"I know The Produce Box is committed to buying local from our NC farmers, but why are there items in my Box that aren't grown in North Carolina?"
Jill, Raleigh member
Great question! Here's the thing, our mission has not changed since we were first in business: We are and always have been committed to buying as much local produce as humanly possible. And we're thrilled to say that each year, we buy more than 2 million pounds of it from our NC farmers, especially now that we run year-round.
You probably know that North Carolina's climate is perfect for growing just about every fruit and vegetable under the sun. We're blessed with a growing season that lasts from early April until late September, and we support more than 100 local farmers during that time. During the fall and winter, we do have 20+ growers who continue to produce, but the VARIETY really decreases. The cold months we have a hard time creating Boxes that are "only local," and our members have a hard time EATING only local items all winter--lots of sweet potatoes, kale, cabbage, root veggies, and apples.
By adding other items to the Boxes in the winter, we're able to support our local NC farmers who are still harvesting, employ our staff, and deliver fresh fruits and veggies to our members for a few more weeks! This past winter, we bought nearly 500,000 pounds of produce from our NC growers. Whew!
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address your concerns; It's conversations like these that help us work through the process of creating the best local food system we can for our members and farmers alike!
Founder, The Produce Box