To give everyone a better idea of how PCH is able to bring you fresh local produce we thought we’d write a few blog posts on our entire process from farm to table. This first week let’s take a look at the farms we work with and how we are able to select the highest quality produce each week.
As you know PCH works closely with several farms to put together the box you get every week. Because we are working with small local farms, no one farm is big enough to grow all of the vegetables every week. Instead, each week, farmers from each of the farms hand pick which crops will be ready for harvest that week and give us a call on Thursday or Friday and let us know what they can bring the following week. Once all of the farmers have let us know what’s ready to be picked, Reece chooses a balanced box of the best the week has to offer. He picks staples that everyone is used to cooking with and is also always excited to be able to offer a few other vegetables that people don’t eat as often.
Then we post the list for what’s in the next week’s box on our website so that you can take a look and do some adding and substituting. Often the items we put up as options for you to add are either some of the crops that farmers had an abundance of or that multiple farmers had ready for harvest in the same week. Sometimes we are a little late posting the info on the next weeks box. This is because the farmers had to take a little more time to figure out exactly what would be ripe at just the right time. We think that extra time is worth it to make sure that we have produce that is the best it can possibly be.
In the morning the day before each delivery, the farmers harvest the next day’s produce and get it ready for delivery. Then on the day of delivery our farmers come and drop off just that day’s crop by early afternoon. Our guys then pack your boxes usually starting just an hour or two after the produce arrives. As soon as the boxes are packed our drivers are off to bring you produce as fresh as possible.
Just to help put that in perspective produce (even the organic produce) that you buy at the grocery store usually has been out of the ground for about a week, sometimes almost 2 weeks, before you buy it. Because grocery store produce has to travel much farther and in much larger quantities larger farms actually harvest food a few days before it is really ripe so that it will ripen while it is being shipped to the distributor and then to the grocery store. The stores then hold the produce in the back for a day or two until they have space to display it and until it has ripened enough. Though that method works alright, the produce will never taste as good as it does when it is allowed to ripen just the right amount before it is picked. This is also why produce in a grocery store always seems to be just a little too ripe or not quite ripe enough.
The whole process gets hand picked and carefully selected produce from the ground to your house in 36 to 48 hours. It’s hard to get food much fresher than that unless you’re growing it yourself!