Regionally Grown Frozen Fruits & Vegetables
The Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) is excited to announce that our Northeast Grown Frozen Fruits & Vegetables will be available at our member co-ops again this fall. To find a food co-op near you, please visit www.nfca.coop/members.
Together, our food co-ops are increasing the availability of healthy, sustainably grown, regionally sourced fruits and vegetables for consumers and extending the marketing season for family farmers in the Northeast. Our frozen fruits and vegetables are easy to find in your food co-op’s freezer section — they’re packed with a simple black and white label and a clear package so you can see what’s inside:
- Blueberries. Our delicious highbush blueberries were grown by Greig Farm, a diversified fruit and vegetable farm in Red Hook, NY, in operation for over 60 years. Greig Farm practices Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to maintain healthy, productive blueberry bushes.
- Organic Broccoli. Established in 1818, Hepworth Farms is a seventh-generation family farm in Milton, NY, in the Hudson Valley. Today, the farm includes 250 acres of NOFA-certified land yielding more than 400 varieties of organic vegetables.
- Organic Edamame. New this year, our organically grown edamame is grown by Markristo Farm in Hillsdale, NY. Active board members of Berkshire Grown, Martin and Christa Stosiek are committed to healthy food systems and sustainable agriculture.
- Organic Green Beans. Martin and Christa Stosiek started Markristo Farm in 1988 on the land where Martin was raised in Hillsdale, NY. Active board members of Berkshire Grown, the Stosiek's are committed to healthy food systems and sustainable agriculture.
- Sweet Corn. Our delicious, non-GMO sweet corn is grown by Altobelli Farm, a third generation farm in Columbia County, NY. John Altobelli has been farming on this land for over 30 years, using minimum tillage, drip irrigation, cover cropping, and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
We hope that you will try these regionally grown and processed fruits and vegetables — available exclusively at your Neighboring Food Co-ops! — and let us know what you think. To find a member co-op near you, please visit www.nfca.coop/members.
Your local food co-op works hard to offer products that strengthen local economies, support sustainable agriculture, and grow community ownership. Working together, we recognize that we have a greater impact than when we work alone. As we began exploring opportunities for increasing regional souring, we noticed that most of the frozen fruits and vegetables on our shelves were grown on large, industrial farms and processed by distant corporations. Could this be an opportunity to use our shared purchasing power to create change in the food system?
The NFCA's Farm to Freezer project began in 2011 as an experiment to help our member food co-ops answer this question. In collaboration with local farmers, farmer co-operatives and regional processors, we developed a pilot of frozen products grown, processed and packaged right here in the Northeast. Supported in part by two grants from the Eastern Corridor of National Co+op Grocers (NCG), the project enabled the NFCA to test consumer interest, processing infrastructure, and the availability of regional produce.
After two seasons, Farm to Freezer was put on hold as we worked with our partners at the New England Farmers Union and Deep Root Organic Co-op to obtain a USDA Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) to explore options for future collaboration, processing and distribution. Thanks to our new partnership with regional distributor Associated Buyers, we are able to make these products available again, exclusively through our member food co-ops.
We hope that you will try these products and support your local food co-op as we work together to build a thriving co-operative economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system in our region and beyond.
Want a delicious recipe to impress your family and guests at your table? Kay Litten, a Board member of Co-op Food Stores of New Hampshire and Vermont and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA), has a great recipe to share. Grab a package of NFCA New England Blueberries and follow along to make Kay’s Famous “Farm to Freezer” Lemon Lavender Blueberry Sauce: www.nfca.coop/blueberryrecipe