There is a reason that the produce you receive from a farmer’s market, farm stand, and Field Goods is an entirely different product (particularly with respect to taste and variety) than you would get at a grocery store. Adding some wine to the conversation helps. By way of illustration, “Industrial” carrots grown in Canada may have no more in common with an organic Purple Haze variety of carrot grown in the Hudson Valley than a gallon of Gallo wine has with a fine Cabernet from the Napa Valley in California. Make sense?
We spoke with one our favorite farmers, Chris Cashen from The Farm at Miller’s Crossing, about his carrots. The Farm at Miller’s Crossing is a Certified Organic farm located on 200-acres in Hudson, NY. He shared that “there are many factors that play a role in quality and taste. Produce tastes different simply because of the soil it’s grown in. Another important factor that is separate from the cultivation and growing of plants, is the time after harvest from field to table. Working with Field Goods, our fresh-harvested produce gets delivered directly to their customers. It really doesn’t get any faster than that. How the product is handled after harvest is critical and, when we harvest our greens, they go from our cooler straight to Field Goods. I love knowing that my products are delivered as fresh as possible.”
Not only is the taste different but there is also a greater variety. Years ago, when we first started buying heirloom and hard-to-find varieties, we encountered a limited supply. Why? We asked our long-time friend Martin Stosiek from Markristo Farm, a 20-acre certified organic farm in Hillsdale, NY. He started by taking “caraflex cabbage as an example. Caraflex is one of the best tasting cabbages but I wasn’t selling much at the market. Its pointed-end looks very weird and people are hesitant to buy it. Also, it doesn’t do well in grocery stores since its pointy-head can get damaged in distribution and on the shelf. As a farmer it doesn’t make a lot of sense to grow small amounts of one product so I stopped growing it. When Field Goods asked me to grow 2,000 heads for them that was an entirely different story.”