We talk a lot about farmers and the farm workers and all the things it takes to get organic produce from seed to salad, but while we’re on the subject of gratitude, let me tell you about just a few of the wonderful people who make this AHO thing work every week and for whom I’m most grateful. Since they’re your year-round employees working to give you the best possible weekly experience, I figured you’d want to know who to pat on the back and encourage.
Front line is Blanca. Every one of you I’m sure have received an e mail from her at one time or another and whatever the challenge was, she handled it courteously and efficiently didn’t she? She answered your request promptly and whatever needed to happen to make it all good happened. It’s really beautiful to watch her grow in competence and character that match her expanded responsibilities. Write her a love note if you get a chance. But whatever you do, don’t get between Blanca and the goal on the soccer field; you will get a schooling.
Another lady who does everything well is Kathy. She has been here since before day one; she was the first staff member and has literally done every single job from helping to pack the first 50 boxes the first week, to putting this letter together for several years but the day she told me she would like to help make this project a success, I knew Abundant Harvest Organics was supposed to be. Today, she’ll graciously help you with website or credit card issues, but her favorite job is just being grandma.
One person you’ll only run into if you take a farm tour is Jackie. Completely behind the scenes quietly making things happen in the add-on department, she and her team of Robin and Junior get all the extra things packaged, and headed to the right community. She has a tireless old school work ethic that’s quite remarkable. Everything is triple checked and signed off and nobody ever even thinks about it. But I’m grateful, and now you can be too. Jackie has a beautiful place up in Alaska she’s going to retire to one day, but until then, nuts and butter, eggs and beef are heading your way each week because of her.
Finally, some men you see each week but probably take for granted are your truck drivers. Each of them started on a ladder in the orchard and has at least a decade in that career with us. Ask em any question about training a baby tree, thinning or harvest, and they won’t need to think about it, they just know.
If you see ’em on a Tuesday or Saturday, they’ve been at it since 3ish that morning, and have the balance of 15-16 hours before they get back to their families. And you know how much you just love the SoCal freeway system? Jammin’ a semi through ’em is even more fun yet. Bake ’em some organic brownies when you get a chance and tell ’em how much you appreciate their dedication to getting your produce there on time regardless.
I’m remiss at 8 years passing without these introductions, but when I count my blessings, these folks rank in the first paragraph.