The mission of Hugh’s Gardens to utilize sustainable practices throughout our entire operation; to promote a strong local economy; and to encourage consumers to invest in their health.
A healthy environment benefits everyone, from the bees buzzing through the fields pollinating the plants to the consumer living near the field or eating our produce. It all starts with the farming methods utilized by the producers of Hugh’s Gardens. Each producer must achieve and maintain organic certification through a USDA recognized certifier. There are many key components to farming in an organic way. Growing diverse crops and building organic matter by applying compost and green manure into the soil not only introduces a variety of nutrients but also helps conserve water. Organic producers also have a limited amount of organically approved inputs to use throughout the growing process—meaning you can be assured that no harmful chemicals will be present in the environment and therefore in the produce you consume. Organic producers are also required to keep extensive records and are subject to random inspections from their certifier. With potatoes being one of the most heavily inundated crops with pesticide (35 different pesticides found with conventional potatoes), Hugh’s Gardens is proud to partner with producers who are able to grow potatoes without harmful pesticides.
There are many other standards that must be met to maintain organic certification from both a production and a storage/handling standpoint. For more information, please feel free to contact us at Hugh’s Gardens.
Not only is a healthy environment great for the surrounding communities, but the production and consumption of locally grown produce has major financial impacts. It is estimated that twice the amount of money spent on local produce (and other locally produced goods) stays in the community. One economic researcher likens money to blood, “…it needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going.” Hugh’s Gardens is pleased to encourage a thriving local economy through various means: seeds are mostly purchased from local suppliers, equipment and other supplies are purchased locally, taxes are paid to local governments, and many employment opportunities are created from the field to the storage and wash plant to the end market where the consumer is reached. An estimated 20 jobs and over 40 local businesses are supported by the existence of Hugh’s Gardens. We are also proud to partner with the Farm to School programs of the Red River Valley and the Minneapolis/St. Paul school districts. This partnership not only provides healthy food for many students who may not have regular access but also increases education and awareness about how food is raised and the many benefits local fruits and vegetables have to offer.
The money spent on local produce should be considered an investment—not only in the local economy but also in one’s personal health.
You will feel healthier when you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. You will be healthier when you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables—especially when they are locally and organically grown.
As Hugh’s Gardens mostly supplies potatoes, here are some statistics that are important for one to know. In general, a medium-sized plain potato has only: 160 calories, is naturally fat and cholesterol-free, contains 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and offers other nutrients such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, and has even more potassium than a banana. Specialty potatoes such as purple and pink potatoes are also high in antioxidants. As stated before, about 35 different pesticides have been found on conventional potatoes: 6 are known or probable carcinogens, 12 have suspected hormone disruptors, 7 contain neurotoxins, 6 have developmental or reproductive toxins, and 9 are honeybee toxins. Our Huckleberry Gold specialty potatoes are not only higher in antioxidants, but are also unlike most other varieties due to them having a "low glycemic index" making it a great potato to consume for those who have diabetes. Consumers should research to better understand the impacts of large scale agricultural practices in order to better make informed decisions on what farms and business’ they wish to support and what food they wish to consume. With the constant application of chemicals to the human body in various aspects, Hugh’s Gardens is proud to offer produce that is naturally raised and stored.