Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of attending an event organized by the Feedfeed at Earthbound Farm's Farm Stand in Carmel Valley. The day consisted of a farm tour and salad competition, followed by a delicious lunch. I loved getting inspired not only by the gorgeous organic produce and gardens of Earthbound Farm but also all the new faces I met—so many talented photographers, chefs and bloggers.
What did I learn about Earthbound Farm?
Earthbound Farm started in 1984 as a 2.5-acre raspberry farm and has grown into the largest producer of organic salOptionsads in the US. They're the ones that started selling prewashed salads. Genius. They have literally revolutionized the way many of us enjoy salad at home, making it so fresh and easy peasy. So long, salad spinner! For over thirty years, they have been committed to growing organic, wholesome food and always with Earth in mind. It's literally their name—one that I think is so beautiful and evocative of our relationship to our planet and the soil that sustains us.
But what about their clamshell packaging, you might ask? Convenient, definitely. Environmentally friendly? I wasn't so sure. However, according to the Earthbound Farm website, their clamshells are made entirely from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic bottles—in other words, 100% recycled and reused plastic! PCR plastic is far more environmentally-friendly than virgin plastic and makes possible the delivery of “fresh, delicious, safe and quality food" on an industrial scale. Moreover, their packaging “helps minimize food waste," which is a whole ‘nother can of worms. (Source.) Just remember to put those clamshells in the recycling bin when you're done because they can be recycled again!
Janno Jo Williams
Let's get back to the farm tour! Our day began by meeting Janna Jo Williams, head farm manager of Earthbound Farm. Janna Jo has been at the company for 19 years and is a huge proponent of organic practices. She walked us through their herb and kitchen gardens, inspiring us with her stories and knowledge of various herbs and plants.
Leading us into the vegetable garden, Janna Jo said that when the artichoke flower bursts open it reveals a brilliant blue interior and the bees all flock to it as if there’s a hot tub party going on in there! Such an amazing image, I thought. I really appreciated her words about letting plants flower and go to seed and bearing witness to each of their life cycles. Beautiful!
The Salad Competition
Before long, we headed back to the Farm Stand to start the impromptu salad competition using ingredients from the farm and herb garden. The bloggers were divided into four teams and had so much fun collaborating. I had the pleasure of working with Natalie of @bakenofake and Dani of @andapinchoflove. Here was our entry!
Our salad highlighted the gorgeous blue and orange edible flowers found in the herb garden—borage, nasturtiums and calendula petals. It also included arugula, french sorrel, feta, board-pickled apples and shallots, blueberries and sunflower seeds! Who won? Turns out the judges couldn't decide because ALL THE SALADS WERE AWESOME. Boom. Afterwards, we had a delicious lunch prepared by Sarah Lacasse, head chef of Earthbound Farm. The tables were decorated with wintry citrus and bottles of chilled lemon-verbena water. (Gotta try that at home!)
Many many thanks to Feedfeed—especially Kevin Masse, VP of Global Community Engagement—and Earthbound Farm for hosting such a memorable gathering. (You can read Kevin's wonderful post about the day here.) Nothing beats bringing a vibrant online community into real life and making magic together! It was so inspiring and hopeful to see such a large farm doing good in the world and taking care of our precious Earth.