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Bauman College Student Tour

Bright and early Wednesday morning Earl’s Organic Produce hosted a group of 30 students and faculty from all the Bay Area Bauman Holistic, Nutrition Culinary Arts College locations for a tour of the warehouse.   Bauman is a non-profit educational institution that aims to create a sustainable culture of wellness in individuals and to change the way people consume food from convenience to conscious eating. It was a natural fit for Earl to share his expertise with the Bauman College and provide a more comprehensive educational experience in understanding the concept of farm to table.

The students are about to finish their classes in August and then will need to complete 50 externship hours before graduating.  The students will go onto careers such as becoming a personal chef, having a catering business, recipe writing, product development, blogging or working in alternative baking.

The tour was designed to further the students understanding of the food chain; how produce travels from the farm to the end user and the amount of care and attention that is given to how it is packaged, stored and handled during that transition. An emphasis was placed on Earl’s Organic providing superior produce at the best price point while supporting the local economy and the sustainability of organic farms.  Earl’s has the relationships with the farms and does all the quality control so our customers don’t have to, ultimately saving them time with only one shopping trip for all their organic produce needs.

Earl Herrick, owner of Earl’s Organic was joined by Susan Simitz, Marketing Manager for Earl’s, Sitarani Palomar, Culinary Program Director of Bauman, Kasey Caletti, Culinary Curriculum Manager of Bauman, Helge Hellberg, host and founder of An Organic Conversation(AOC) radio show and Mark Mulcahy, founder and host of AOC as well as an Organic Retail and Management Consultant.

Earl’s docks were stacked with pallets for the students to sit on and enjoy the warehouse experience.  Sita kicked off the tour by welcoming the students and spoke about how Earl’s Organic and An Organic Conversation radio show both complement the mission at Bauman College.  Kasey followed by speaking about the value of having the school field trip at Earl’s and how Earl’s provides great partnership opportunities for chefs.   Before the tour began Helge spent a few minutes talking briefly about the spectrum of the organic movement and how the knowledge learned at Bauman College and on the tour prepares students for the vast array of career choices in the organic food industry and beyond.

The students bundled up in their jackets as Earl guided the tour through the warehouse and coolers explaining how produce is brought into the warehouse from the farms and how it is stored in either the warm storage area, fruit storage area, cold/wet cooler or cold/dry coolers.

Every item of produce that arrives goes through strict quality control and usually has a 2-3 day turnover rate.  Produce is constantly arriving into the warehouse and being shipped out to customers.  The busiest time at the warehouse happens at night between 10pm -5am when trucks can be seen arriving with the latest harvests from farms all over California and even from Oregon depending on the season.  The trucks are constantly checked for the correct temperature with infrared thermometers and great care is taken to work with the growers on how to optimize the integrity of the produce from farm to table.  David Findlay, who is in charge of Quality Control, and has over 30 years of produce experience, spent a few minutes speaking about how onions are grown and stored.

David Findlay, Quality Control

As the students wound their way in and out of the 4 coolers they had the opportunity to try sugar snap peas, English Peas and other seasonal produce.  Cases of produce were open for display including beans, cucumbers, baby gem lettuce, kale, plums, peaches, strawberries and blueberries.

 

The tour was followed by a tasting of some of summers freshest fruit including local California Bing cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  The students were wowed by the freshness and sweet taste of the organic summer fruit.

Tasting raspberries, strawberries and blueberries

Following the tasting we were lucky to have McEvoy Ranch come and speak about their certified organic olive oil with olives all grown, harvested, milled, blended and bottled entirely on the ranch in Petaluma, CA .

McEvoy Ranch

Our second guest speaker was Prather Ranch who partners with ranches and farms in California and Oregon to produce the highest quality, best tasting, most humanely and sustainably raised meat in the world.

Prather Ranch

Students tasted sweet slices of heirloom tomatoes drizzled with McEvoy Ranch olive oil, flame grapes paired with arugula and for lunch a quinoa salad with ground lamb donated by Prather Ranch, a bean and spinach hummus served with slices of gluten free bread donated by Mariposa Bakery and an arugula salad with almonds and raspberries from Earl’s.

Bauman Tour Lunch

Helge ended the tour by discussing nutrition as it pertains to soil health, nutrient density in the plant, the resulting health of the individual, and the ultimate health of the planet, demonstrating the interconnectedness of all of our choices. Earl thanked everyone for coming and finished the day by emphasizing the opportunity and advantage of working in San Francisco which is home to the most passionate and knowledgeable advocates of organic and sustainable agriculture.  

Even if you don’t have an account with Earl’s Organic you can walk into the warehouse Sunday-Thursday evenings starting 10pm until 10am the following morning and buy cases at our Customer Service Office.  If you have questions please give us a call!

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