• A Farmer’s Rebuttal to the Arguments Against GMO Labeling

    Image via Flickr user mattjiggins

    This past November, California voted on a monumental proposition which would have required food containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) to be labeled as such. In the months leading up to the election, polls showed the vast majority of voters in favor of this proposition. However, some food companies with genetically modified ingredients saw it differently and spent millions of dollars to see it fail. Now the state of Washington is in the process of trying to pass a similar labeling law, I-522. Although we can only speculate on the food companies’ true reasons for not wanting their food to be labeled, we can look at how they convinced a slight majority of California voters to think this was a bad idea. Here are some of the main points the opposition used:

    • Conflicts with Science
    • Full of loopholes
    • Higher grocery bill
    • Hurts farmers

    In order to fully ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: Orlan and Chastity Mays

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms. Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    Sowing Small, Growing Tall

    Raising Organic Family Farms recipient Orlan and Chastity Mays’ urban farm brings healthy produce and education to a low-income Illinois neighborhood.

    You won’t find a grocery store in this Carbondale, IL, neighborhood on the city’s northeast side. But hidden among the urban neighborhood is a sanctuary of herbs, greens, tomatoes and more. Mustard Seed Sowers Garden (MSSG) is the community’s only access to fresh produce in the immediate area, thanks to the ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: Andrée Collier Zaleska

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms. Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    This Old House

    Raising Organic Family Farms recipient Andrée Collier Zaleska hasn’t just created an urban farm, she’s created a sustainable living example for the entire community.

    When Andrée Collier Zaleska first set eyes on the derelict century-old house in 2008, she looked past the pernicious invasive weeds, the cracks, chipped paint and the damages to the exterior. She didn’t focus on the emptiness or its history as a corner store for 70 years. Zaleska – ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: Sarahlee Lawrence

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms (ROFF). Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    The Seeds of Community

    Sarahlee Lawrence’s Rainshadow Organics Farm is a staple in her Central Oregon community—and in their diets.

    In the high desert of Central Oregon, family, friends and community members gather together around long wooden tables at the Lawrence family’s Rainshadow Organics Farm. The tables fill with three courses of beautiful produce and meats, everything sourced from the farm except the salt.

    The activity on the farm doesn’t end after the farm-to-table dinner. ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: Ron and Chris Arnold

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms. Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    Small Steps Towards a More Sustainable Farming Future

    Ron and Chris Arnold transformed a Tennessee-community eyesore into a lush farm by hand, supplying fruit and vegetables to a 26-member CSA.

    When Ron and Chris Arnold first toured the trashed property that was to become their small family farm, they knew it would take a lot of hard work and commitment. Overgrown grasses and weeds climbed and tangled amongst each other. Outbuildings were filled with trash. Tires ...

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  • Legacy of Generosity

    Albert Lundberg was 48 years old when he packed up everything he owned and moved his family from Nebraska to California. At first, all he had was “Grandma’s 40,” the aptly named forty-acre piece of land belonging to Albert’s wife Frances. With a lot of hard work and wisdom, Albert was able to increase and improve upon his land. And by the early 1940s, he had over 1,000 acres to his name. But within another couple of years, Albert was ready to give his land away again.

    Homer remembers when Albert decided to divide his land amongst his sons. It was in the late 1940s or early 1950s, when the boys were still young, having just graduated high school. “Dad had worked hard for what he had and then he just gave it away to all of us- ‘I’ll have a fifth, and each of my boys will have a ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: Daniel Ungier

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms. Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    Cultivating Community


     

    The New American Sustainable Agriculture Program of Maine assists immigrant and refugee farmers with help from Raising Organic Family Farms grant.

    When Daniel Ungier submitted an application essay to Raising Organic Family Farms, he never once used the word “I.” Instead, his essay spoke of “we” on behalf of the many pre-literate and limited-English proficient immigrants in the New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP).

    The NASAP is a subprogram of Cultivating Community...

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  • Weed Control

    About thirty years ago in 1982, the Lundberg brothers were just about ready to give up on a field of organic rice. Eldon, Wendell, Harlan and Homer were stumped. Their field had too many broadleaf weeds, too much rice bull rush, and they did not know what to do about it. Feeling rather defeated, they decided to disk the field before the weeds went to seed and affected the next year’s weed load. But as the brothers dried up the field, they made a surprising observation - the weeds began to dry up and die before the rice did! With nothing to lose, the brothers waited to see how long the rice would survive. The thirsty weeds continued to die, but the rice held out. When a significant portion of the weeds were gone and the rice was just about to be overcome with stress, the brothers put water back ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: Kristy Allen

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms (ROFF). Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    Ain't That The Beez Kneez

    Raising Organic Family Farms recipient Kristy Allen brings her sweet product to doorsteps and educates local schools and communities.

    Kristy Allen is – in all senses of the phrase – a very busy bee. She’s easy to spot around Minneapolis atop her yellow and black painted “beecycle,” antennae on her helmet and the telltale colors accenting her riding gear. What you can’t tell is from which of her many bee-focused ...

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  • Raising Organic Family Farms Grant Recipients: JP Palanuk

    Lundberg Family Farms has been proud to support the next generation of organic family farmers with our grant and scholarship program Raising Organic Family Farms. Between 2011 and 2012, Lundberg was able to assist more than 50 small-scale family farmers with a total of $50,000 in equipment, classes, small fixes or upgrades to help their farms succeed. We’ve been catching up with them this fall, and we’re delighted to share their progress with you.

    Harvests to feed the hungry

    Raising Organic Family Farms recipient JP Palanuk provides thousands of pounds of pears each year to the Oregon Food Bank.

    About 60 miles outside of Portland, Fazan Farm sits near the Hood River surrounded by fields and vineyards. An organic pear orchard owned by Jon “JP” Palanuk, one stroll through the farm’s lush grounds proves both the area’s abundance and the generosity of its owner. Barletts, Bosc and D’Anjou pears – ...

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  • Lundberg Family Farms Waste Audit 2012

    Lundberg 2012 Waste Audit

    Each year, a group of dedicated Lundberg Family Farms employees devote one week to sorting and documenting all landfill-bound material produced in each department. This 'Waste Audit' helps us determine how much waste is being generated and is instrumental in identifying ways to improve our waste disposal and recycling processes.  Being conscientious about waste disposal practices can offer several benefits, such as a more efficient space, substantial savings in waste disposal fees and an overall reduction in impact on natural resources.

    The first official waste audits were conducted in 2011 and gave us some important feedback which we used to fine tune our recycling processes. For example, we found that because of the decreased amount of landfill-bound waste we produced, we were able to convert our trash compactor to handle recyclable materials. We also added specific signage to our waste cabinets identifying what goes in which bin based on it's location; bins ...

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  • Rice's Black Pearl

    Intro to Rice: Lundberg Black Japonica™

    Lundberg Black Japonica’s exotic flavors will inspire your inner chef—and this whole grain’s wealth of healthful nutrients will keep you coming back for seconds.  Cooking and reporting by Emma Lundberg.

    Lundberg's Black Japonica, a black rice

    Today my family grows Lundberg Black Japonica, a kind of whole grain rice, at our California farm.

    An Ancient Treasure

    My grandpa and his brothers began growing black rice in Richvale, California during the 1970s. However, the cultivation of black rice in California during the age of funky disco and space exploration was hardly a twentieth century revolution. Asian and Middle Eastern cultures had been growing black rice for thousands of years because they valued black rice's complex flavor, fragrant aroma and health-boosting nutrients. Today, whether you choose to mix black rice into a simple salad, enjoy its subtle sweetness in a dessert dish, or enhance an elaborate gourmet dinner with a striking ingredient, ...

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  • California Sushi Rice

    Intro to Rice Blog: Sushi Rice

    Lundberg Family Farms®’ relationship with Japan began in the mid-1990s, when the Lundbergs started growing Japanese short-grain table rice, or sushi rice. In the early twenty-first century Lundberg Family Farms cultivated a direct relationship with Japan through exporting rice to Japanese customers and importing new perspectives on this globally-significant grain. Emma Lundberg reports.

    Green rice field with pink sunset.

    Japanese varieties, such as Calihikari, grow beautifully in a California climate.

    A Cultural Cornerstone

    Calihikari embodies all of the important aspects of a traditional Japanese table rice. In Japan, rice is considered a base for dishes that feature fish, beans and vegetables, so the ideal Japanese rice is sticky, very white—nearly translucent—and tasteless, like water. “The customary preference for rice in Japan is based on centuries of rice-eating. Rice is eaten at breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is an important dietary and cultural staple,” says Jessica Lundberg, the nursery manager at Lundberg ...

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  • Richvale Red Rice

    Intro to Rice Blog: Wehani 

    Harlan Lundberg, one of the four founders of Lundberg Family Farms, was passionate about making brown rice eating as fun and interesting as possible. He dedicated his time to the development of many novel gourmet rice varieties; one of Harlan’s first successes was the stunning russet-colored Wehani rice. Emma Lundberg reports.

    Four Lundberg brothers in a field of Wehani

    Above: Wendell, Eldon, Harlan and Homer, the founding brothers of Lundberg Family Farms, standing out in a field of Lundberg red rice.

    A Great Man’s Legacy

    Like Wehani rice, my great-uncle Harlan is memorable because of his unforgettably bold character. Harlan was a jovial, altruistic man. He left the world better than he found it, as demonstrated by his travels with the Peace Corps and other service organizations in North America, Africa, South America and Europe. His deep sense of care for people everywhere influenced his lifelong commitment to consumers. 

    Harlan believed that eating ...

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  • Outstanding in a Minute!

    Got a minute? Here's another look at Outstanding in the Field's visit to the farm!

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  • Outstanding in the Field

    A view of the table from Outstanding in the Field

    "I think one of the most important things I grew up with was the idea that people need to be connected to their food," Jessica Lundberg, a third generation family member, reminisced. "Growing up in a family business where organic and healthy foods were so important and having our name on a package for that specific reason-- so we can connect people with their foods-- [Outstanding in the Field] is something that just really fits..." she continued. Outstanding in the Field brings together farmers, producers, culinary artisans and diners to share in the experience of re-connecting people to the land and the origins of their food. Outstanding also honors local farmers and food artisans, all within the context of a gourmet meal elegantly set in the location where the featured food is grown. You can imagine how excited we were when given the opportunity to host Outstanding in the Field at ...

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  • Whole-istic Pioneers

    Intro to Rice Blog: Short Grain Brown

    Lundbergs were pioneers, farming and milling organic whole grain brown rice in an age of pesticides and refined grains; Emma Lundberg reports; Below: A package of short grain brown rice sits next to an old plow in Richvale, California (c. 1979).

    Plow and Lundberg Short Grain Brown rice.

    Wholesome Beginnings

    In 1969, my grandpa Eldon Lundberg and his three brothers, Harlan, Wendell and Homer built a rice mill which allowed them to independently produce healthful and high-quality brown rice. Since 1937 the brothers had been farming rice on the same 3,000 California acres, and the construction of the mill in 1969 marked a turning point in the farm’s history. The mill meant independence from outside manufacturers and controlled production costs. To my grandpa and his brothers, the mill meant freedom.

    Eldon Lundberg at the family mill in 1984.

    Above: My grandpa in front of the family rice mill, built specifically to mill whole grain brown rice (c. 1984)....

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  • Intro to Rice

    By Emma Lundberg

    Did you know that there are more than 120,000 different kinds of rice? Rice is typically described as either white or whole grain brown; however, rice actually comes in many different colors, shapes, textures, sizes and flavors. Each distinct kind of rice is called a variety, and at Lundberg Family Farms we produce 17 different varieties, each with its own characteristics and cooking purposes.

    This summer, I’ll introduce each Lundberg variety to you through the Intro to Rice blog. Each post will include a variety history, some fun info and, of course, delicious recipes and nutritional facts. But before we get out our rice cookers, let’s first learn a little more about how new rice varieties are selected and developed at Lundberg Family Farms.

    A collection of brown, black and red rice grains.

    Diversifying our Selection of Grains

    Jessica Lundberg, who manages the nursery at Lundberg Family Farms, explains the nursery's role at the farm: “The ...

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  • A Conversation with Derrold Daly

    Want to learn more about Derrold Daly's work at his hatchery? In this video he talks with Bryce about raising and releasing rescued birds. Check it out... 

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  • How do organic rice farmers manage weeds?

    Ever wondered how organic rice farmers manage weeds in the field? Bryce Lundberg reports from a field of Organic Basmati...

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