The mission of Hugh’s Gardens is simple: 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 using one.
There are many other standards that must be met to maintain organic certification from both a production and a storage and 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. It is estimated that Hugh’s Gardens directly leads to the employment of about 20 jobs and supports over 40 local business—not including all the stores, restaurants, and schools the produce can be found in. Hugh’s Gardens is also proud to partner with the Farm to School programs of the Red River Valley and in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. This partnership not only provides healthy food for many students who may not have regular access, but also increases education and awareness to how food is raised and the many benefits local fruits and vegetables 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. Hugh’s Gardens opinion is that it is up to the consumer to do the research and make an informed decision on what farms and business’ they wish to support and what they want to put in their body. With the constant application of chemicals to the human body in various aspects, Hugh’s Gardens is proud to offer produce that is pure and naturally raised and stored.