Last week, a couple of our staff took a little field trip out to Western Mass to pay a visit to some of our growers. We were headed to the 2011 NOFA Summer Conference at UMass Amherst and thought we’d check in with some of the farmers that have been bringing us delicious local, organic produce all summer long.
Our first stop was Enterprise Farm in Whately, MA, where unfortunately much of the staff was busy dealing with a “harvesting emergency” on another plot of land (farming is no easy job!). Lucky for us, Stacy, the CSA coordinator, was kind enough to give us a brief tour and talk to us about some of Enterprise’s projects. Enterprise is heavily involved in all sorts of food justice ventures, including a mobile farmer’s market that brings fresh, organic produce to food deserts and also accepts SNAP benefits. Pretty cool, huh? Here’s a photo of the mobile market bus:
Stacy also walked us through some of the fields and greenhouses where we got to see (and taste!) some of their beautiful tomatoes and purple bell peppers.
Our second stop on the trip was Atlas Farm in Deerfield, MA, where we met up with our friend Gideon (Atlas’ head farmer). He graciously took out an hour of his busy day to show us the fields and answer some questions we had about organic growing. This season was a particularly challenging one because of the drastic temperature changes, but Atlas has managed to provide us with all sorts of top quality veggies regardless. Take a look at some of the crops in the field that may soon be in your box!:
We also took the opportunity to ask Gideon his thoughts on the USDA National Organic Program. Interestingly enough, he doesn’t agree with a few of the chemicals and practices that are allowed in the program and actually chooses to operate by his own, even stricter set of organic standards. While he admits the USDA program isn’t perfect, he participates because he knows it is one of the only ways that customers like you can be sure his food is organic.
Before we left, Gideon also mentioned how much he enjoys working with Boston Organics. Unlike other wholesale buyers and supermarkets, he finds that Boston Organics is willing to be more flexible and committed to making the partnership mutually beneficial. Thanks, Gideon! We here at Boston Organics definitely feel that it’s important to build good relationships with the people growing our food!
Do you have any questions you’d like to ask our farmers? Don’t be shy! Just send us an email and we’ll make sure your questions get answered!