Fresh Facts Week 16:
A.K.A. The Organic Food for Regular People Company

By December 14, 2014Fresh Facts, Newsletter

We started Abundant Harvest seven plus years ago for a few reasons. Friends and family would visit the farm and eat fruit off our cull belt and invariably say, “Why can’t we get fruit like this at home?”

When we would ask people if they ate organic, the response would be:

  • It’s too expensive
  • The quality’s poor
  • It isn’t fresh
  • I can’t find it where I live

What became evident was that many people wanted to source a cleaner, more wholesome product, but it needed to work within a budget and within busy time schedules.

Simultaneously, while 7 years ago were wonderful times in the general economy, the farm economy had gone through a bloody decade of reorganization (read: no place for small operators), so there was opportunity to marry the two into a symbiotic relationship.

From my unique position, as a packer for dozens of small organic farmers, shipping to every single chain and wholesaler in North America—a thankless job btw—I knew that if we eliminated all the needless waste (me) from the equation, and created an efficient distribution system, we could satisfy everyone’s desire while simultaneously creating a live connection between producers and co-producers.

***This is a tangent, but that’s why it’s so very important that every plastic box comes back every time. This deal fails otherwise. If we went to single use containers, we would have to eliminate 15% of your contents to pay for it. ***

We named the enterprise Abundant Harvest Organics because it sounds better than: The Organic Food for Regular People Company, but basically, that’s what we are; organic for regular folks who want to eat healthy and are slightly adventurous.

And that brings us to today. What we see now when we look out at California is a lot of people who want to eat healthy but frankly just don’t have enough time left in their day to cook. The biggest things we hear are:

  • There’s just too much produce
  • Too much time in the kitchen is required

And that brings us to Abundant Harvest Kitchen, which sounds better than: The Healthy Organic Prepared Food for Regular People Who Just Don’t Have Any Time Company.

I was hoping to be able to tell you that you could now go on and order a pan of gluten free organic lasagna where we tell you all the farmers and ranchers who contributed to it and even if you didn’t care about the gluten, you’d say, “Now that’s good!”

What I can do is update you on our status. We have a gleaming stainless facility here on the home place that’s been blessed by the fire marshal, the County Board of Health, and the State of California.

Now this is my bad, and you’d think I’d know this, but I thought we could just name the organically certified sources of our ingredients like we do the growers of your produce but not so. When they become ingredients in a recipe, we need to have the whole thing re-certified. The cool thing is you’ll get the CCOF logo on your apple pie; the bad thing is it won’t be a 2014 Christmas Pie.

Another really good thing is that we’re retrofitting all the trucks so they have a separate freezer section. This will benefit other things like meats. We’re going to need a lot of feedback from you all as we get started so we can get things right but in the end, more regular people will be able to

Author Uncle Vern

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