Uncle Vern’s Weekly Farm-Fueled Musings, April 7–13, 2014
Continuing my commitment to visit all the delivery sites this year, I rode with Miguel last Tuesday and Wednesday through some snow flurries over the Tehachapis Tuesday morning, ending with a refreshing rain in San Diego Wednesday.
So what did ya learn Uncle Vern? I learned there’s as many ways to get this produce into your home as there are communities in California, and that’s saying A LOT! The first stop is in Mojave, it’s still dark while we off load several pallets. Here comes our very first delivery truck that we bought six and a half years ago when we started this whole thing.
You charter Abundant Harvesters will remember that truck stopping in Bakersfield, going up to Tehachapi, Valencia….When Erik had to take a pick-up load to the Grapevine, so the truck could get past the scales, we knew it was time to start using full sized trucks. Every box was carried to the back door then as well, so our original delivery drivers, Mark and Wes, used to get quite a work-out.
As an update, Mark’s wife Clementa is a veterinarian, and their whole family is off to Kyrgyzstan this August for three years to make the world better. Wes (with the British accent) is a high school math teacher in Hanford with two of his three in college.
I sure got off track didn’t I? Anyhow, Ignacio meets us in Mojave to go make the Ridgecrest folks healthy, Kathryn meets us in a snow-covered van, another guy in a car; I should have written down everyone’s name. We head to Palmdale and drop a trailer that’s soon surrounded by delivery guys scurrying around, sorting and checking. Warner Brothers, Glendale, Dream Works, and Glendora, and that’s just Tuesday.
We start at 5:00 a.m. Wednesday and make six different stacks for the different delivery folks who come between 5:30 and 7:00. We make three stops with Brad in San Diego who has an incredible home delivery system worked out…I’m going to stop now, but you get the idea.
There is a lot of work and coordination here with our farmers, getting everything grown and harvested, sorted and packed, loaded and hauled. But there’s a lot of work and coordination getting this food delivered to your town or door as well.
Our farmers and hosts and co-producers are as diverse as our state. My favorite question of everybody after, “Are we feeding you okay?” is, “Why are you doing this?”
You’d be amazed at the spectrum of answers. Hosts typically say: “I just wanted honest organic food we could afford for my family, and the only way to get it here was to become a host.” You co-producers have wonderfully varied answers:
* I love knowing where my food comes from and supporting small organic California farmers.
* Oh! My children love their vegetables now; they’re excited to try new food and we’re all healthier.
*I want to be part of the solution.
* I would never buy some of these items in the store. Now I feel like a chef on Chopped. Thanks to AHO, the weekly recipes, and pictures, I’m so much more confident and creative.
* A friend told me about this service and I was like, “What do you mean I don’t get to pick what I get? This is America!’” Now, not knowing and being surprised and challenged is the best part.
Insert your answer here: