Canadian Farmers say, “More Peas Please!”
Part of our mission to help people feel good about snacking involves developing strong partnerships with our farmers to grow the best tasting, organic and non-GMO ingredients. That’s one reason we traveled to Canada last week: to meet some of the farmers who grow peas for our new Peas Please. The prairies are covered in snow this time of year, making a beautiful sight as far as the eye can see. During their “off season”, the farmers had time to chat with us about their work.
Farming nutritious, tasty ingredients for Peas Please is no small feat. It involves chemistry in getting the right balance of minerals, like nitrogen, in the soil and lots of hard work. Most grains, like wheat and corn, strip nitrogen from the land; peas are an important counter crop, as they restore nitrogen back to the soil. Farmers plant peas to bring the soil back into balance, which makes them uniquely suited to sustainable farming.
Farming also involves engineering and risk assessment. Working with farm equipment requires a lot of tinkering and optimizing and investment savvy: they’re always calculating the risk and return involved with every inch of land they devote to a crop. For organic farmers, the crop risks – from insects, funguses, and weeds – are more complex, since they don’t use pesticides. Our farmers have to work much harder to balance all the seasonal variables of moisture, wind, minerals and crop diversity in order to grow a successful crop.
We also met farmers who transitioned to organic crops because they had faced illnesses and cancer from the pesticides in traditional crops, and they realized that their health and the health of the land would improve with organic farming. They decided that the extra cost and labor time were worth the investment.
We were inspired by the complexity involved in growing organic peas and our farmers’ incredible knowledge and dedication to growing a sustainable harvest. And, we’re happy to be a part of the sustainable cycle that’s nourishing the land with nitrogen and organic crops. Whether you eat Peas Please or another favorite variety of Peeled Snacks, you’re supporting that system too!
See below some pics of bins filled with peas and the snow covered prairies.
We also stopped by the local Voyageur Festival to see the amazing snow sculptures, and sample some local pea soup!