Always support local farmers. That’s our philosophy.
From the very beginning, we’ve made it a point to seek out and establish relationships with local growers and farmers to ensure that, during the growing season our produce departments are packed with the best produce grown in our backyards.
To this day, we take great pride in our ever-expanding selection of locally grown and freshly harvested produce. We’re so committed to local produce that each summer, we transform our produce departments into a daily “farmers-market” featuring the the best-of-the-best bounty from local fields and growers, many of whom we’ve been buying from for a decade or more!
In holding up our commitment to buying local, three times a week from about June through October, we head down the road to Wayne Co., Ohio to buy from local Amish produce growers at the local produce auction.
One of our oldest friends from the community, Issac Keim, is just one of over 50 Amish growers from the surrounding community that make this auction a huge success for everyone involved. The growers work to harvest their crops fresh throughout the day and deliver them, right from the fields, to the auction house. Our selections many times make it to our stores the very next morning! Talk about farm to table.
Although we’ve seen a bit more rain than usual this spring and early summer, Issac is extremely pleased with the crop thus far. He even mentioned that he’s seeing, “A higher volume of crops at this point in the year than in years past”.
Just as too little rain can limit the crop yield, too much rain has a tendency to have a negative impact on the fields. “We’re going to lose some crops if we don’t see some sunshine soon”, Issac warns of the overly wet start to the growing season. Grey skies and wet fields have a tendency to contribute to the spread of disease and damage to crops by insects. Issac remains confident that weather will cooperate and dry up and that the crops in the fields are as healthy as ever and ready to withstand whatever mother nature throws at them. Should the rain continue, Issac is hopeful that the crops are healthy enough to withstand what ever is thrown at them. He even adds, “A healthy plant resist being attacked by bugs.”
Using time tested farming and harvesting techniques, these hardworking farmers are able to supply our stores with an ample supply of farm fresh produce items like wax beans, candy onions, fresh zucchini, snap peas, pickles and so much more.
In the next few weeks, Issac expects to begin harvesting fresh melons (watermelon, cantaloupes and honey rocks to name a few), eggplant and peppers. We anxiously await our first delivery of these top quality items.
As we speak, crops to be harvested late in the season such as broccoli, cauliflower and colored beets are replacing the early season crops like rhubarb, wax beans and dill. That’s something to look forward to as summer draws out into fall.