From Farm to FruitGuys

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This week the TakeHome case contains broccoli, red cabbage, and

cilantro from Efren Avalos' organic farm in Hollister, CA. Hollister

is a quiet town, except for the rumblings of an annual motorcycle

rally and the occasional earthquake shudder from the Calaveras Fault.

This is where Avalos coaxes year-around vegetables from the fertile

soil. “It's flat land with really nice weather,” says

Avalos, adding, “In the summertime it’s pretty

hot.” He harvests the veggies in the quiet early morning hours

and drives them to The FruitGuys the same day.

March is a time when the San Joaquin Valley farmer typically has a

foot in each season: it’s the end of winter harvest and the

planting of summer crops in interior California’s fields.

“This time of the year I have cabbage, cauliflower, celery,

broccoli, onion and garlic, parsley, cilantro and the last of the

lettuce,” says Avalos. When it’s not raining he's in

the fields, when it is raining, he's planting summer warm season

veggies such as tomatoes, peppers and his famous sweet corn. Currently

the seedlings are busy growing in a protected green house.

California’s mild climate means there is barely a lull between

the seasons, keeping farmers like Avalos busy 24/7/365 from seed to

harvest.

The Farm Direct alliance between FruitGuys and Avalos Farm began when

FruitGuy Bridget met Avalos through Torrey Olson of Gabriel Farm,

which supplies us with Asian Apple Pears, apples, and persimmons. The

great quality, diversity of produce and multiple-season availability

of Avalos’ vegetables made him a great match for The FruitGuys

TakeHome program. “Farm direct” means produce buyer

Rebecca calls Avalos to check on what he has ready for harvest. After

tabulating customer orders, Avalos hits the fields to collect your

order and delivers it to FruitGuys where we pack them in boxes. Those

same veggies are delivered to your place of work by noon, same day

they left the field. This is all done by ole-fashioned cell phone

since Avalos doesn't use email or a Blackberry. “I don't like

to use computers very much, I prefer to work outside in the

fields,” he says. That's just as well, because who knows when

Avalos would a chance to recharge his batteries.

 

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Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.