Farmer’s markets and direct from farm services have blossomed with the growing popularity of buying local and sustainable produce. To the dismay of many, buying healthy and organic turned out to be extremely expensive to accomplish, especially during the pinch of a recession.
Abundant Harvest Organics is an alliance of small, family farmers in central California dedicated to growing organic produce while using simple distribution. The idea is to grow locally and supply locally, cutting the need for expensive and wasteful fuel and packing resources – It’s like a farmer’s market delivered in a package.
Suzanne Polo, a registered dietitian and Malibu resident, manages Abundant Harvest Organics. She became involved with the company two years ago. In private practice for more than 20 years, Polo counsels clients at home or in her office in Malibu about proper nutrition and the health benefits of eating organic and seasonal food. She also promotes buying food that is locally produced.
“When I moved from New York to Malibu, I was looking for an organic food source to feed my family and refer my clients to,” Polo said in a statement.
How it works
Subscribers have the ability to manage their orders online. They can then choose a large box of organic, seasonal produce, which feeds a family of four, or a small box that feeds one to two people. In addition to produce, subscribers can order pastured eggs, meats, and milk, artisanal cheese, beans, grains, nuts and specialty herbs. Abundant Harvest Organics change produce according to season and regularly update their website with new options and recipes.
Weekly delivery of subscriber’s orders in Santa Monica is on Tuesdays from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. at Crossroads School 1741 21st Street in the alley between 21st and 22nd Streets. Orders can also be collected at Malibu United Methodist Church 30128 Morning View Drive, Malibu. Visit abundantharvestorganics.com to find more delivery locations in L.A. County.
Meet the Farmers
A full-time optometrist, Jeff White, and his wife Dianne, made a conscious decision 10 years ago, to move their family from the city of Hanford. Looking for an ideal setting in which to raise their family, they decided on a piece of property that included an additional career opportunity for White, as well as built-in work for the entire family.
At the age 34, he chose the unconventional decision to became a farmer.
“Out of necessity, our kids have worked hard, but it’s been a bonding experience and one that has shaped us into an appreciative family,” White said.
In 2002, White was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, which has been associated with exposure to herbicides and pesticides, among other substances. He decided to reduce exposure to chemicals and toxins as much as possible. Organic farming was the best choice.
“We see organic farming as a way of life,” White said. “Optimal health for our children, organic foods, and better nutrition is where it begins. We want our children to benefit from the organic lifestyle, and we want our consumers to share in this benefit as well.”