Sustainable farming and choosing to grow our World Famous fruits responsibly is something we’ve been choosing to do at Stemilt for decades. Our founder, Tom Mathison, was a big believer that you should leave the earth better than you found it. He would say: “We’re only caretakers of the land for a short amount of time, so we must work to leave it as good as we can, or better if we can.”
Tom was one of the first in the apple industry to transition hundreds of acres of his conventional apple orchards to organic and his two grandsons, West Mathison, our president, Tate Mathison, our sales director and his grandson-in-law Robin Graham, Stemilt’s Ag Services general manger believe in carrying these traditions on throughout our facilities today.
So while Earth Day is April 22 every year, we believe that earth day is every day. We are constantly seeking innovative ways to farm sustainably so that we can leave the land better than when we first started farming on it. Through our Responsible Choice® program, we are making the choice to use natural resources to ensure optimum quality and delightful flavors of our World Famous Fruits.
For starters, Stemilt has a multi-acre compost farm that regenerates the community’s green waste into custom, nutrient-rich fertilizer to fuel the growth of our fruits. We also use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) tools to protect our fruits from unwanted visitors. This includes various tactics, but more recently, we have planted hundreds of acres of bee-friendly farming habitats to encourage bee growth every spring as well as house beneficial insects like ladybugs in our orchards.
This is only a couple of examples of how we choose to take care of the planet on our farms and we work hard to practice sustainable farming all year long. While we don’t expect you to create your own compost this Earth Day, we do hope you partake in some fun ways to show Mother Earth how much you care. From planting flowers to recycling to reducing food waste, we have listed a few ways below on how you can get involved on Earth Day (and every day) this year.
1) Plant flowers! Or anything really. From plants to shrubs to trees, there are so many things that reap the benefits from green foliage. Plants and flowers of all types produce oxygen as well as feed insects, birds, and animals and help us keep our planet ticking along. May it be an indoor herb garden to a mighty oak tree, anything thing green helps!
2) Recycle. Obvious, right? Check out your local community’s recycling guide but opt to recycle when you can. Plus, you may be able to downsize that trash can too and save some money!
3) Carpool or ride your bike! The Wenatchee Valley and surrounding areas are working hard to improve safe biking routes as well as encourage carpooling. Our transit system is also easily accessible and a great way to reduce the number of exhaust emissions.
4) Focus on food waste. This is a great way to give back. Personally, this is one my family and I have been working on in our own home. We have been trying to get crafty about our meals to reduce the ingredients needed and relying on staple items, like apples, to use in every meal!
We hope you already partake in some of these ways of giving back and look forward to learning other ways you are celebrating the planet in the comments below. Happy Earth Day!