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Note: This article is a paid placement and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Billy Penn at WHYY.
Small family farms have had a rough time lately. Over the last decade, their business fell 26%, according to the USDA. The changing climate is a big issue, but so are logistics — an estimated 45% of fruit and vegetables across the globe end up wasted, per a study out of Malaysia.
But one of the best things about working with family is it helps you be resilient.
“We are a seventh-generation sibling trio committed to growing the future, while maintaining the legacy of our forefathers,” said Eric Davis of Parvin Farms in Pittsgrove Township, N.J. “Our values are rooted deeply in family, community, and sustainability.”
Parvin is part of a group of family-owned farms in the U.S. that are joining together with a new way of making their local produce available 365 days a year — way beyond farmer’s market season.
Seal the Seasons is a new brand in the frozen aisle of your local supermarket. It partners with family farms in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey region to flash-freeze their produce at the peak of ripeness and make it available year-round.
The company was founded to help family farmers compete with globalized agriculture and imported produce. While most of us love buying local fruits and veggies to help the economy — and because the produce is higher quality! — the winter months leave us with fewer options.
Enter Seal the Seasons. Now a trip to the farmer’s market is as easy as a stroll through the frozen aisle at your local grocery store.
“The most rewarding part about working this land is seeing the abundant life that comes from it,” Davis said about the South Jersey farm his family has operated for decades, “and knowing our product is feeding America.”
Making local produce available year round
When asked, 54% of consumers said they would buy more local food if stores had the offerings available.
Seal the Seasons was founded with this in mind by Patrick Mateer, who worked alongside local growers at farmer’s markets during his college years at UNC Chapel Hill. He saw the challenges they faced trying to sell all their produce in-season, resulting in lost revenue and significant food waste.
He also recognized the benefits of locally grown produce — from freshness and flavor to the reduced carbon footprint of local transit.
Mateer created his company to connect the dots and help provide family farms with a reliable income stream. By creating a sustainable, local supply chain of growers, processors, and distributors, Seal the Seasons invests in the community and provides a way to get a farm-to-table experience all year long.
Local food is better food
Seal the Seasons makes buying local easier than ever, so consumers don’t have to choose between convenience and having farm-fresh produce from their community.
The benefits of buying local are more relevant now than they ever have been. Buying fruits and veggies grown in your state creates a reliable local supply chain with less time in transit between the field and your plate. Less time in transit means less greenhouse emissions, and that the produce is at optimal freshness.
Another significant benefit of buying local is simply peace of mind. Knowing where your food comes from and who grew it provides reassurance that you and your family are getting real food, without any chemicals or preservatives.
Seal the Seasons prides itself on transparency, which is why every bag features the local farm it came from. Mateer and his staff also care about ensuring future generations have access to healthy food — which is why they work with growers that employ regenerative agriculture practices.
Want to learn more about Seal the Seasons? Meet the farmers, learn more about regenerative agriculture, and browse the locally-grown frozen produce here.
You can try the Northeast-grown frozen fruit and vegetables by ordering online or finding Seal the Seasons in a store near you! For in-store purchases, save $5 with this print-at-home coupon. Or get 20% off your online order with coupon code BILLYPENN22.