Our produce department is dedicated to supporting local, small, sustainable farms whenever possible. This allows us to put an emphasis on seasonality and to support farmers through all of their growing and harvesting seasons.
The direct relationship we have with small farmers allows us to know that they are earning 100% from every dollar we pay them. When we can’t source locally, we work with distributors whose practices we trust and admire. We strive to educate our customers about the very real differences in farming methods and about the farms that we work with.
What does local mean?
In general, we abide by the following terms and seek to provide as much transparency as possible in the origins of our products and the steps in our supply chain!
Local: within 250 mile radius
Regional: within 400 mile radius
What makes someone a “small” farmer?
A small farm is a farm that is under 300 acres.
For any city dwellers reading this, here are some points of reference in terms you might understand!
Fort Greene Park is 30 acres so a small farm is approximately 10 Fort Greene Parks
Prospect Park is 526 acres so a small farm is about half of a Prospect Park
Central Park is 843 acres so a small farm is just around one third of Central Park
What is Integrated Pest Management (or IPM)?
Integrated Pest Management is an agricultural practice that is used to manage crop damage by the most economical means and with the least amount of damage to humans and the environment. Chemical application is the very last resort, but it is used (minimally) when it is deemed absolutely necessary to protect a crop. IPM represents the nuance involved in sustainable farming.
Some practices for preventing pest damage may include*:
- inspecting crops and monitoring crops for damage
- using mechanical trapping devices
- natural predators (ex. insects that eat other insects)
- insect growth regulators
- mating disruption substances (pheromones)
- if necessary, applying chemical pesticides (though the impact can be minimized by not spraying during the fruiting stage of a plant’s life)
*Adapted from the Environmental Protection Agency’s “IPM Principles” 2015