Earl’s Visits Las Hermanas Farm
Earl’s Organic recently added Las Hermanas Farm in Hollister to our expanding list of growers. Robert Lichtenberg, Head of Purchasing, Jackie Grindle Veg Buyer and Maeci Brown and Jacob Levy from Quality Control/Receiving visited Las Hermanas to make a connection with the farm’s owner and get a sense of what the young farm was doing in terms of operation. As their small farm grows so will our relationship with the grower.
Gloria Chavez grew up in a family involved in farming for 20 years. In 2011 Gloria, her mom, dad, brother and 2 sisters started their own farm and manage everything from the field to customer sales. They started off small and in just 5 years they have grown to 60 acres. Gloria’s father has always strongly believed in using organic farming methods. Gloria says “it is not only better for consumers, but also for our environment. When we started our own farm, we decided to stick with those practices.”
Jacob and Maeci are relatively new to Earl’s Organic and they felt there was a disconnect between the produce that arrives at Earl’s every day by the pallet and understanding how it is grown. Visiting the farm and seeing the produce in its many different life cycles was eye opening for them both.
At the time of Earl’s visit many of the fields were being prepped for a new crop, including peas to be harvested in the spring. The only items in the ground were green, red bore, and lacinato/dino kale and chard. Unfortunately the chard had been hit pretty hard with California’s recent big freeze. The kale held up very well in the freeze as it is a much hardier plant. One kale plant can be harvested many times because the stalk produces new leaves as it continues to grow. The harvesters wait until the leaves have matured enough and pick from the bottom leaving the new/small leaves on the stalk for the next picking. As the plant gets older it starts to slow down its production. Gloria said they like to experiment with new planting methods and crops.
Earl’s Organic supports employee trips to our growers to create stronger bonds between Earl’s and the grower and their product. Click here to learn more about other farms we work with on our grower map.
Written by Maeci Brown, Jacob Levy and Susan Simitz