We love our local food community. Naturally, when our farmers are in a tight spot, we want to help. This can come by providing early season capital for through our Harvest Share program. Other times, it’s by purchasing surplus produce.
The “too much of a good thing” saying rings true here: when a crop produces more than a farmer can sell, it quickly becomes waste. According to the Agriculture Department, 25-33 percent of food grown on American Farms is wasted. Remember: we’re talking about produce here. The “sell by” date on fresh fruits and vegetables doesn’t have an impressive shelf life unless preserved properly. Grocery stores only want the “pretty” produce; bruised apples and peaches don’t sell as well as the pristine ones.
By purchasing some of this surplus produce and handing it over to the team at our cannery, we can reduce waste and create a more sustainable food community. Take Beth and Frank from Osito Farms for example. Last year, they had a bumper crop of apples: in other words, a huge surplus. While their orchards boomed with ripe fruit, they had growing worries about what exactly they were going to do with it, especially less popular retail varieties like their Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples.
That’s one of the most rewarding parts of what we do: figuring out mutually beneficial solutions for our local growing community. Farming in Colorado is notoriously unpredictable and we try to smooth things out where we can. Their surplus apple woe is our applesauce gain. Winner winner, applesauce for dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch.