A couple years ago, we featured some regional frozen vegetables in our freezers in Aisle 4. These were offered to us as part of the Neighboring Food Co-op Association’s Farm to Freezer program, and we’re happy to announce that NFCA is once again making these delicious frozen veggies available to us!
NFCA’s Farm to Freezer program started in response to Co-ops in New England needing more local or regional vegetables and fruit in our freezer aisles. We offer a wide variety of local and regional options in our fresh food departments, like Produce, Meat and Seafood, and Cheese, so it felt only natural that a larger share of our frozen items should be produced locally or regionally as well. We have a variety of locally grown and frozen berries from Adam’s Berry Farm in Charlotte, VT, but the vegetable options were lacking. Enter Farm to Freezer!
The first year of the Farm to Freezer project was 2012, and that first year helped identify potential partners, processes, and opportunities. During the second year, NFCA worked to expand the range of products and the length of time they would be available to customers during the fall and winter season. NFCA put the project on hold in 2014 to work with New England Farmers Union and Deep Root Organic Co-op to find ways to improve distribution and to support more collaboration. They were able to relaunch the project this year due to a new partnership with the regional distributor Associated Buyers, which will help get products to NFCA’s member Co-ops.
So now, you’ll be able to find organic broccoli, organic green beans, and non-GMO sweet corn, all grown, processed, and packaged right here in the Northeast. We’ll also be getting frozen blueberries as soon as they are available.
- The organic broccoli is grown by Hepworth Farms in Milton, NY, a seventh generation farm. The farm produces over 400 varieties of organic vegetables!
- The organic green beans are grown by Martin and Christa Stosiek of Markristo Farm in Hillsdale, NY. They are committed to healthy food systems and sustainable agriculture.
- The non-GMO sweet corn is grown by John Altobelli of Altobelli Farm in Columbia County, NY. This is a third generation farm and John has been farming the land for over 30 years using minimum tillage, drip irrigation, cover cropping, and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
- The blueberries are the highbush variety grown by Greig Farm in Red Hook, NY. Greig Farm has been in operation for over 60 years, and they use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to manage their blueberry bushes.
This is great timing for the relaunch of the Farm to Freezer project, as Thanksgiving and the holidays are just around the corner. As fall starts to set in and winter is peeking around the corner, I’m looking forward to using these fresh frozen veggies in all sorts of dishes to help remind me of warmer days.
Need some ideas of how to use these items? Broccoli, green beans, and corn can be briefly steamed in the microwave and then added to stir-fries or soups near the end of cooking. Give the broccoli a whirl in fried rice or pho, or add some to your morning omelet. Try the green beans in the classic green bean casserole, and dress up the sweet corn by sautéing it with butter and some herbs as a side dish, or try adding it to risotto to add a nice crunch to complement the risotto’s creaminess.
Come up with a delicious recipe using Farm to Freezer products? Let us know by sharing on our Facebook page!