We know the secret to vibrant, flavorful produce comes down to three things: freshness, seasonality, and location. We’re here to find out more about the growers who provide us with organic potatoes—from fingerlings to Yukons.
It’s an overcast day in La Salle, Colorado, a little over an hour’s drive from Denver. Amber Strohauer strides down rows of thigh-high plants dotted with small white flowers. In the distance, a tractor ambles by. If the person manning it isn’t directly related to Amber, it’s just as likely he’s someone she’s known since she was ten years-old. Strohauer Farms has been in her family for four generations. Amber is a member of the latest generation ushering the farm into a new era where the demand for organic produce is literally changing the landscape.
Strohauer Farms has been operating since 1910, growing wheat, hay, onions, triticale, and potatoes. It’s this last one that interests us most. As she talks, Amber digs into the soil and pulls up handfuls of potatoes of all shapes and sizes and in a surprising array of colors. Red Amorosas, Purple Peruvians, golden Austrian Crescents; it’s a veritable rainbow of root vegetables, and we can’t wait to get them to our chefs and into our Green Chef boxes.
Potatoes sparked Strohauer Farms to go organic in the first place. In 2006 they realized there was a relatively untapped market for gourmet, organic potatoes. They started out with fingerlings and, when the trend took off, began to switch their wheat, onions, and other potato varieties to organic as well.
Aside from the growing demand, organic farming fit in well with Strohauer Farms’ mission to raise crops sustainably and conscientiously. As they worked towards converting their conventional plots to organic (a process that takes about three years to ensure all unapproved chemicals and fertilizers are absent), they found themselves reevaluating more than just the logistics of growing produce. “The organic space has really allowed us to think about what we’re putting into our bodies,” Amber explains. “It’s changed the topic of health and nutrition and has helped people have more of a conversation at the dinner table. So for me, organic is not only thinking about chemicals or how the fields or products are handled. I also like the fact that it’s bringing a new conversation to the table and more people into the conversation.”
It’s a viewpoint they hope more people in agriculture will adopt. Currently, only 1% of American farmland is used for organic produce. With little research available on natural ways to control pests, diseases, and growth; organic farming can often become a risky and expensive guessing game. All the same, as more members of the food industry take an increased interest in where and how they’re food is grown, more suppliers step up to provide high-quality, organic ingredients. “It’s going to be a learning process for everyone where we evaluate what makes sense for each individual and each community. But there’s definitely been more conversation about these things in the last few years, and that’s been awesome to see.”
Green Chef is proud to be a part of that conversation and thrilled to work with suppliers with the same commitment to providing responsibly-grown food. It sounds like the feeling’s mutual: “Green Chef has been amazing to work with. I’ve been cooking Green Chef boxes for a year now every week, and I love that I can trust the ingredients. Everybody’s short on time, but you have someone you can trust for a quick option. You’re still spending time cooking a meal and eating something amazing that’s full of nutrition and flavor.” We couldn’t provide such high-quality ingredients without suppliers like Strohauer Farms.
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