- Production Manager
- Assistant Professor - Controlled Environments Entomologist
- Technical Development Specialist | Horticulture | France
- Director of Business Development | Middle East | Agtech
- Farm/Production Manager; Berlin (m/w/d)
- Trader Asian Market
- Avocado Growing Manager - Kenya
- Operations Accountant
- Sales Manager for Nordic countries (H/F)
- Senior Breeder
Top 5 -yesterday
- What is the status of tomato brown rugose fruit virus in Europe?
- “Our ToBRFV-resistant variety has been preferred by our producers in wide areas since 2020"
- 2022 Year Overview: 10 stories on greenhouse expansion
- New horticultural lighting technical requirements launched
- "Greek producers, who also purchase their plants from Spanish nurseries, have reported the same quality issue in strawberry plants as Spanish producers"
Top 5 -last week
Top 5 -last month
- Zambia: "We produce 5,000 units of lettuce per week, per tunnel, year-round"
- UK growers stop planting and put nurseries on sale amidst energy crisis and labor shortage
- "You can't grow on water without lights"
- "High-tech farmer AppHarvest is running out of money"
- German family company switches from tomato cultivation to hydroponic lettuce
How Amish and Mennonite growers supply their produce
At Four Seasons Produce in Lancaster County, PA., what’s old is still new for some of its suppliers. Four Seasons is in fact located near Ephrata, a region of Pennsylvania that still has a good-sized Amish and Mennonite population. “Due to their religious beliefs of simplicity and non-worldliness they farm and live without many modern conveniences and instead use horses or mules, and in some sects Steel-wheel tractors,” says Jonathan Steffy of Four Seasons.
So Four Seasons has several dozen Amish and Mennonite growers who grow seasonal fruits and vegetables for it—including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, zucchini, sweet corn, cantaloupes, watermelon and pumpkins. And while five or six growers are close enough to deliver directly to Four Seasons’ warehouse in wagons and horse, the rest, the company arranges to pick up from on fleet. “It’s not a huge percentage of our supply over the course of the year, but it’s an important one,” says Steffy. “It’s a symbolic one that ties us to the community and our rich agricultural roots in Lancaster County.”
The growers working with Four Seasons must all be Good Agricultural Practises (GAP) certified and so sometimes Four Seasons drives its Amish growers to Penn State Agriculture Extension Food Safety meetings early in the year.
With no use of electronics, communication can be tricky. “Our busy buyers must arrange a common time to chat each week about volume, quality and pricing with our Amish growers who don’t use cell phones or email,” Steffy says. “Instead of scheduling a receiving appointment, we just tell them to bring their products over during the late morning and we’ll bring a high-lift down the ramp to unload their wagons as quickly as we reasonably can. We invest time setting packing, packaging, spec and price range expectations with them before the season starts since the daily real-time is challenging.”
In turn, Four Seasons takes that produce and then distributes it throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic U.S. “So perhaps those pumpkins from Amish country will be sold at a retailer in Washington DC or New York City,” Steffy adds.
For more information:
Four Seasons Produce
Tel: +1- 717-721-2800
Receive the daily newsletter in your email for free | Click here
Other news in this sector:
- 2022-12-01 Race to emission-free greenhouse cultivation pushes growers to keep innovating
- 2022-11-22 Cultivation advisors visit Japan as horticulture tourists
- 2022-11-15 “Here in Türkiye, we heat greenhouses with geothermal water, which is much cheaper than gas”
- 2022-11-11 From supplying retail to the year-round cultivation of natural plant extracts
- 2022-11-11 Former grower Mark Bruinen supports growers in many areas
- 2022-11-09 Singapore: "Rooftop greenhouse made more sense due to lower energy requirements"
- 2022-11-03 “We control the environment entirely – we call it data-oriented cultivation”
- 2022-11-02 Zambia: "We produce 5,000 units of lettuce per week, per tunnel, year-round"
- 2022-10-31 Brassica grower improves yield, plant quality and efficiency
- 2022-10-31 Growing residue-free tomatoes for the Czech Republic market
- 2022-10-31 The rubbish bag is no longer needed: 40 years of advice in bell pepper cultivation
- 2022-10-31 Tomato grower Marc in podcast about trial balloons and lost growing contest over 'lots of crates of beer'
- 2022-10-28 Family business: growing tomatoes in greenhouses for over 60 years with an eye on innovations
- 2022-10-27 Are strawberries the cash crops for the Singapore market?
- 2022-10-24 Ab van Marrewijk bids farewell as Tomatoworld grower
- 2022-10-21 Philippines: New farm and products to be added as demand rises
- 2022-10-20 "Asian vegetables like Shanghai Bok Choy are almost commonplace"
- 2022-10-20 Philippines: Urban footpint and (inter)national aspirations gains interest of local and global investors
- 2022-10-18 Mushrooms' health benefits add to their popularity
- 2022-10-17 Zimbabwe: ‘Africa is ready for innovation by providing easy access to nutritious produce’