Saturday, June 16, 2012

Local Food Producers: Schreiber and Sons Farm

Schreiber & Sons booth at Richland Farmers' Market, June 2012

The friendly folks at Schreiber and Sons Farm work hard to make fresh, mostly organic produce available to you and me all year long.  They offer summer and winter CSA (community supported agriculture) boxes delivered at drop points around the Tri-Cities.   Click here for photos of the last three years' winter CSA boxes I received.  These boxes are heaven-sent when the cold months set in.  Alan keeps in touch splendidly with e-mails about what is or is not in our bi-weekly boxes, and what is going on at the farm.

We first met Alan Schreiber at Slow Food Southeast Washington's kickoff dinner in 2007.  The dinner was held at his farm near Eltopia.  It was an otherworldly experience to enjoy a meal of locally-produced food with other folks who believe in the concept as well.  All the farmers and artisans who supplied the food for the meal were present.  Like Alan, these producers were enthusiastic about and dedicated to producing high-quality food for the local market.

That night, Alan conducted a melon tasting of about 20 different melon varieties he had grown.  The Melon Tasting has become a legendary story in our family.  It's not often that you encounter someone who can wax enthusiastically for an hour and a half about the nuances of taste and texture, and the history and propagation of melon varieties ... and hold you in rapt attention all the while.

Alan Schreiber, if you can catch him at an event or at a farmers' market booth, will happily tell you all about his ideas for food production, new varieties of vegetables and melons, the pros and cons of organic farming, and events and organizations and potential markets and means he is musing about for getting locally produced food to local people.  Don't even get him started on the problem of fresh vegetables going to waste because of transportation issues. 

Alan is the only vendor I've found at any of the local farmers' markets who consistently offers cabbages, kale, bok choy, mustard greens, arugula, and collards.  These vegetables are a big part of our diet now, and it's blissful to be able to find them grown right here, organically.

Finally, and most importantly, Alan grows his fruits and vegetables either all organically or with as few artificial means as possible.  He doesn't sell food that he himself wouldn't eat.  For me, that's worth a lot.  It's not something I could expect from megafarms in California or Frankenfarm giants like Monsanto.

Do stop by the Schreiber and Sons booth.  Alan is starting a pre-order pickup service (new this year) so that you can select produce online and pick up your custom box at the local farmers' markets.  Visit his website and click on "Web Store" to order your fresh, local produce.

Schreiber and Sons Farm:  A gift to the mid-Columbia!

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