Thursday, February 1, 2007

Our Farmers Are Local Heroes

By Lisa Sedlar

I’m not a morning person (I’m writing this at 10pm) but my husband is. It’s surprising to think that after 11 years of marriage he’s still trying to engage me in conversation before I have fully reconciled myself with the reality that I have to get out of bed before I want to. He often tries to ask me questions. Mostly I respond in nods and grunts, but once in awhile he’ll toss me a softball question like he did this morning: “what’s this I’m hearing about videos of my wife and some farmers on the New Seasons website?” So I dragged myself out of bed and over the to the kitchen computer and typed in the NSM web address for him. Then I clicked on the Home Grown box and showed him eight different videos of some of our growers, fishers and ranchers. They are kind of like you-tube videos minus the weird and alarming factor.

I wouldn’t call myself a techno geek by any stretch, but I am really thankful for modern conveniences and technology. The internet is a fantastic tool that allows new relationships and dialogues to be forged (like this one). However, a byproduct of our modern lifestyle is a loss of connection with people and especially the people who grow our food.

One of our goals at New Seasons Market is to connect you, the eater, with where and how your food is grown. Check out Jeff Boden’s profile. He’s one our local berry growers and in my book, a local hero. Jeff ‘s berries are the ripest and most sublimely flavored because during the berry season, he picks them in the morning and delivers them to our store that same day…berry juice still on his fingers. Most grocery stores won’t accept fully ripened fruit, because it doesn’t have enough shelf life. We actually seek it out!

Anyway, I don’t want to tell you everything about the videos, cuz that will spoil the fun of discovery, so I’ll stop here and await your feedback.

5 comments:

beebs said...

What’s weird and alarming about this is that these videos are on a grocery store’s website! It’s pretty cool to see the faces of the people who are growing my food.

straycat said...

Those are some good looking videos. That dog running all over the farm to round up the lambs?! Awesome.

Jonathan Maus said...

Great video. Thank you New Seasons for this website and for sharing these stories with the community.

Keep up the good work.

Randy Hudson said...

Congrats …and thanks. It’s not just about the food ( though that’s a big part of it!…
shelf life is for tastless food!), but, as stated in the video w/Jeff Boden, it’s also about the community. I want safe, delicious, good-for-my-body food, for me and my family.
And I want to live in a place that supports those who produce it within the community, not a long-distance truck haul away. Doesn’t seem like a lot to ask, does it?….yet I feel very fortunate to be granted that wish.

paul said...

I makes a lot of sense to support local products. Among the many other reasons, it keeps the dollars circulating in this area as the farmers and their workers shop at local stores. It also reduces the carbon impact from transporting food from great distances.

I am therefore suprised to find New Seasons stocking frozen organic produce that comes from China (although you have to search the smaller print on the back of the package for that information) when there are perfectly good Oregon grown alternatives sitting in the same freezer.

Shoppers don’t always have time to search the packaging for the source of their contents and rely on your stores reputation for supporting local produce as I did the first time I made the mistake of buying it. One of your employees was equally suprised when I pointed it out, however I still see the products on the shelves. It just doesn’t seem consistent with everything else you do.

Thanks for the generally good job you do. We like the Pacific Village butter and other products. And thanks for the opportunity to add my views.