Barely a year has passed since MM Local got off the ground in Boulder, but this year -- the company's second harvest season -- it's aiming to secure more than 15,000 pounds of produce from Colorado farmers to preserve for customers, an accomplishment that would allow people to eat local year-round.
But in order to be successful, the company needs to sell 200 "harvest shares" of its preserved produce by August 15. "Now is the time that people can really make a difference, right in the middle of the harvest," encourages MM Local co-owner Jim Mills. "It allows us to buy more produce, give farmers a commitment to that and be ready to source it at the right time when it's at peak flavor and ripeness."
Harvest shares run from $75 to $525 and get you anywhere from twelve to a hundred products to enjoy throughout the winter and beyond, including tomatoes, peaches, chiles, beans, beets and pears -- all Colorado-sourced -- depending on what's available.
The company works with a small stable of farmers, prioritizing those it can develop a close working relationship with and those that, according to Mills, "share our company's values of community, quality and sustainability."
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"If you have really close relationships with farmers and work with them to get really high quality produce, you can get a really amazing product," Mills says. "There are other companies out there that are preserving food but maybe not in the same way that we're doing it. Our model is really based on buying what grows best in the region and getting it at the peak of ripeness."
So far, enough people have signed up for harvest shares to commit to 3,000 additional pounds -- a start, but 12,000 pounds short of MM Local's goal.
If you're interested in helping push MM Local over the top, while also securing Colorado produce to enjoy throughout the upcoming cold months, you can sign up for a share via MM Local's website. And do it soon: Last year, Mills notes, the company actually had to cap orders.