Fresh Facts 22: Farm to Market

By February 4, 2018Fresh Facts, Newsletter

The first daffodil bloomed through the fallen leaves by the creek yesterday. My granddaughter picked it for me to smell before I could encourage enjoying it where it grew… looks great on the window sill too.

The first daffodils usually proceed the first plums blooming by a few weeks, so while spring isn’t here, it’s a comin’.

We have all our new orchards planted with the goal of filling out the summer fruit calendar with a weekly balanced compliment of: yellow peaches, white peaches, yellow nectarines, white nectarines, red plums, black plums, apricots, and pluots. Each is good for a week, and you do it again next week from May through potentially September.

And the varieties always grow in your field exactly like they did at the nursery, taste exactly the same—or better, they always ripen exactly at the timing and order you planned… you know just like how your kids follow all those wonderful plans you had for them before they were born; it’s pretty much just like that.

Lots of people don’t know what it takes to get a peach to your local supermarket so just for educational value, let’s run-down the basic infrastructure and organizational structure required to grow, harvest, and distribute fruit into the retail market.

What we just planted was chosen in 2016 after being observed for a few years, the desired root-stock was grown from seed or cutting and then the chosen variety was budded on in late May or early June of last year. Breeders and budders plus all their support staff makeup the commercial stone fruit nursery business. We have 3 major nurseries we work with.

What the farmer does you’ve heard plenty about here. Our main deal is a balanced, season-long supply of desirable fruit.

The farmer delivers his fruit to a packing facility. The job here is to transform field-run fruit into marketable grade, size, and packaging. If you’ve come on a summer farm tour, you’ve experienced first-hand the Willy Wonka fruit factory, and if you haven’t, you should!

The packer passes the fruit to cold storage by size grade and pack-style and to oversimplify, they account for it, remove the field heat, and get it on the right truck.

The sales company coordinates all of this, directs appropriate packaging for expected demand, connects the best retailer, books shipping, and often coordinates trucking. Lastly, they collect and appropriately distribute the fruit’s value back to everyone who participated. Everything everyone has done–often for decades– comes down to sales. If we all did it right, we get to do it again tomorrow.

I wanted to share this with you all for clarification. The common perception is farmer Bill with his shovel and straw hat growing peaches under the sun. While that’s still part of it, there is sooo much more if you expect to succeed in today’s environment.

This Abundant Harvest model is unique in that it eliminates everything between the farmer and you, yet brings it all together in an efficient manner so farmers can farm and you get fresh organic value. That was our concept 10+ years ago. It’s the same today and we’ve added some special products and a wonderful kitchen. You’ll always know and be in touch with your farmer. Pretty special.

Author Uncle Vern

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