The winter season brings Crop Planning Meetings with our farmer partners.  It’s one of the best parts of my job.  It usually looks like a day of sipping coffee in the barn and walking through the fields imagining what will be coming out of the dirt in coming months.

Last week, we sat around the kitchen table at Fry Farm in Bethlehem GA with Matt Fry and his mom, Vicky, reminiscing about 2017 and planning out various crops for 2018.  Discussing our shared values, Vicky said something I may never forget regarding the food we choose to eat:

“As with wines, fruits and vegetables differ from farm to farm, region to region and even from season to season.  Each farm presents its own unique flavor, which we refer to as terroir.  The complexity of the soil, water, and air as well as surrounding trees, herbs and other plants all contribute to the diversity of characteristics making for a variety of tastes throughout the growing season.”

Every bit of produce we eat was formed through a complex combination of conditions and forces, bearing the unique fingerprint of a particular farm and of those who cultivate it.  In the same way, produce that sits on the shelf at a grocery store absorbs the “terroir” of that building and space; and the chemical weed-kller sprayed on a field of greens becomes a part of the apple growing nearby.

Knowing this, we all carry the burden of preserving and promoting the individuality of our farmers and the land they passionately fight to steward well.  Thank you for playing your part in the story, and may you enjoy every bite knowing that it’s layered in rich flavorful complexity.