Utah (ABC4 News) — When Kristin Varela’s daughter lost 32 pounds in two months due to an autoimmune disease, Varela said her family’s background in farming saved her daughter’s life.
“We became hyper aware of every ingredient that entered our home- how it was grown, where it was grown, if it was sprayed with any dangerous chemicals. How long ago was it harvested?” Varela said. “All of these items became important to really saving my daughter’s life. Luckily, we had a background in regenerative farming. so we had access to food like that that ultimately was able to get her back on track.”
When family and friends asked Varela how she was able to get healthy produce for her family, Varela decided to start a business selling produce from her farms. Kristin’s Farm Stand provides what Varela calls “nutrient-dense” foods that the business not only grows and harvests, but now delivers from her farm in Snowville as far south as Spanish Fork and everywhere in between.
“We do all door-to-door home delivery, so everything is harvested. We grow and raise everything that we sell. We harvest it ourselves, we package it ourselves, and we deliver it ourselves, so in most instances, produce that is delivered to our customers is harvested within 24-48 hours of it arriving at their door,” she said. “We pick everything ripe and ready to eat, which is a very different experience from the grocery store.”
With the coronavirus pandemic beginning to reach its peak and concerns about the safety of entering a grocery store and the cleanliness of produce sold there, Varela said she hopes that the deliveries of fresh produce will be helpful.
“People are having challenges accessing food in their normal methods,” she said. “Going to the grocery store is more dangerous than usual. We are able to surpass that whole system, and since we are delivering straight to people’s homes, they’re able to have access to this food that we grow without having to leave the safety of their homes.
According to Varela, Kristin’s Farm Stand makes no-contact deliveries, which means that customers receive a text message containing a picture of the reusable bag of food left at their door. That way, customers can maintain social distancing.
But what is unique about the produce available at Kristin’s Farm Stand?
As Varela explained, the company uses regenerative farming- a practice which she said revitalizes the soil instead of stripping it. This creates more nutrient-dense foods. She does this by using a bioractor composting system, which maintains the microbiology of the soil.
Additionally, Varela said the company rotates its livestock, which means that they are able to eat a wide variety of cover crops, which the farm grows. This also helps the soil and the quality of the meat, Varela said.
“We’re just happy to have the ability to get foods like this into people’s hands when they’re having a difficult time finding access,” she said.
The company began delivering food in Utah about two weeks ago. They also deliver as far north as Boise, Idaho and have been delivering products in Colorado from their Colorado farm since 2018.
Varela’s farm in Utah is 600 acres and offers not only produce, but pasture-raised eggs and protein.
She said that local businesses are going through a very scary time right now and that supporting them is important.
“Everything is so transient and feeling very delicate, and so for people to be able to support local businesses is supporting their own local infrastructure,” she said. “It’s supporting foods that come from their own personal community. It’s supporting their neighbors, and when you’re in a trying time like this, the most comforting thing we can do and the best thing we can do as a community is to just kind of boost each other up and support each other.”
Additionally, Varela said that looking for clean and nutrient-dense foods is one of the best ways to support oneself during difficult times.
“With the COVID-19 situation going on right now, one of the most important things we can do is put time and effort into taking care of ourselves, and a lot of that comes down to the food that we’re eating,” she said, “and just continuing to do what we can from a health and nutrition standpoint to bolster our own immunity and handle and combat stress responses.”
Kristin’s Farm Stands does not offer a subscription box. According to Varela, they try to keep things as simple as possible and allow people to feel like they are shopping at a store. For example, the company sells individual cuts of meat and there’s no minimum amount that customers are required to order.
She said those who are interested in ordering from the farm can set up an online account at www.Kristins-SaltLake.com. Orders of 75 dollars or more always have free delivery, while orders under 75 dollars, have a six dollar delivery fee. However, all deliveries will be free in April for those who want to test out the service.
Varella said that attempting to find healthy food can sometimes feel overwhelming due to confusing marketing messaging.
“I really wanted to have one single, direct source where we grow it, we raise it, we sell it, and we deliver it ourselves and there is no middle man, so we have a direct line of communication with our customers. They can know us, they can trust us. They can see how their food is grown directly, and there just is total transparency in that food supply chain,” she said.
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