Vollmecke Orchards, you can taste the difference!

It may not look like much, but our new cooler helps keep our freshly harvested produce fresh!

It may not look like much, but our new cooler helps keep our freshly harvested produce fresh!

We all know the value of eating fresh local produce, but there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that probably doesn’t occur to most people. What makes our produce different than what you can buy in the “local” section of your favorite grocery store? Freshness! Local produce tastes better than its ho hum grocery counterparts, because it isn’t tired from traveling across the country, from being stored in a warehouse, or stacked in heaps waiting to appear on grocery store shelves.

Variety is another factor. We choose what to grow based on flavor. That’s it. If something looks beautiful, but has no taste, we don’t grow it again! Grocery store produce is chosen for its ability to be picked green, travel well, be uniform in appearance, and hold up for a really long time. This is awesome if you have having a photo shoot. We prefer to eat and enjoy our vegetables! We grow many varieties that can’t be found in stores, because they just do not ship or store well–but they are delicious! Think heirloom tomatoes, delicate lettuces, sun-ripened peaches.

Then there is the ripeness factor. Really good produce is picked at the perfect stage to be full of flavor but not so ripe that it won’t hold up for us once we get it home. Our tomatoes are red when we pick them–not hard green globes! Allowing them to sun ripen brings about a flavor you just cannot duplicate any other way.

Proper storage and handling also makes a huge difference. We really do our best to make sure you get the best, freshest product possible. Over the years we’ve invested a lot of time and money in building walk-in coolers to help us assure that our fresh produce does indeed stay really fresh. For instance, by harvesting our lettuce first thing in the morning before the heat starts to wilt it, bringing it right in and tucking it into the cooler can greatly extend its shelf life, flavor and nutrition.

These are just some of the things we do, because we enjoy OUR food this way, and want to make sure that we are able to share the most delicious, flavorful food we can with all of you.

— Farmer Karen