Thursday, September 3, 2009
The Midwest has had a ridiculously mild summer. St. Louis is usually a sweaty, humid mess by the time June rolls around but this year we had week after week of mild, breezy weather. By late July I was really starting to think I was in the Twilight Zone. With temperatures only barely topping 80 degrees it was getting a little freaky.
Not that I'm not thankful for the break in the air conditioning bills, but the weather has effects on many things. One of those things is the growth of local crops. Because of the mild weather many crops didn't mature as fast as usual.
Summer is usually filled with fresh produce coming from all directions, but I definitely began to notice the squeeze when we began calling around for Organic Cucumbers. Our main wholesale supplier was (and still seems to be) out for a month and a half. Not that there weren't any tasty organic cukes in the bigger natural grocery stores. But perhaps there wasn't enough supply to then filter some over to the little guys.
Once the shortage continued for weeks on end I started calling around to local growers. With the fact that St. Louis has a good, solid, cold winter there are many months where we can't buy local - there just isn't anything available. Plus many of our local farms are not Certified Organic as they don't want to mess with the paperwork. They may be growing cleanly but without the certification we can't buy from them and honestly support the claims on our labels.
After a few calls I was able to locate Biver Farms, a lovely certified organic farm in Edwardsville, IL just 20 minutes from us. The first week I called in mid August there were still no slicing cucumbers available. So we waited on pins and needles.
Last week, hallelujah, the harvest is in! I picked up 100 pounds of fresh, beautiful, locally grown organic cucumbers from their booth at the Tower Grove Farmer's Market. The weather was heavenly again and the veggies were plentiful at all the booths - in fact I had trouble not walking home with bushels of other produce as well.
Now we are cleaning, peeling, and slicing our local cukes to make them into the fresh infusion for our Tone Intense Hydration Tonique and juicing them for our Natural Deodorant sprays. And here are the pics to prove it. Gorgeous, green, and great for your skin!
Not many companies are willing to go this kind of distance to offer true botanical benefit in their products. Most companies buy preprocessed ingredients from giant suppliers who load them down with preservatives, propylene glycol, carbomer, and dimethicone. Not Blissoma.
We prefer to put in the bit of extra work to ensure that you aren't getting anything but clean, raw, nutritious plants in our products. Sure, it makes our supply chain work a bit trickier. Sure, I stand for hours on end slicing, peeling, and straining. But our integrity is worth it, and so is your skin.So, for all you Locavores it doesn't get any better than this. Get your Blissoma crisp off the vine, cause it is!