The Backyard

The Backyard

Monday, December 8, 2008

Organicgirl Produce Response - Not From China!

Here's Organicgirl Produce's response to my inquiry on where their greens are grown. My hunch was INCORRECT and they aren't from China.

Miss Jill-

I apologize for not getting back to you sooner, I was out on Friday and just this morning got back into the office. Thanks for emailing me your concerns about our growing practices at organicgirl. I want you to know that we absolutely support American farms, drawing from a vast network of certified organic farmers to grow the very best organic product possible for organicgirl good clean greens and good fresh veggies. We are farmers ourselves, and understand first and foremost the importance placed on a quality pool of farmers to harvest the best possible produce for organicgirl, which is why we farm in both the United Stated and Mexico. We draw from multiple specialty vegetable organic growers with an ideal climate and soil suited for certain veggies.

In addition, there are many decisions that affect where we grow our organic produce, the most important being Mother Nature herself. We grow in premier growing regions that are best suited for our organic vegetables, which vary by specific vegetable, by time of year, and by climate, to name the most compelling reasons. Some vegetables, for example, require a certain temperature and soil nutrients for optimum growth, and these regions are found in the United States as well as Mexico, sometimes in both growing regions at the same time, sometimes only in Mexico, and sometimes only in the United States. Again, this varies by season, by climate, and by veggie.

On another note, our Mexican facilities are of the same caliber as our domestic facilities, following U.S. regulations and independently audited by certified third parties on a regular basis. I can understand your hesitance with non-domestic growing and processing facilities, but the same care that we place on quality control standards in the US apply to all our operations, regardless of location.

In addition to growing in both the United States and Mexico, we process in Salinas, CA, Yuma, AZ, and Mexicali, Mexico, with a workforce of about 200 employees. organicgirl has been, and continues to be, a progressive company when it comes to employee welfare. organicgirl is unique in providing quality child care and educational services to our Mexico employees for three decades, our proudest accomplishment as a company by far. organicgirl children are provided child care in a safe and clean environment, we well as classroom instruction from Kindergarten through 6th grade, all in an organicgirl sponsored on-site facility. In addition, daily nutritious meals are provided for all the children enrolled. We’ve been doing this for decades and continue to do so, because we believe change starts from within.

In regards to our growing practices, our growers are cognizant of, and have reduced the use of high water cover crops, leading to a reduction in overall water usage. Our crop rotations are purposeful, returning much needed nutrients to the soil, and supplementing with natural soil amendments to maintain soil quality. Because we grow organic, we embrace practices with Mother Nature in mind. We utilize laser and GPS during field preparation to maximize use of land and water, further reducing and at times eliminating unnecessary cultivation. Maximizing field leads to minimized bed preparation thus minimized diesel use. In addition, we utilize drip irrigation as much as possible on our crops, and encourage our growers to do so as well, to better utilize and closely monitor precious water resources. Even our tender leaf crops (spring mix, spinach, etc.) that require sprinkler irrigation are watered at night or very early morning out of the wind to reduce wasted resources. We also utilize refrigerated trucks in the field to maximize product quality and minimize the number of hauls from the field to the cooler, eliminating dead trips with empty trucks and wasted fuel, resulting in overall decreased costs.

I hope helps with any concerns you may have about our growing practices here at organicgirl.


1 comment:

DailySAHM said...

Well, that was interesting. I wasn't expecting that response. They didn't say anything about their compostable container though!