By Eric Firpo/Special to Bilingual Weekly
StocktonHarvest.com is a new business in town that aims to bring healthy, locally grown and pesticide-free food to your kitchen table.
Our long-term goals are to lease land in downtown Stockton for a farm in the heart of the city, with the hope to give a downtrodden neighborhood an economic, cultural and social boost, and to bring affordable healthy produce to people who live and work nearby, and to local restaurants.
But until then, we make do with farming on a plot of land in the country, and buying and reselling fruit hanging on trees throughout Stockton.
One of the goals of StocktonHarvest.com is to grow local produce with none of the gene-spliced, laboratory-borne seeds of agribusiness and chemical-laden fields of conventional farming. We use no pesticides, herbicides or fungicides, but ply the principals of organic farming to get the healthiest produce possible.
But we also make use of all sorts of fruit that would normally fall to the ground wastefully without us.
In backyards and front yards all over this city are fruit trees that produce delicious, flavor-packed, fresh, healthy produce. Much of it goes to waste, but we’re working to end that.
StocktonHarvest.com buys excess fruit from homeowners and delivers it to homes in town, most of it for $1 per pound to your doorstep, in an attempt to make use of sweet, tasty and healthy fresh produce that would otherwise rot. Orders are taken via email through our website, StocktonHarvest.com, where we post what produce we have in stock. We also have forum where people can discuss issues related to sustainable ag and energy, and where we post stories about food and agriculture.
StocktonHarvest.com aims to be a local antidote to a corporate, genetically modified food supply that seems increasingly unsafe, and to a society that appears to us to be far too reliant on untested chemicals that end up in our bodies. One recent Washington Post story, http://www.stocktonharvest.com/harvestcafe/index.php?topic=116.0, noted government regulators have no idea of the health risks posed by as many as 80,000 chemicals that end up in our food and other products, but rely upon industry to put aside profit and alert the public to their dangers. Given the influence of corporate America, we’re suspicious that ever happens.
One way to be worry free when it comes to food is to buy and eat fresh fruits and vegetables that were grown with no chemicals.
Growing, selling and buying local food also has environmental benefits: less energy is used and less pollution is created. That your money spent stays in town is an added bonus.
StocktonHarvest..com part of a growing movement for pesticide-free local food. But we also hope to be a piece of a local push for self-sufficient artisans and farmers who can nudge the local economy higher, and create greater health, more wealth and increased independence for Stocktonians.Eric Firpo is a former journalist, was certified as a master gardener in 2008, and is the founder of StocktonHarvest.com.