Autumn is Chico’s most bountiful harvest season. One can find all manner of local squash, roots, veggies, and fruits in the Co-op’s produce case. You may notice that this year’s batch of fresh, delicious apples come from farther afield than in years past. Our fall apples hail from the Filigreen Farm in Anderson Valley, California, rather than Durham.
The change is a result of our Produce Department’s renewed focus on ensuring that only the finest, most sustainably grown products are offered to our owners. Earlier this year we heard that one of our local apple growers might be engaging in questionable growing practices. Our Produce department investigated, and discovered that lack of transparency hid practices that were in clear violation of the standards we set for our vendors. As a result, we made the difficult decision to terminate our business relationship and to search for other providers.
We do have some good news to report from all this. The produce manager from the Ukiah Co-op introduced us to Filigreen Farms, based out of Anderson Valley. Our Produce Manager, Cameron Scott, still wanting to find fresh, California grown apples to satisfy local connoisseurs, and our Front End Manager, Alissa Ziemianski, drove a truck out to the farm and discovered something special.
Filigreen farm is more than just a certified organic apple farm. They have been operating under biodynamic principles since the 1980s. Owners Chris and Stephanie Tebbutt are dedicated to enhancing the land they steward. Every aspect of the farm embodies the love and attention they give the land. The idea behind their biodynamic farming is to create a diversified, balanced farm ecosystem that generates its own health and fertility. Preparations made from fermented manure, minerals, and herbs are used to enhance the nutrition, quality, and flavor of the food being raised. The difference is obvious in every bite. The flavor is dynamic and nuanced, unlike any other apple we have carried.
The Co-op strives to support local farmers and businesses whenever possible, however, we will never compromise our dedication to ensuring that you find only the highest quality products on our shelves. We will always go the extra mile to make sure that you have the finest selection in Chico.