Written by Tyler BlanceProduce Merchandising Intern Price Chopper has been buying from local growers for over 75 years. Currently, we do business with over 70 local growers; some deliver to our warehouse, some deliver directly to our stores. An important part of our locally grown program is Price Chopper’s involvement with 4H, a youth development organization that gives children the opportunity to grow and sell fresh produce in their communities. The Golub family has been supporting 4H groups since 1965. Children who belong to 4H can plant, grow, and sell their produce in our stores. Locally grown 2012 has been off to a great start this year. I’ve journeyed out to three local farms so far: Each farm has been an important part of our locally grown program each summer and fall. Shaul Farms, located right outside of Middleburgh, NY, has been working with Price Chopper since 1985. Back then, Dave and Jim Shaul would load up a pickup truck of straight-from-the-ground produce and head over to our Cobleskill, NY store (after a days work on the farm was completed) and bring in their fresh crops. These days, Shaul Farms supplies a number of Price Choppers all around the Capital District and Oneonta. Currently the farm is shipping lettuce to our stores, so keep an eye out for locally grown Shaul Farms lettuce! Davandjer Farms in Pine Island NY started with a simple 10 acre plot of land. The farm has grown into a much larger operation; currently they have around 190 acres of crops! Andrew Gurda (owner) and his team supply Price Chopper with onions, although some stores carry his lettuce and baby red potatoes. Look for the greyhound label on certain onion bags; it’s from Andrew and his farm! In addition to being an established local grower, Andrew supports and donates to Produce for Kids: an organization that encourages healthy eating among kids and families. [wpvideo 4t4F9Hbx] Paul Mazza Farms in Colchester Vermont has been in Price Chopper’s locally grown program for ten years. Paul Mazza (owner) has been farming on his own for 27 years: starting with 20 acres and growing his farm to 250 acres! Currently, Mazza Farms supplies Vermont area stores with fresh, delicious strawberries. “Vermont strawberries have more taste than Florida or California berries. There’s nothing like Vermont strawberries!” Mazza confidently claims. Price Chopper’s locally grown program will continue to run all throughout the summer. Local farmers have been working hard to provide people with fresh, flavorful produce, so enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor! I will continue to update you on locally grown happenings, so check back to see what’s growing on near you!