For more than a century, a valley in Le Sueur, MN, has produced millions of pounds of Green Giant Vegetables. nearly 1,000 family farms grow Green Giant vegetables using decades of collective experience, wisdom and some advanced science and technology. Green Giant harvests the vegetables at the precise moment of perfect flavor then freezes or cans them fast to lock in nutrients. Green Giant vegetables have helped keep families healthy for more than 100 years.
So my Day 2 started off pretty amazing…considering it was the first time in years (yes, years) that I slept without a baby monitor buzzing in my ear. My husband was holding the fort nicely, so when I called to check in before breakfast- he told me all was well.
We were very excited to learn a ‘special’ visitor would be joining us for breakfast that morning!
|Sprout & Me|
He was such a good sport, putting up with us silly bloggers taking our pictures with him.
We soon boarded the bus and headed out for the farm. One thing we all could NOT stop talking about was how absolutely gorgeous the weather was. The air was cool with a soft breeze and a blue, blue sky. I really do not think that the conditions could have been any more spectacular.
|View from the bus heading out to Green Valley|
Agricultural Research Facility: Upon our arrival, we headed to their offices for an overview in the conference room and learned all that we could learn about Green Giant from their experts.
“Make People Healthier Through The Power Of Vegetables” and “Act With Integrity, Innovate, Preserve Nature’s Goodness, and Make Lives Better.”
Performance-Agronomic, yield, recovery, maturity, class
Quality– Sweetness, color, texture, flavor
Stability: Disease resistance, insect resistance, herbicide tolerance, weather tolerance
The USDA has a chart for classification as well- they grade foods A (Fancy) B (Extra Standard) and C (Standard). The Green Giant goal and quality standard is continually the A (Fancy) variety.
Don’t forget your Mother Earth! We learned about the ways that Green Giant is conscious of the environmental impact of their farming and takes that into consideration as well. For example- minimizing the footprint of the farms that they have are accomplished by increasing the yield (output) of their crops over a smaller space of land over time. Another way that Green Giant is conscious of their environmental impact is seen in their use of water- Drip Irrigation conserves water that they may need to use if it does not rain enough for their crops. The Root River Project via the Nature Conservancy is just one project that Green Giant has participated in with regard to their efforts in environmental concern.
A few more examples of their sustainable agricultural practices are seen in their reduction of pesticide usage, more efficient packaging, recycled packaging material, ‘life cycle analysis’ (study with Univ. of Arkansas to track impact of growing sweet corn and the journey from field to table), freshwater conservation, and in 2011 Green Giant sponsored The Green Awards program providing $120,000 to citizens with big ideas to encourage sustainability.
We did ask about organic options- and asked why they didn’t have more organic foods. The answer surprised me…first- Green Giant owns Cascadian Farms– which IS their organic farms division. And to answer the question as to why they don’t have more organic foods- well, we learned that it is currently pretty difficult to farm with the volumes that they do completely organic.
The Seed Vault– We were given a quick walk through tour of the ‘family jewels’ (no cameras allowed!) to see the rows and rows and rows of seeds all in storage. It was a large, chilly walk in refrigerator where they store all of the seeds to the plants under the name of Green Giant. Cool!
The Test Plant-
Nursery Stop- Next, we were taken out to see some corn. We stopped at the nursery before heading out to lunch. We put on our boots and got dirty.
Here we saw some corn and what it would look like when ready-
Then there was the footprint. I was pretty impressed with this- you could actually SEE how they had reduced the size of the footprint over time in order to increase the yield of the corn.
Disclosure: My trip was paid for by Green Giant and has not influenced my opinions in any way, shape or form. I am not receiving any compensation for posting my reviews.