Eric, Wally, Mary, Aaron, Naomi, and Silas
Generation after generation of farmers in the Northeast have been working to supply us with grocery store worthy food.
Join us as we learn from generations of farmers to explore what drives them and what it takes.
Lesvia, Juan, Albert & Herman
It takes many hands to tend, harvest and pack the fruits and vegetables that supply Northeast kitchens. Farms depend on skilled, reliable employees both for year-round farm work and for the extra hours needed at harvest season.
Farm work involves long days and strenuous physical labor in all kinds of weather. Crops wait for no one when they are ready to be picked. Few people in the US are willing and able to do this work year round, and even fewer are interested in seasonal work. Most Americans no longer have any experience with agriculture. As a result the essential work of bringing food to our tables is done mostly by people from other countries, who come here either temporarily or to stay and make a life.
SCENES OF LOCAL
Since 1997 Red Tomato has connected you to farms in the Northeast.
Join us as we explore what it takes to bring local produce to market!
Farms depend on skilled, reliable employees both for year-round farm work and for extra hours needed at harvest season
Dan, Jon, and the UMass Cold Springs Orchard
Cold Springs Orchard is tucked against the hillside just outside of Belchertown, MA. While it looks like another of the many beautiful orchards in this region, its other name is the UMass Cold Spring Orchard Research & Education Center, part of the Massachusetts Experiment Station. It is part of a network of publicly-funded research sites connected to Land Grant Universities in every state.
New fruit varieties, insect behavior and management, plant disease management, soil health, and a wide range of research topics yield important knowledge that growers in the region apply directly to the management of their own farms and orchards.
Donated to UMass by the MA Fruit Growers Association in 1962, the farm is a site for research and education supported by UMass, Federal and State grants, The Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association, and others. The results of the research are made available to any and all via a variety of online resources, publications, newsletters, farm meetings, on-site demonstrations, and conferences. For fruit and vegetable growers, the knowledge, the research, and guidance of these public scientists are crucial to their livelihoods and success.
The Food Hub - Red Tomato
Food Hub: a bridge between producers and consumers that distributes local, source-identified food.
It takes a chain of individuals to move produce from the field to the store shelf. In the local supply chain, there is a relatively new intermediary, focused on helping bring local to market. From our history in fair trade to the importance of differentiation and logistics, and creating a fun place to work—the team at the food hub Red Tomato has been working on behalf of mid-sized farms since 1997.
Listen in on how they work to bring local to mainstream grocery stores.
Time for a quick bite? Dive into specific sections below:
The Truckers - Holden, F&B and Many More!
At Red Tomato, we’re on a mission to change the food system for the better. We do this by working with trusted farmers, distributors and grocers to bring you the freshest locally and regionally grown fruits and vegetables. When you pick Red Tomato, you are choosing the best produce available — while helping to build a more sustainable food system and a better future.
We call it righteous produce!
History and Background
Logistics and Getting the Job Done
Creating a great place to work
“the last mile problem”
how do we get the product from warehouse or store to the consumer's door?
Many consumers are aware of their food as it relates to activities on the farm, and the grocery store, but the journey between the two can be a big mystery.
It’s unsurprising that this critical link isn’t at the forefront of most minds; it’s a largely hidden part of the supply chain. Food transportation happens in the middle of the night, with trucks picking up from farms in remote locations and bringing food to loading docks tucked away on the backside of the store. Truck and warehouse names don't show up on cucumbers, or anywhere else visible to most of us. We might be aware of them in the abstract, as they're clearly visible on our roads, but rarely think “this truck is bringing my cucumbers to the store.”