Menu

Fresh Harvest celebrates ten years of empowering Atlanta’s local food system

Funviralpark 1 year ago 0 3

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

Fresh Harvest, Atlanta’s local organic produce and grocery delivery company, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Headquartered in Clarkston, Georgia, Fresh Harvest was launched in 2012 by Zac Harrison and a small group of friends to reconnect Georgia to food and farmers. In the years that followed, the organization doubled down on this mission, and since then he has invested over $4.2 million in local food movements in Georgia.

“For me, it all started with one meal,” Harrison said.

Harrison’s journey to launch Fresh Harvest has been a long road with some big twists and turns. As a young adult, he decided to tour the country as a musician instead of attending Georgia Tech as planned.

Five years later, in search of a new direction, he took a cross-country bike trip to a small organic farm on the California coast. In the days that followed, Harrison learned how to work and harvest the land, and he experienced first-hand the power of eating and sharing what he grew. Farm communities often hosted large meals where everyone gathered to hand the harvest to the table.

In time, Harrison realized he must return east. He explained that the bike has no music, no podcasts, no small talk. While cruising the long journey to Georgia, Harrison made plans to recreate his powerful experience on a California farm for his native Georgians.

Zach Harrison, Founder and CEO of Fresh Harvest, said:

humble beginnings

The vision was very simple. To provide the people of Atlanta with quality, locally grown baskets delivered to their door using the latest technology. But how to fill it? So how do you deliver?

Harrsion rented half a warehouse from his father and financed Fresh Harvest’s first refrigerated truck from a family friend. He started touring all his farmers markets and introduced ideas to local farmers until he secured Veggie Patch, the first local organic farm that local farmers would attend.

“We had 43 baskets in the first week of delivery,” Harrison said. They were all over the city. In fact, it was the same shipping map we currently offer. ”

Building resilience

Fresh Harvest’s success depends on fostering a resilient community of local growers and buyers. There must be a vibrant array of local organic farmers filling their weekly baskets and a rich customer base to buy them.

“We all depend on each other,” Harrison said. “That’s why the word ‘locally supported agriculture’ action, is not a noun. ”

Fresh Harvest currently partners with over 100 vendors in Georgia and the Southeast, and farmers regularly make Fresh Harvest an integral part of their annual business plans. Fresh Harvest maintains the same shipping map as the first week, but has grown from an initial 43 orders to over 5,500 of his Atlanta households receiving baskets (or more!) each week.

But it wasn’t until the COVID-19 pandemic began that the Fresh Harvest team realized they were playing a vital role in sustaining Atlanta’s local food system.

“During the pandemic, our farmers were worried as restaurant and market sales plummeted to near zero. [Simultaneously] Joe Spiccia, Fresh Harvest’s content director and team member for six years, said: “All we have done is provide a platform for growers to redistribute more produce to ever more demanding customers.”

Word of Fresh Harvest’s solution spread quickly across Atlanta, and 2020 saw a growing customer base. This growth has provided farmers with financial stability and provided customers with safe access to healthy local groceries.

Volunteers working at the Fresh Harvest Garden.

collective impact

Since then, Fresh Harvest has cemented itself as a champion of Georgia’s local food community. They take the role seriously and approach it holistically.

The impact extends beyond supporting farmers to incorporating sustainability throughout our operations. For example, Fresh Harvest’s bins, foils and ice blankets are all cleaned and reused weekly. This means that one customer’s bin has been in circulation for his seven years and has been reused at least 364 times.

Fresh Harvest is also committed to supporting the community of Clarkston, Georgia, known as the most diverse square mile in the United States. Refugees make up 75% of his Fresh Harvest team, which runs a subsidized community market called Share the Harvest Market, which makes local organic produce more accessible to those in need. Founded Fresh Harvest customers have an opportunity to donate, and in 2021 we donated over $130,000 in produce. This equates to her over 11,640 free produce baskets for 320 households.

WHY BUY LOCAL

To understand the power of local food, it is enough to watch the bright orange yolk of a local egg sizzle. It just makes it taste better. And in this case, if it tastes good, it also means it’s good for you. All Fresh Harvest produce is pesticide-free and nutritious.

Beyond satisfying your taste buds, buying local produce has an incredible economic impact on your community. Every dollar spent means more local employment for Georgia farmers and more investment in expanding organic farms, Spiccia said. It will allow us to enjoy high quality organic produce.”

Finally, buying locally is an investment in the future of the environment. “Instead of buying conventionally grown, chemically ‘fortified’ foods that destroy our topsoil and degrade the planet, we use natural food to rebuild our precious soil.” We are investing in the growth of regenerative farming practices that work with systems of

Photo by Andrew Thomas Lee

share a table

Harrison always looks forward to staff meals. Fresh Harvest’s warehouse is set up with long tables and décor where the whole team gathers to feast on global cuisine from the home countries of the employees, using local ingredients. In this moment when food is served and stories are shared, Harrison feels comforted that he is doing his part.

“It’s so easy to tie our first meal in California to today’s staff meal,” he said. , we are very proud to have welcomed you.”

Fresh Harvest is now delivering weekly basket subscriptions to the Atlanta metropolitan area. Baskets range from small to extra-large, and we always offer customization and add-on opportunities for snacks, ready meals, bakery products, dairy, health products, household items, and other food and grocery items.

To learn more about Fresh Harvest or to register, please visit www.freshharvest.com.

– Advertisement – BuzzMag Ad
Written By

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

– Advertisement – BuzzMag Ad