My first Blog Ever - Lack of Local Supply and what BO is doing...

Posted by Boston Organics on Dec 13, 2008 8:58:23 PM

I am new to blogging and have been having a hard time figuring where to begin. So here I go.

One question we get often is the following…

Why can't we get all those cool vegetables we see at the farmer's markets or even local root crops through out the winter?

We're just as frustrated as you that we don't have access to an abundant variety of local organic vegetables as well as winter friendly roots like beets, potatoes, parsnips, etc year round. We know you want them, we want to get them for you, and we feel we should be able to get them for you. The problem is that there is only a very limited supply available right now. As small of a company we are, our demand for local organic produce exceeds what our network of growers can provide us.

The current poor state of the local food chain is a result of the modern food economy we have created. Cheap food produced on large-scale farms from far away that can be transported inexpensively destroyed a once flourishing local food economy. The physical logistics connecting growers to their markets have to be rebuilt and reinvented. Knowledge of and infrastructure for root storage has to be re-learned and re-built. Markets for local carrots coming out of storage competing against fresher/nicer looking/cheaper carrots need to be created.

Both eating organically and locally resonate with me on a very basic, emotional level that I call "truths." It only makes sense that you only want to eat clean food made without the use of synthetic chemicals. For the simple sake of peace of mind, it only makes sense that you want to have access to food grown nearby and not rely on food grown on the other side of the continent. There are so many more reasons why it is important that we support organic and local food production (the local economy, the environment, etc.).

These are some of the motivations why I started Boston Organics, and why I am so excited that I believe we have arrived at a time where we are on the cusp of seeing some significant, positive change about to happen.

Our growers are beginning to see the demand and we are taking steps to increase the supply. We are all very excited about the possibilities and will try our best to get there as quickly as possible. However there are still many challenges and it will take some time.

Steps Boston Organics is taking to get local organic vegetables available to you year round:

1. Pre-Orders to the Growers

First of all, we are only able to do this because of your support. Because you are supporting our model of the "mystery box" and trust us to choose what goes in your box, we are able to offer growers a level of unprecedented commitment that allows them to increase their production significantly.

Because you are willing to sacrifice some control as to what goes in your order, we are able to commit in the winter for the next season's product. THIS IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL and has been one of the most satisfying and rewarding parts of the business.

2. Build a root cellar?

We are in the early, early, early, dream stage of talking with a few growers about building a root cellar. Building a cellar and growing the vegetables to stock it are only parts of the solution. The growers need to learn about the best practices to ensure that the potatoes and other roots will last into the late spring. Other questions include, will refrigeration/electricity be needed to store the crops? If so how will that impact the economics?

It is an exciting time to be involved in the food business. There is some great momentum happening to make some real positive change to create a sustainable food system. Through your support, I believe Boston Organics can be part of the solution.

Thanks for your support and business.

-Jeff Barry (owner/founder of Boston Organics)

Topics: Jeff's Corner

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