Thanks so much for you feedback about our plastic bag article in last weeks newsletter. The same conversation is going on at the farmers market also.
Your comments about doubling up items in bags and making sure we use paper instead of plastic if the produce is dry are valid and we are putting them into practice right away. Switching to GMO plastic (corn based compostable bags) is a difficult one as they can cost 5 to 10 times more money to buy and they are made of GMO corn and some, if not all, do contain some plastic. The consensus here at the farm is to minimize the plastic we use for wet produce only and use paper where possible.
One long term solution would be to size grade produce such as potatoes, apples, oranges, tomatoes etc. We would then put 3 large or 4 medium or 5 small in your box as we packed it. This would allow us to give you the correct weight and still pack you boxes as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately the size grader we need would cost between $10,000 and $20,000 to get here and install. At the present time I am a little more than hesitant to spend that kind of money.
There are some produce delivery companies that buy produce on the wholesale market to put into their boxes. This produce must be size graded according to produce packing law in California. They can easily pack loose produce as much of it is so uniform in size. We call upon our local community of farmers to help augment our own produce by buying in bulk bins straight from the field. They save time not having to pack and size grade it and we pass the savings onto you by making a more bountiful and fresher box. We get lots of different sizes which means we have to bag and weigh many items. By grading it here on the farm we could get the best of both worlds but while the economy is putting pressure on all of us we will have to wait a while.
Please let us know what you think. Your comments and suggestions are important.