We are proud to support Nebraska growers and producers with local products in our stores. There are some items that cannot be sourced locally. For that reason, we work closely with other growers to source the highest quality produce available. Recently, Russ’s Market associates traveled to California with Melissa’s Produce to visit the fields and patches that grow some of our most flavorful produce. They also met the growers who grow them.
They learned about how the farmers grow and the process from which the produce goes from the farm to your table. That even though California has a reputation for nice weather that it can really fluctuate and there is a fine line between not enough rain and too much rain. They got to see first hand what a struggle it is to have a good consistent crop and the hard work it entails to ensure the best product is being picked.
Nick found the experience very rewarding, “The best part of the trip was getting to see that everyone was very supportive of all the produce that was grown across the region. The one thing all the growers had in common was the passion they have for the business. A lot of them have been growing fresh produce for the majority of their life and it runs deep within each family from one generation to the next. From seeing the daily operations at Melissa’s warehouse to seeing the farmers and the hard work and dedication they put into their business each and every day it was a very fun but educating trip at the same time.”
Larry learned a lot about the farmers, he said, “Meeting the growers and walking the fields and orchards learning about their crops was my favorite part. Like with our local suppliers, there are a lot of things that go into producing a crop and getting it to market. Farmers take a lot of risk to do what they do. They work hard and for long periods of time before they’re able to sell and get any income in return. They can’t control the weather or the demand for their products. We have a great deal of respect for them and are glad to partner with them.”
Randy had a different experience with the farmers, “My favorite part was meeting all the people; everyone that is a part of our passion for giving our customers a great produce shopping experience. From the exotics and citrus growers who have a passion for wanting to grow and offer the best products possible. To the wholesaler like Melissa’s who has a passion for creating a connection to get new and exciting products from the fields to our stores. It was exciting to have been involved in selling all of the items we toured on the grower tours. We learned how they are cultivated, harvested and even some history behind them.”
Whether the crop is grown locally in Nebraska or across the country in California, it is just as difficult and involves a lot of hard work to get consistent crops into the stores. Luckily, we partner with a very passionate group of farmers who take their work very seriously and have the experience to continue to give us the crops we’ve come to expect from them. We were honored to get the opportunity to tour the farms and see firsthand were our produce comes from. Thank you to Melissa’s Produce for connecting us with farmers who have given us amazing products so we can bring them right to your dinner table.