CSA Week 8
This Week’s Harvest
- Salad Mix
- Red Leaf Lettuce (last head lettuce until fall)
- Tendersweet Cabbage
- Shishito Peppers
- Bell Peppers
- Red Long of Tropea onions
- Sweet Corn
A couple years ago our cooperative, Great River Organics, was invited by Whole Foods to participate in a local supplier summit. The summit took place in Washington, DC , and since I have an aunt in the area I thought I would go and get a visit in with family at the same time.
Pre-conference instructions suggested that participants bring a sample of their product for a photo shoot opportunity with a professional photographer. The conference was in March so we didn’t actually have any of our beautiful fresh produce to showcase. However, we did have some purple daikon storage radishes still kicking around in our cooler so I decided I would bring the daikon radishes with me for the product photo opportunity.
I went to the summit with our co-op’s manager, Jaime, and our main objective was to further develop our relationship with Whole Foods. The conference took place at The Nationals’ baseball stadium. So there I am at a fancy conference at a fancy venue with a bunch of purple daikon hanging out in my purse. The conference speakers included employees of Whole Foods as well as vendors whose products were on Whole Foods shelves. We meet the regional buyer of produce for Whole Foods, ate delicious food and meet other small business owners.
When I first arrived and checked in, I set up a time for the photo shoot with my product. 1 o’clock rolls around and I take my purse with my daikon and head to the photo shoot area. There I find a table with a pristine white tablecloth and I was told by the photographer to place my product on the table. I lifted my purse and dumped out the radishes. I felt a little awkward with my obscure vegetable whereas most people had an identifiable item but the photographer genuinely seemed very excited about the produce. He took some photos of just the daikons and then instructed me to hold them and took pictures of me. I was also told to come up with a quote about my product so I frantically texted Jaime. She responded with a few excellent quotes, I picked one of them and wrote it on a card.
I honestly had forgotten about it and wouldn’t have even brought up but last week a friend tagged me in a Facebook post and said I was famous. She was shopping in the Mason Whole Foods and snapped a picture of a picture of me and my daikons. I am pleased that the poster is properly placed right in front of our zucchini spread.
So far this season we have sold over 5000 pounds of our summer squash to Whole Foods through our co-op. You can also find our cabbage, kale, scallions, head lettuce and parsley in the Dayton and Cincinnati area Whole Foods. The co-op has been a very important piece of our farm’s success. Small vegetable farms can take on many shapes and sizes and there are different options for selling. We have found that direct sales to our customers through CSA and market alone would not provide an adequate income so we added a wholesale piece, which has enabled us to make investments in the farm, increase our employees pay, and focus the farm structure to maximize efficiency.
Coming Up Next Week (our best guess….) Tomatoes, sweet corn, poblano peppers, tomatillos, golden beets, shishito peppers, basil, sweet onions and more!