his memoir and is actively working to sell it to a publishing entity.