Courtesy of Wally S., Wally's Urban Market Garden, Saskatoon SK
Food waste is turning into a big cause, and I had a reporter come by my farm stand this last week to interview me about it. SPIN farmers take great care to be sure all their crops are ready for their close-up, but she was scouting out the ugly kind, blemished, and not suitable for sale. So I showed her some examples of lower grade, spoiled produce.
I explained that every week I typically get around 10 lbs. of cull carrots. Same with potatoes, beets, pumpkin, winter squash and onions. This could be due to harvest damage, which then causes the crop to go bad sooner, or it could also be due imperfect storage conditions in some of my storage area.
What's a SPIN farmer to do? Well, maybe we should borrow from the big boy's playbook and try selling them.
This type of product offering and positioning makes it possible to cater to people not willing or able to pay premium prices. If you've got an ugly carrot or a disfigured eggplant, you might just be looking at a new product line.