Embracing the dry June heat of San Joaquin County is a small price to pay when exploring the grounds of Lagier Ranches. This 120-acre family-run farm in Escalon, CA, is rich in trees and small fruits: almond trees, grapes, table grapes, citrus, and cherries. Keep your eyes peeled for their Bronx grapes in some of The FruitGuys’ summer mixes.
Small, independent, and family-run farms need all the help they can get, as evidenced by the record number of applicants for The FruitGuys Community Fund’s 2016 sustainable agriculture grants: in a 55 percent increase from last year, 110 farms and agricultural nonprofits from across the country detailed sustainability projects aimed at increasing pollinators; conserving soil, water, and energy; and increasing harvests and food access to low-income communities.
The FruitGuys donated more than 1.3 million servings of produce directly to those in need during 2015, a new record for the South San Francisco–based company. Nearly 700,000 pounds of fruit and produce were given to food banks and charities that help the hungry in the San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and New York areas through the company’s GoodWorks program.
Q: I've heard The FruitGuys has a GoodWorks program for giving back, how does it work?
Each year, The FruitGuys GoodWorks program supports people, projects, and good health from the field to the table, and 2013 was a record year for giving. In keeping with the long-held tradition of providing healthy food to those who might not otherwise have access to it, The FruitGuys donated more than 616,000 pounds of produce to charitable organizations across the country through weekly donations to food pantries in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared on January 17, 2014, what farmers and ranchers have known for some time -- the state is in a drought, possibly the worst one in living memory. Farmers, ranchers, wildlife, and consumers are all likely to be impacted by a third year of so far record low precipitation.
New Family Farm of Sebastopol, California, was one of six farms awarded grants in April 2013 from The FruitGuys Community Fund, a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives. An outgrowth of the company’s Farm Steward Program, the Community Fund gives resources to small farms for sustainable agriculture projects that contribute to environmental and economic health.
The FruitGuys has formed a new non-profit organization to promote sustainable agriculture practices for small farms, an evolution of the company’s Farm Steward Program, which has provided farmers with aid since 2008.