We occasionally get asked, “What are the problems you are seeking to solve?” This time of year, there is one issue in particular that gets our attention.  That problem is that the Summer is peak season for local growers, while consumers eat the least local due to inconsistent lifestyles.  We recently chatted with Josh from Row by Rowe Organic Farm and here is what he had to say about it.  “This is the time of year when everyone’s going on vacation but this is GO TIME for us. We took the winter to rest. Now this is our time to shine. We’re proud of all the things that are coming out of the ground.”

Josh Plymale, Row by Rowe Organic Farm

And he’s right.  For the rest of us non-farmers, the summer means long weekends, the beach, and a little less work.  But when we get out of our normal routines, our eating habits usually become more convenience based.  We plan less, eat out more, and pick up non-local food last minute at the grocery store before our 4th of July party (I’m guilty of all these things).

And the end result, which no one ever thinks about, is this means we aren’t buying Josh and Jess’s strawberries at their most crucial time of year. “We’re working all year ‘round, but summer is our crunch time.  This is what so much of our work has been for and when we need to make most of our money.”  

Jess Plymale, Row by Rowe Organic Farm

This is a cultural problem we hope to fix.  Our role is to bring awareness to our community so we can make more informed decisions.  Fresh Harvest customers, for example, skip 5-10% more deliveries during the summer.  We love offering that convenience and know it is important at times.  But it’s easy to think a single decision only impacts us and that’s just not true.  With a little planning, we can support local organic growers at their busiest time of year.

What if we were able to buy every strawberry that Josh and Jess grew this summer?!  Not only do they benefit, but as consumers, we benefit as well.  “This is mother nature’s peak”, says Josh.  “It’s when everything is at it’s juiciest, sweetest, and most colorful.  The summer is the best time of year to eat!”