Published August 15, 2009, 11:06 PM

Moorhead man harvests oversized onion

Farmer’s vegetable ‘a little smaller than a basketball’ Ron Sall plucked a very big onion from one of his gardens.

By: Forum staff reports, DL-Online

Ron Sall plucked a very big onion from one of his gardens.

The onion has a circumference of 19½ inches and weighs 3¾ pounds.

How big is that?

“A little smaller than a basketball,” he says. “It’s getting close to a volleyball.”

Sall, a retired creamery worker who lives in south Moorhead, swears he doesn’t use chemical fertilizers to grow his vegetables.

His secret?

“It’s old, old barnyard pastureland,” he says of the soil, reluctant to say anything more.

Well, he’ll say a bit more.

Onions like the cool weather and need plenty of sun. He added a bit of compost, and weeds aggressively.

Oh. And he uses garlic and rotten eggs around the perimeter of his garden to keep the deer away. “It’s pretty potent stuff,” he says.

Actually, Sall tends four gardens, including one in his backyard. The others are in Baker, Kragnes and his brother-in-law’s farm near Moorhead.

The giant onion, if you must know, came from the Baker garden.

Does he have special plans for that bruiser? Not really.

“Somebody’ll end up getting it,” he says. He gives away his produce to friends, relatives and neighbors.

Sall, 67, suspects he has even bigger onions. He’ll know for sure when he harvests his crop in about three weeks.

He picked a few for his daughter and kept the biggest so a skeptical friend could see it for himself. He once grew an even larger Kaelsae onion, weighing 4¼ pounds.

His gardening hobby began 20 years ago, when he traded his rod and gun for a rake and hoe.

“It’s just fun to see stuff grow,” he says.