A Visit To Earthbound Farm's Farm Stand

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Earth Bound Farm - Farm Stand Visit

#feedfeed #EarthboundFarm

by Kevin Masse

It’s hard to believe, but organic has not always been something that has been embraced, or as mainstream, as it is today. Once considered food of the ‘hippies,” organic carried a negative connotation in many parts of the country. Treating soil and plants with pesticides and chemicals was the norm, with an aim to increase the harvest and reduce bugs and plight that otherwise might harm them.

Herb Garden Entrance

When Drew and Myra Goodman bought a small plot of land on Carmel Valley Road in 1984, they did not intend to spark a revolution. The land they had purchased contained mostly fruit trees and raspberries and when they were shown the chemicals needed to keep the Raspberry harvest going, they were determined to find a better way. Born was Earthbound Farm - a small operation (2.5 acres) that has grown to 53,000 acres of organic farming in just over 30 years.

Scenes from the Farm Stand

Focusing on building the soil health and using natural farming methods to rid crops of pests, Earthbound Farm began growing baby heads of lettuce - heads of lettuce that looked, and tasted, much different from the Iceberg lettuce that most Americans were accustomed to. Around this same time, other revolutionaries, such as Alice Waters were turning to their local surroundings to source ingredients from farms that eschewed the use of chemicals.

Farm tractor, ready to go

As they began to expand, Drew and Myra knew they were onto something by growing and harvesting young, baby lettuces - but they had to shift a cultural perception, and more importantly, find a way to make organic lettuces and produce available at scale. They were the first brand to market to introduce bagged lettuce that was triple washed and ready to consume. Through education and persistence, Earthbound Farm has become a household name across the country, supplying many parts of the nation with fresh, organic produce, year round.

Left to right: Purslane, Earthbound Farm Spring Mix
In early January, we had the opportunity to visit the Farm Stand - there on the side of Carmel Valley Road. Like the company itself, the Farm Stand has evolved - now focused mostly on growing what is consumed through the on site cafe - the Farm Stand offers a wide selection of Earthbound Farm produce, as well as other locally sourced dry goods and condiments.
Top to bottom, clockwise: Farmer Janna Jo welcomes the group (Amy Kritzer, Gillian Ewing, Chandamheer Stacker, Liz Birnbaum); Janna Jo gives an overview to the team & the team relaxes upon arrival
It is no secret that we here at The Feedfeed take farming seriously. From the local farms we support, to the large scale operations like Earthbound Farm, we genuinely believe in the power of organic and the need to eliminate chemicals from the produce and crops we consume. We’ve come to know that Earthbound Farm is also a brand that our community embraces as well, which is why were were so thrilled to offer a small group of our community the opportunity to learn more about the farm and the farm stand.
Photographers hard at work: Top to bottom, clockwise: Allyson Felser, Chef Daniella Gerson, Gillian Ewing
Our day started with hot cider in the outdoor pavilion, along with a brief history of the farm from the lead Farmer, Janna Jo - she has been with the company for 19 years. An artist by training and a farmer by trade, she is in an incredible source of information about both the brand and the techniques involved with organic farming. From there, we were taken along on a journey through the herb gardens and the garden beds where the farm started - learning about the various smells, textures and tastes of the crop that they grow there.
Head Farmer - Janna Jo
Top to bottom clockwise: Some guests take in the smells of the herb garden ( Natalie Tereshchenko, Chandamheer Stacker, Remy Park, Sylvie Charles) Herbs growing in the garden; Learning about Pineapple Sage (Daniella Duran)
We worked up an appetite on our tour and upon returning to the pavilion, the farm stand had transformed into a salad assembly production line.Building in a little friendly competition, the group self divided into teams, given a set amount of time for planning, foraging, and building - they had to assemble salads that were then judged by the veteran team at Earthbound Farm. It is always a reminder on how creative and dedicated our community is to creating dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. In the end, everyone won and we dined together at the long tables on a feast created by Chef Sarah Lacasse, another Earthbound Farm veteran.
The Competition Gets Started: Top to bottom, clockwise: the ingredient table, Daniella Gerson grabs supplies, Liz and Asha strategizing, prep underway.
Assembly and the final touches put on the salads for judging
The final four salads - submissions from each team
A menu that showcased the tenants of organic farming - we started with mugs of hot soup, followed by salads in various forms, filet mignon crostini topped with arugula, broccoli and cauliflower muffins, and a winter bean and kale gratin. Each dish was perfectly balanced and showcased the depth of flavor achieved when using produce that is lovingly grown and harvested.
Chef Sarah Lacasse
Here are a few of the recipes from our lunch, that you can make at home!
Savory Riced Cauliflower and Broccoli Muffins
Chopped Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad
Top to Bottom: Earthbound Farm Power Greens, White Bean and Radicchio Gratin, Filet Mignon Crostini, Composed Salad (Salad photo by Gillian Ewing)

This month, Earthbound Farm is kicking off a 21 Day Challenge . It has been shown that it takes 21 days to form a new habit and that if you commit to focusing on that first 21 days, the habit will stick. Earthbound Farm has assembled a list of 21 recipes to help get you through the challenge and on on your way to a healthier year. You'll even find some recipes by our Feedfeed community and we'll be sharing those recipes all month long!

Be sure to follow along and maybe even join us in the 21 day challenge to form new habits. It’s a new year, and we believe in the transformative powers of a fresh start.

Relaxing after lunch, top to bottom, clockwise: Sylvie snaps a picture; Stacie, Jessica, Remy and Chamdamheer chatting; Gillian and Shala posing for a selfie, relaxing in the big chair - Remy, Liz, Sylvie and Daniella; Daniella D. listening intently.