The term just refers to fresh harvested onions versus cured onions (what happens after the leaves die back and dry out). This particular variety of onions is called “purplette”. They bulb up relatively small and tend to be milder and sweeter than a cured onion. You can use them just as you would regular onions. The tops are also usable- treat them like scallions. They’re also quite elegant on the grill- try trimming several inches off the tops, slicing them lengthwise down the neck in half, and grilling them.