Produce

Crafted for your Holiday Cravings

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Do something different this holiday: Follow this guide for fresh & tasty crowd-pleasers!

Wracking your brain for that perfect holiday appetizer, side, or cookie?!? Look no further, we’ve got you covered with quick, easy, and delicious ideas, check out the full guide below:

Appetizers

Snack Board

Nothing signals a special holiday gathering like a snack board. Put one on the table and watch the crowd, drink in hand, gather around for a generous slice from a wedge of cheese.

This season, instead of garnishing your cheese board with a typical bunch of grapes, surprise, delight, and nourish your guests with some pop-them-in-your-mouth tomatoes, no cooking or prepping needed!

Easy Antipasto Wreath

Our Easy Antipasto Wreath features the Maverick Mix® tomatoes combines salami slices, olives, peppers, fresh mozzarella cheese balls, basil leaves- and more. It’s the perfect appetizer platter, full of color and super simple to put together, yet still very impressive looking.

Candy Cane Caprese

Our Candy Cane Caprese featuring Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes requires just a few ingredients and comes together in a matter of minutes so you can spend more time with your loved ones this holiday season!

Mini Christmas Tree Pizzas

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Move over Christmas cookies, and let kids get creative for the holiday season with these fun pizzas. Plus, sneak more veggies into your kid’s diet. Maverick Mix® tomatoes pose as colorful lights/ornaments for decorating.

Tomato, Feta & Pesto Puff Pastry

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Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes pair with pesto, basil, and feta cheese to create this combination of red, white and green, bringing a colorful spin to any holiday party.

Drink

Rosemary Cucumber Gimlet

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This cocktail is mixed up with delicious fresh cucumber juice, lime juice, gin, and a rosemary simple syrup and just so happens to be as stunning as it is delicious!

Fresh Bloody Mary

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This deliciously fresh homemade Bloody Mary mix can be made a few days in advance so it will take the edge off twice.

Main Dishes

Tomato Galette

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This recipe is super easy to make and boy will it make your taste buds sing joy to the world!

Hot Damn, Tamales!

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There are lots and lots of food traditions in the state of Texas, but none is stronger and more deeply rooted than making and eating tamales at Christmas.

Rudolf Tomato Grilled Cheese

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose…and it’s a bright red tomato!

Sides

Roasted Tomato White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

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This homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes is comfort food at its finest, featuring a silky cheese sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Texas Harvest Succotash

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A welcomed sight amongst all of the carbs, plus all the ingredients can be prepped a day in advance!

Spiced Tomato Cranberry Sauce

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Wow your guests this with a twist on traditional Cranberry Sauce! This Spiced Cranberry Sauce is the perfect tangy accompaniment to your holiday dinner!

Crispy Tomato Sage Upside Down Cornbread

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The colors are stunning and you invert it after baking to reveal a lovely tomato design.

Dessert

Cucumber Peppermint Rock Candy

Making our Cucumber Peppermint Rock Candy was a combination of blending, a bit of science, and some patience. That is all it took for us to transform a couple of simple ingredients into homemade nostalgic rock candy sticks with a Luscious Seedledd Long English® cucumber twist!

Cherry Tomato Thumbprint Cookie

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We guarantee no one else will have this at the cookie swap! This Texas Christmas recipe combines not one, but two traditions – Christmas thumbprint cookies and Texas Red Pepper Jelly.

News

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Supports Hope for the Holidays

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Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is working to provide healthy meals for kids and their families.  Recently Village Farms Fresh has become part of this effort through a team volunteer endeavor in conjunction with their Mercy Kitchen location that provides meals to a variety of children’s after-school programs in the greater Orlando, Florida area. 

A team from the Lake Mary corporate office comprised of employees from the Village Farms and Village Farms Fresh divisions spent a morning assembling nutritious meals for children at the Second Harvest Food Bank’s Mercy Kitchen location.  In total 7500 meals were assembled for children.  In combination with the volunteer effort, Village Farms Fresh is currently running a virtual food drive on their social media channels, including Facebook and Instagram, as part of the Second Harvest Foodbank “Hope of the Holidays” program where each $10 donation funds 40 meals.

According to Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications for Village Farms Fresh, “It was a fun and engaging experience to be part of Mercy Kitchen’s day-to-day process and for us as a company to give back in this small way through a morning of volunteering. Super happy we prepared healthy and balanced children’s meals that included an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables”.

According to their website, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is a private, nonprofit organization that collects, stores, and distributes donated food to more than 625 feeding partners in seven Central Florida counties. Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia and Marion. Last year, with the help of numerous donors, volunteers, and a caring, committed community, the food bank distributed enough food for 81 million meals to partner programs such as food pantries, soup kitchens, women’s shelters, senior centers, daycare centers, and Kids’ Cafes. With a mission to create hope and nourish lives through a powerful hunger relief network, while multiplying the generosity of a caring community, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s vision of inspiring and engaging the community to end hunger and help neighbors thrive is one Village Farms Fresh is honored to take part in.  For more information about Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida and their efforts to fight hunger please visit their website at www.feedhopenow.org.

Events

News

Village Farms Fresh® Invites you to Bite into Fresh during The New York Produce Show

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As seen on The Produce News

Village Farms Fresh is getting ready for the annual New York Produce Show & Conference to be held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New Your City, on November 30 through December 2nd.  Village Farms Fresh will be exhibiting in booth 326 on Thursday, December 1st, 2022 where we invite you to Bite into Fresh with us.

Krysten De Giglio, Regional Sales Manager Village Farms Fresh

There is so much to be thankful for with the holiday season upon us and Village Farms Fresh enjoys being in NY this time of year, according to Krysten DeGiglio, Regional Sales Manager for the company. “The annual NYPS brings with it a certain warmth to the city as it reminds us of the quickly approaching holiday season! I always enjoy seeing our customers at this show and having the opportunity to thank them in person for their support over the past year. The show size allows for =intimate face-to-face discussions regarding preparations for the year to come and our continued partnerships. We are excited to showcase our favorite Village Farms Fresh varieties again this year. I look forward to seeing everyone in New York!”

Stackable Snackables®, a winner of the prestigious Joe Nucci award for Product Innovation at the NY Produce Show in years past is alive and well and more vibrant than ever for the company.  Pint-sized specialty snacking tomatoes in a plethora of shapes, and sizes, and full of flavor varietals to intrigue every taste. Packaged in stackable trays top-sealed with fun and colorful graphics that create an impactful and captivating tomato display. Village Farms Fresh pint-sized specialty tomato program was dubbed its name “Stackable Snackables®” because units can be stacked up to 5 high.

“Stack’em High and Watch’em Fly”, an old adage that still holds true, and is infused with new meaning allowing more units to be stacked in the same-sized shelf space compared to clamshells. “The benefit of more units within the same shelf space means potential for increased dollar sales, reducing out of stock which equates to less lost sales, and improved labor efficiency without the constant cost of restocking labor. All a win for Village Farms Fresh retailer partners, making Stackable Snackables® an impactful proactive solution to the specialty tomato category and retail merchandizing”, Bret Wiley, SVP of Sales mentioned.

Village Farms’ exclusive unique specialty tomato varieties are the real winner. Unlike any other available on the market today they all offer real flavor and versatility cultivated by the sustainable greenhouse growing methods that ensure a consistent quality and safe product, grown with the highest food safety standards. Sensational Sara®, Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Sinfully Sweet Campari®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Cherry no.9®, Maverick Mix®, Lip Smack’n Grape®, Savory Roma®, Delectable TOV®, and Juicy Beefsteak® tomatoes, Luscious Seedless Long English® and Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers, Sweet Bells® sweet bell peppers are all Village Farms’ unique varieties.

Versatile snacking tomatoes, great for cooking, roasting, and grilling.

The company has traveled the world over exploring the secret gardens of niche artisan farms for distinctive varietals that deliver not only on flavor but other important factors such as shelf life and versatility. Village Farms Fresh delivers on this value proposition consistently day-in-day-out, year after year. “One of the greatest testaments to this is when the end users, such as our loyal to the brand consumers and chefs share with us the love of our products”, Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication told us.

Good for the Earth® and Garden Fresh Flavor® are not only taglines for the company but the value proposition Village Farms Fresh lives by.  And this is why it takes a Village®  to deliver on this promise.

See you in New York, please visit us at booth 326. 

Events

News

VILLAGE FARMS FRESH AND SHIRLEY CHAPMAN TEAM UP FOR GP&FS 2022 “READY TO BITE INTO FRESH”

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Village Farms Fresh is excited to be an exhibitor at the 1st annual Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando, Florida on October 27th thru 29th, hosted by the International Fresh Produce Association.

The entire Fresh team will be on hand ready to discuss the sustainably grown, good for the earth®, greenhouse products the company offers, which also happens to be one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits, and vegetables in North America.

Village Farms Fresh and Shirley Chapman happily celebrate the artist’s 20th year by commemorating the event with a unique Orlando poster. Shirley will be signing her limited-edition poster at the Village Farms Fresh booth 3643.

Shirley Chapman is a fine artist, illustrator, and designer who most people know for her artistic talents in the produce industry creating bright and vivid posters throughout the years for the annual PMA Fresh Summit events. Today these limited-edition posters hang in homes and offices around the world. Shirley tells us, “I am beyond elated to be at this show again this year with my dear friends at Village Farms Fresh and to see so many old friends, and I am looking forward to meeting new ones”

We asked Shirley what her favorite tomato is and she had this to say, “Sinfully Sweet Campari® is by far my go-to-tomato, it is just so versatile, great for salads, or sandwiches, and also cooks up into a savory sauce. I love its juicy sweet real Campari flavor that only Village Farms Fresh tomatoes have”.

In addition, Sinfully Sweet Campari® Village Farms Fresh will be showcasing its signature portfolio of flavor-forward greenhouse-grown varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. And among these, highlight their snack-size tomatoes that remain a category favorite for consumers. Village Farms Fresh’s award-winning “Stackable Snackables” collection will be tempting show-goers to ‘Bite into Fresh’, according to Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications for Village Farms Fresh.

Village Farms Fresh’s unique collection of snacking tomatoes packed in their signature vibrant packaging is available in a plethora of pack sizes. “In a full range of flavors to suit any mood”, Helen goes on to say, “Highlights include Heavenly Villagio Marzano® the mini San Marzano tomato that has grown category sales since its launch over 10 years ago. Much like its mother variety, the mini is one of the best cooking tomatoes on the market today, makes an excellent low-calorie healthy snack option, and has an amazing shelf life. For something distinctively different our super popular Maverick Mix® is full of sweet and intense flavors. And Lip Smackn’ Grape tomatoes are a bite-sized sweet flavor treat that kids love, great for school lunch boxes. We also offer Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Lorabella Blossom® and Cherry no. 9® as part of the Stackable Snackable’s versatile product line and flavor-forward varieties with great shelf presence that has caused consumers to Fall in Love Again® with tomatoes while offering retailers unique display opportunities with their colorful designs”

Village Farms Fresh will also be showing their Delectable TOVS®, Juicy Beefsteaks®, and Savory Roma® tomatoes in an assortment of bulk and value pack sizes. Sweet Bell® peppers in Red, Yellow, and Orange assorted colorways and pack sizes. And Luscious Seedless® Long English and Scrumptious® Mini Cucumbers.

Helen went on to say, “We are proud to offer our selection of flavor-forward varietals and unique pack ways including many sustainable options. We are so thrilled to be together once again with everyone in Orlando, for new beginnings with our inaugural trade association. We welcome you to come to our booth, talk with the team, and meet Shirley.” See you in Orlando!


We are delighted to have Shirley as part of the Village Farms Fresh team at this year’s GP&FS event in Orlando at booth 3643.

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Fresh Donates to Help Uvalde Families

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As Seen on the Perishable News

Village Farms Fresh today announced that it has made a $10,000 contribution to support the victims of the Uvalde, Texas tragedy.  A donation effort was organized by company employees to support the Uvalde community in the great state of Texas because it is also where Village Farms Fresh greenhouse farms are located.  Village Farms’ employees throughout the US contributed as a sign of unity with their Texas-based teams. The contribution has been directed towards a local fundraising effort, st 22Spirit of Giving Fund, a nonprofit established by one of the company’s Texas-based retail partners, H-E-B.  

Michael DeGiglio, President & CEO, Village Farms International noted that H-E-B’s Spirit of Giving Fund was a natural partner for the company-wide fund-raising effort, “We admire H-E-B’s swift response to help the Uvalde community and are pleased to support the efforts of the Spirit of Giving Fund. We deeply appreciate our mutual partnership we have nurtured for more than 25 years together in the great state of Texas, even more so in the wake of this horrific tragedy where it has come so close to home for us.”

DeGiglio added, “I am particularly touched that our Texas-based Village Farms Fresh greenhouse team are prominent among the contributors. Many in our company call Texas home and this tragedy has been profoundly heartfelt for us as a company.”

Ben Ferreira, Business Development Manager for H-E-B also added, “We are proud to work with an organization like Village Farms that shares our values and our concern and care for our communities here in Texas.”

News

Social Responsibility

Publix’s Produce for Kids Cause-Marketing Campaign Donates 825,000 Meals

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As Seen on The Packer

Thirteen produce partners provided 825,000 meals to local food banks through Feeding America when Lakeland, Fla.-based Publix ran its 20th Produce for Kids cause marketing campaign, ending June 28.

Every $1 donated to Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization, helps secure at least 10 meals on behalf of member food banks, and 35 of these food banks in the Publix market area benefited from this campaign, according to a news release. The employee-owned company has about 1,280 stores in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia.

Signs were placed near produce partners in these stores, featuring QR codes leading shoppers to a free, bilingual, downloadable e-cookbook with recipes and tips featuring the campaign produce partners.

The Publix Produce for Kids campaign has 13 produce partners. Photos: Courtesy of Healthy Family Project

That in-store signage’s lifestyle approach included a call to action to learn more on the campaign’s website. Also, the produce partners were prominently featured in weekly ads beginning May 18.

“At Publix, we strive to make a positive impact in the communities we serve,” Publix Director of Community Relations Dwaine Stevens said in the release. “Healthy Family Project’s Produce for Kids campaign aligns with this mission, and we are proud to collaborate again this year.”

The campaign’s produce partners include Ayco Farms, CMI Orchards, Taylor Farms, Driscoll’s, Fresh Express, GT’s Living Foods, Sunset, Suja Juice, Marie’s, Red n’ Tasty, Shuman Farms RealSweet Onions, Village Farms, and Wonderful Pistachio.

A Facebook Live cooking class, hosted by Healthy Family Project’s Amanda Keefer and her daughter, focused on recipes from the e-cookbook and had a record viewership of 13,000. Produce suppliers were also highlighted in targeted social media content, including photos and videos in May and June.

e cookbook

“This 20-year collaboration has impacted countless families in various ways,” Shuman Farms President John Shuman said in the release. He’s also the founder of Healthy Family Project, which runs the Produce for Kids program. “We are proud to partner with produce companies [that] recognize the importance of giving back to the communities where [the] products are sold.”

Overall, the Publix Produce for Kids program has raised more than $3.6 million to benefit local charities and has donated more than 6.5 million meals to Feeding America member food banks within the seven-state Publix footprint since 2002, according to the release. 

Produce

The Buzz on the Flexitarian Diet and the“How-To” on Consuming More Fruit and Veg

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There are many ways we can increase our consumption of fruits and vegetables and achieve our health and wellness goals in order to feel our best. There is a ton of buzz related to the benefits of a plant-based diet but many of us struggle with the challenges that a 100% vegetarian or vegan diet would bring to our existing lifestyle. Many of us are already consciously increasing our fruit and vegetable intake and find ourselves naturally eating less meat and fish. Now there is a name for this too! The Flexitarian Diet.

A Flexitarian diet primarily consists of fruits and vegetables with the occasional addition of meat and fish. A Flexitarian diet is a new approach to traditional vegetarian and vegan diets and can be customized to fit your lifestyle needs. We have found a helpful book to share with you that is full of options for a Flexitarian diet.  It’s called “The Flexitarian Cookbook, Adaptable Recipes For Part-Time Vegetarians and Vegans”. For a chance to win the Flexitarian cookbook or a Blendjet 2.0 Click here

Read on to learn more about some fantastic exclusive Village Farms recipes we have to share with you featuring our greenhouse grown tomatoes, pepper, and cucumbers!

Maverick Mix Grain Bowl

Looking for a plant-based option? We’ve got Maverick Mix® Grain Bowl with Grilled Tofu! Choose a variety of colors not just for looks, but for the health benefits. Our Maverick Mix tomatoes not only add a freshness to this bowl but an antioxidant punch too!

Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks

These gorgeous Sensational Sara® tomatoes are the perfect size for stuffing, and this Caprese farro salad is so good inside.  It’s all of your favorite Caprese flavors packed into the cutest tomato package and then grilled for a few minutes for a little smokey flavor that takes it to the next level.

Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes

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Fresh greens, farro, roasted tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta cheese a homemade lemon vinaigrette- and more, all come together in harmony to create tantalizing flavor. The Maverick Mix® tomatoes in this recipe are totally the star of the dish.

 Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad

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Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad is the perfect side dish or main dish. Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers make the crispest cucumber noodles, which are so fun for this salad!

Grilled Portobello BLT Pizzas

This recipe will be a surprise to all! These unique pizzas are great for the vegetarians and vegans in your life! Honestly, with the flavor that the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® leaves in your mouth, even the carnivores will be heading back for more of these little treats!

Rainbow Spring Rolls

These rolls featuring our Cheeky Sweets® Mini Sweet Peppers and Scrumptious Mini® Cucumbers are so fun to make, and they look so impressive, don’t they? You would probably think that these will take a while to make, but actually, they just take minutes. Yes, minutes! The most time-consuming part of the whole recipe is prepping the ingredients. Then you just fill, roll, and serve! 

Tomacado Summer Salad

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This Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salad with hemp seeds screams everything summer and is filled with refreshing flavors. The sweetness of the Maverick Mix® tomatoes and the creaminess of the avocado creates a luscious burst of mouthwatering goodness.

Gemista (Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers)

Our Juicy Beefsteak® tomatoes and Sweet Bells® Peppers are the perfect vessels for deliciously moist herb feta rice. The roasted stuffed tomatoes encapsulate a rustic charm while the roasted peppers provide a lovely mellow fruitfulness that perfectly complements the tangy tomatoes.

Produce

Fun & Easy Beauty Recipes that can Reduce Food Waste

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Summer is upon us and what better time than now to take the opportunity to refresh and feel your best. Here are some ideas for including more fruit and veg into your self-care routines. To make your summer beauty routines even more beautiful, we’ve gathered some of our favorite recipes using Village Farms Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Great quick tip, all of these recipes can be prepared using fruits and vegetables that you may be ready to discard. This means you have the potential to reduce your food waste and help the environment! 

To learn more about the impacts of food waste in the U.S. click here


Scrumptious Mini® Cucumber, Lemon Detox Drink

Ingredients

  • 3 Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers, sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6–8 sprigs of mint
  • 2 quarts of water

Instructions

  1. To a large pitcher add thinly sliced cucumber, lemon, and mint sprigs. Top with water. Let sit for at least 30 minutes to let all the flavors meld together.
  2. Pour over ice and serve.

Sensational Sara® Tomato, Cucumber & Oat Refining Face Mask

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. Luscious Seedless Long English Cucumber Juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. Sensational Sara Tomato Juiced
  • 1 Tbsp. of Rolled Oats

Directions

  1. Mix your ingredients in a bowl
  2. Blend all the ingredients to make a smooth paste.
  3. Massage mask into your skin using gentle upward motions for a couple of minutes
  4. Let it sit for 10 minutes
  5. Wash off and pat your skin with a clean towel.

Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumber Mint Body Scrub

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup Luscious Seeldess Long English® cucumber puree
  • 6 mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • Eucalyptus Oil (if desired)

Instructions

  1. Slice approx. ½ of a long english cucumber and purée until smooth in a blender
  2. Chop mint leaves
  3. Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl
  4. Pour contents into jar and seal

Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumber Mint Face Mist

Ingredients

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 4 small mint leaves
  • 1 Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumber

Directions

  1. Cut the cucumber slice into 4-5 long slivers.
  2. Place the cucumber, mint, and water in a small, sealed dish.
  3. Allow chilling in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Separate the water from the other ingredients and place it in a medium mister bottle.
  5. Keep in the fridge for the freshest results.

News

Village Farms Named Top 25 in Future 50 Fastest Growing Companies in Canada

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Village Farms International has announced it has been named to Corporate Knights inaugural Future 50: The Fastest Growing Sustainable Companies in Canada.  The Future 50 is a list of the fastest-growing Canadian companies whose business activities align with the transition to a global clean economy.

Village Farms was selected from a pool of 6,115 companies (1,100 public and 4,015 private) as one of 25 publicly traded companies with the highest year-over-year percentage increase in “clean revenue”.  (The other 25 Future 50 selections were private companies.) 

“As a company that has put the environment and sustainable agriculture practices as the heart of everything we do since it was founded more than 30 years ago, Village Farms is honored to be included in the inaugural Future 50: The Fastest Growing Sustainable Companies in Canada,” said Michael DeGiglio, Chief Executive Officer, Village Farms International.  “We are firm believers that what’s good for the earth is good for our business, good for our employees, and good for our stakeholders. We look forward to building on our proud history of leadership and innovation in sustainable agriculture as one of the largest producers of greenhouse-grown fresh produce in North America, and as a top producer of cannabidiol products internationally: cannabis in Canada and Australia, with plans to enter the Netherlands, and CBD and other cannabinoid products in the United States, as well as selected Asia-Pacific markets.”

“All companies are now in the business of dealing with climate change. Our reason for devising this list is our belief in the success of these companies being pivotal to creating a more sustainable Canada, as well as acting as inspiration for other entrepreneurs,” said Toby Heaps, founder and CEO of Corporate Knights.

“Village Farms was built on a foundation rooted in great cultivation. Our growing methods ensure a year-round high-quality product using cultivation methods that warrant the highest level of food safety.  Growing food for human consumption is a huge responsibility and I am pleased we are recognized in our efforts for preserving the planet for future generations,” Eric T Janke, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, Village Farms Fresh.

For more information visit www.villagefarmsfresh.com

About Village Farms

Village Farms Fresh is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits, and vegetables in North America. The food the company’s farmers grow is all harvested from environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses daily utilizing the highest level of food safety standards available. The Village Farms Greenhouse Grown® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms Fresh has been guided by sustainability principles that enable the company to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms Fresh is Good for the Earth® and good for you. Village Farms Fresh® is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Village Farms®.

Nutrition

Produce

Produce

Memorial Day Menu

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Memorial Day is a great time to gather with family and friends, share stories from your past, express gratitude, and eat delicious food together. We have selected some of our favorite summer recipes for you to enjoy.

Grilled Cioppino Foil Packs

Grilled Cioppino Foil Packets are perfect for warm summer nights complete with a crisp glass of your favorite white wine! Our Cherry no. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes are transformed into a luscious sauce that is a delicious base for lots of fresh seafood! These Cioppino foil packets are packed full of flavor and your guests are going to flip over how tasty and beautiful they are!


Grilled Portobello BLT “Pizzas”

Okay, folks… let’s do something a little unexpected.  It’s time to think outside the crust and swap pizza dough for large Portobello mushroom caps. Top with crispy pancetta (for the bacon) and gorgeously sliced Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes and grill to absolute perfection. 


Sweet Bell Pepper Slaw with Mango

Nothing could be easier than a Simple Sweet Bells® pepper slaw. Just toss everything together and you’re done! Serve as a side dish with grilled fish or chicken, or as a filling for fish tacos.


Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks

This recipe is perfect as a side dish, an easy appetizer for entertaining, or to serve up with a leafy green salad. These gorgeous Sensational Sara® tomatoes are the perfect size for stuffing, and this Caprese farro salad is so good inside. It’s all of your favorite Caprese flavors packed into the cutest tomato package and then grilled for a few minutes for a little smokey flavor that takes it to the next level.


Cucumber Dragon Fruit Margarita

This Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumber Dragon Fruit Margarita is simple to mix up, but dazzling! Using the cucumber puree in the drink lightens it up a little so it isn’t quite as strong as a normal margarita and gives it a fresh flavor too.


Caprese Salad with Grilled Peaches

Let’s start the party right with everyone’s favorite summertime salad: Caprese salad. But let’s up the ante and include the sweet and savory taste of grilled peaches along with Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, topped with a balsamic reduction.  Yum.

Mom-Approved Snack Boards: Village Farms Moms Recommend Flavor Forward Varieties to Celebrate this Mother’s Day

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It’s Mother’s Day this weekend and you may be thinking about ways to make the day a special one for Mom. How about creating a snack board customized to Mom’s taste for a perfectly delicious way to celebrate the Day?  Village Farms would like to share with you some of their favorite snack board ideas featuring all of the flavor forward greenhouse grown specialty tomato, pepper and cucumber varieties the company grows, along with a menagerie of other unique ingredients Moms love.  We also gathered key insights from several Village Farms’ Moms to find out what excites them when putting together mouth-watering snack board options for their families featuring their favorite Village Farms’ varieties and what they would appreciate most in a snacking experience.  Please enjoy these ideas, and we hope that they inspire you to create your own unique tribute to Mom using her favorite flavors from ingredients customized for an awesome and unique snack board this Mother’s Day just like she is.

First up, is a healthy medley of fresh fruits and vegetables on a board called, “It Isn’t Easy being this Cheesy”, including Village Farms Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers, Lip Smackn’ Grape® tomatoes, combined with savory cheeses for a delicious combination Mom will surely enjoy. Add nachos and a roasted salsa for a spicy punch to serve Mom as a wonderful pre-game to brunch on her special day.  

According to Village Farms Digital Marketing Manager, and mom to a budding toddler, Tiffany Bennett, “Snack boards are the best!  It’s so fun watching my daughter explore all the different flavors. She’s especially intrigued by Village Farms’ Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers. My whole family loves the variety of flavors a snack board offers for a casual dining experience. Especially now, as the weather is getting warmer, and we spend more and more time outdoors dining al fresco.”

Pictured: Tiffany with her daughter, Isla


Next up is the “I Love You From My Head To-Ma-Toes” snack board. This board is loaded with an abundance of fresh vegetables sure to satisfy your flavor cravings from sweet to savory.  Varieties include Village Farms’ newest Cheeky Sweets® mini peppers, Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumbers, Lip Smackn’ Grapes® tomatoes, and Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes, packaged on the cutest heart tray with a lovely foil of yummy crackers and a side of assorted spreads.

Krysten DeGiglio, Regional Sales Manager tells us, “As a new mother, I often hear that introducing new foods to little ones can be challenging. I can’t wait for Luca to try Village Farms tomatoes, sweet peppers, and cucumbers. I especially love all our tasty varieties and eat them regularly myself. I am really hoping to get my son into a healthy eating routine, that includes an abundance of plant-based options with relative ease. It may be a few more months until I can introduce pasta and tomato sauce, made from my favorite Village Farms variety, Heavenly Villagio Marzano®.  And, if he is anything like me, he will keep going back for more!”

Pictures: Krysten with her son, Luca


This next snack board is for all the moms we know who may have refined taste or carve a variety of flavors.  It’s called, the “She has Eclectic Taste” snack board. Surprise, delight, and nourish mom with some fresh pop-in-your-mouth tomatoes with a snack board that includes Heavenly Villagio Marzano®Cabernet Estate Reserve®Maverick Mix®Cherry No.9®, and Lorabella Blossom® tomatoes. This board features dried fruit, cookies, nuts, meat, and even chocolate making it a ‘soup to nuts’ party all in one. Hummus, honey, and a yogurt dip were added to this board but use your imagination to amp up the flavors your mom loves most.

Helen L. Aquino, Village Farms’ Director of Brand, Marketing, & Communications says, “Nothing is more satisfying than catching up with my son over a healthy snack board full of fresh ingredients that include an abundance of Village Farms’ specialty tomatoes.  Lorabella Blossom®, Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Cherry No.9®, Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes. This accompanied by a nice wine, of course, allow us to linger for hours and enjoy each other’s company.  We love all Village Farms snacking tomatoes and with cheese pairings, they make the perfect antipasto. I would say don’t be afraid to be adventurous and unique with your flavor pairings when building your special snack board for Mom”

Pictured: Helen and her son, Avery


We have even created a snack board for those who like to balance the sweetness of tomatoes with the savoriness of a protein-forward option. The “Meat Me in the Middle” snack board pairs well with Village Farms’ sweet and juicy Cherry No.9® tomatoes. It is a meat lover’s dream, and you might even be surprised about how many fruits and vegetables you can sneak in to accompany this array of flavors.

“When it comes to snacking my son and I are “two peas in a pod”. We both love combining the salty pairings of cured meats with the tanginess of tomatoes and other vegetables. Village Farms Cherry No. 9® tomatoes plus, at the end of the day, a nice glass of red, is the perfect flavor profile that has us both falling in love with tomatoes again.”, Vickie Stovall, Village Farms Office Coordinator told us. And Vickie went on to tell us that Matt will be making this exact board for her this Mother’s Day.

Pictured: Vickie with her son, Matt


And if you are looking to really mix it up this Mother’s Day, rather than the usual snack board, why not make a taco board with all your favorite flavorful toppings?  The “Let’s Taco-bout Flavor” snack board has everything to build your own customized tacos. To add a fresh zest of sweet flavors, we love Cherry No.9® tomatoes and Sweet Bells® peppers. The mixture of flavors and variety of offerings appeal to everyone in the family. After all who doesn’t love tacos?

Meredith Reilly, Director of Sales Administration shared, “Tomatoes and peppers are the perfect snacking accompaniment for our family beach outings. We love the juicy sweet flavor of Cherry no. 9.® tomatoes and the crunchy savory flavors of Sweet Bells® peppers that keep us going back for more.  We enjoy making this taco snacking board, a hands-down favorite with my three teenagers. All my kids enjoy eating Village Farms tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers from the time they were very young.  I feel fortunate they enjoy healthy eating as much as I do ”

Pictured: Meredith and her daughter, Molly


The last board is the toast of the town! This Mother’s Day, make Mom feel special by toasting her up a bit with this “A Toast to Mom” snack board. Full of a fun assortment of toast combinations it is sure to please. Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® and the Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumbers are layered with cream cheese and avocado with a sprinkling of basil and dill.  Be sure to garnish with fresh herbs for an aromatic experience. Try gluten-free bread and dairy-free spread for a variation of flavors and to accommodate varying diets.

According to Lindsay Baldry, Foreign Worker Coordinator for Village Farms, “My sons and I love coming up with fun ways to eat, so a snack board full of healthy and flavorful toast options is a tasty way to start our day when we’re preparing for an adventure out on the town. Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes add a delightfully sweet flavor, and Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers are perfectly refreshing. Plus, they are both nutrient-dense and hydrating options, giving us the energy we need to make the most of our day. Truthfully, it is hard to pick which Village Farms variety is our favorite because they are all so full of flavor and we love them all.”

Pictured: Lindsay with her two sons, Lucas and Mateo

Whatever snack board you choose to celebrate with Mom this Mother’s Day be sure you add the secret ingredient of love in your creation and it will be fabulous. Cheers to all the wonderful Moms in our lives!

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Marfa, Texas Employees Inspire Heartfelt Song in Music Video

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For almost 30 years, Village Farms has been focused on the art of growing the freshest vegetables with the utmost reverence for the environment in the great state of Texas.  The company is now happy to boast it is versed in the ‘art’ of musical video production as well. Marfa Texas resident and dual citizen, Rámon Vega Navarro, recently launched his first music video that pays tribute to the company’s employees in his song “Doble Nacionalidad”, which translated to English means “Double Nationality”.

Navarro’s song lyrics and video imagery tell the story of a group of resolute Village Farms employees who travel to the company’s greenhouses each day in Marfa, Texas.  The greenhouses are in the far west region of the state close to the Mexican border and just across the border is the town of Ojinaga, Mexico where these employees have their homes. The project was a collaboration with Marfa Live Arts and film director Tina Rivera. A jury of playwrights chose Navarro’s music video, winning him second place in the Marfa Live Art 2021 Short Playwriting Contest.

The song and video pay tribute to Village Farms employees, “this is a huge honor for the company” according to Derin Gemmel, Vice President of Human Resources Administration and Compliance for the company’s Texas-based operations. Gemmel also noted it was a successful collaboration for the company with the artist, the film director, and Marfa Live Arts for the entire project that was supported by the company.

“For almost 3 decades Village Farms has had a presence here in West Texas. We are one of the largest employers among the three adjacent counties, and the biggest taxpayer within two of the countries where the greenhouses operate. A sizable portion of our facilities’ dedicated employees travel the distance each day from Ojinaga, over the border in Mexico where they make their homes and raise their families. It is touching to hear the sentiments expressed in this song and the imagery illustrating the day-to-day commitment of these men and women to their jobs. Because of our employee’s dedication, we can successfully bring the highest quality Texas Grown fruits and vegetables to market,” Michael A. DeGiglio, President, CEO, & Founder of Village Farms told us.

The company has recently faced many challenges, given the pandemic and labor shortages, struggling with enough employees to fulfill the company’s mission to consistently supply retailers across the country 365 days a year. An impressive sixty million pounds of USA Grown tomatoes are grown, harvested, packed, sold, and distributed annually from the Village Farms Texas facilities located in Marfa, Fort Davis, Monahans, as well as from a distribution center in Fort Worth.  Village Farms hopes to attract more employees to their Texas facilities from the Ojinaga area, particularly in preparation for, and anticipation of, favorable legislation that will propel Village Farms into further health and wellness product opportunities for growth. DeGiglio went on to say, “The future of Village Farms is looking bright in Texas and Village Farms plans to continue to shine brilliantly in the state and grow as long as we are able.”

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Sustainability

Flavorful Sensational Sara® in Eco-Friendly Packaging makes every day Earth Day

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Compared to Boomers, Millennials followed by Gen X, and then Gen Z, are more cognizant of the impact that their purchasing decisions have on society according to a recent report by the Hartman Group.  And at the same time, the World Economic Forum reports every year more than 400 million tons of plastics are discarded worldwide and only 14-18% are recycled.  During the pandemic, there was a heightened concern for food safety, especially regarding unpackaged foods. Packaging helps to keep produce items safe and aids in what retailers refer to as reducing ‘shrink’, which also comes at a huge cost of doing business. In turn, packaging can reduce food waste which also comes at a huge cost to the environment. So, the need to protect our food and increase its shelf life with packaging is still relevant and necessary today.

The challenge to find environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic has increased in urgency. Sustainable packaging solutions that ensure the safety and shelf life of a product are also key. Village Farms has been working for several years now to develop and test packaging that can remain out of landfills. The recently launched Sensational Sara tomato was the debut of one such solution for the company.

Sensational Sara tomatoes are packaged in an innovative 1lb environmentally-friendly box that is biodegradable and recyclable. The clear window film is made from a natural cellulose material that is certified home compostable. The film can be easily peeled away and tossed in your backyard compost pile or community compost bin. The remaining paper board box can be recycled in your regular cardboard/paper recycling stream. A QR code on the pack guides consumers through this simple process of separating the film from the box. Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications for Village Farms tells us. “The Pandemic also brought about a resurgence in the use of QR codes for touchless restaurant menus, and Dr. office intake forms, etc. At the same time, the technology caught up to functionality by the simple act of opening your camera and pointing it at the code to scan, vs. using a dedicated app. Both circumstances drove an increased use of QR codes. This makes QR code the perfect vehicle for providing recycling information without taking up added packaging real estate for this important information”.

Village Farms is thrilled to offer this environmentally responsible packaging option for the debut of its unique newest tomato variety Sensational Sara in a 1lb box. Village Farms is also offering this box for their 1lb Maverick Mix tomatoes, a lovely mix of specialty tomatoes in assorted shapes and sizes. They are hoping this type of packaging will gain further momentum with their retail partners. Aquino also mentioned, “We have a number of retailers showing interest and some with sustainability initiatives already in place giving preference to suppliers that can deliver on protecting the environment and sustainable packaging is one way such way.” 

To grow healthy and delicious food for human consumption is a huge responsibility. Village Farms is continuing this trend with packaging that is healthy for the planet as well. The company’s innovative packaging solutions are keeping waste out of landfills, harmful gas out of the atmosphere, and keeping minds at ease knowing they are making a difference for the Earth. Village Farms is committed to feeding an evolving and growing world population while preserving the planet.  The company’s cutting-edge greenhouses use less water, land, and chemicals to grow more food. Village Farms’ innovative Controlled Environment Agriculture growing methods pave the way to curtail climate change. To find out more about Village Farms and their sustainability efforts read about their Good for the Earth platform.

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Bright Bunny Brunch

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It’s that time of the year again when family and friends get together for fun spring activities and delicious food. We’ve gathered our favorite bright brunch recipes that are easy to make, tasty, quick, and easy to prepare so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time having fun.  

Rainbow Spring Rolls

These rolls featuring our Cheeky Sweets® Mini Sweet Peppers and Scrumptious Mini® Cucumbers are so fun to make, and they look so impressive, don’t they? You would probably think that these will take a while to make, but actually, they just take minutes. Yes, minutes! The most time-consuming part of the whole recipe is prepping the ingredients. Then you just fill, roll, and serve! 

Roasted Tomato Egg Nests

These Roasted Tomato Egg Nests are packed with the most flavorful ingredients like seasoned shredded potatoes, cheese, and crumbled maple sausage. After these are done get nice and crispy, we prepare fluffy scrambled eggs to add to the nests and then top them with blistered Maverick Mix® tomatoes, that resemble colorful little eggs.

Beefsteaks® Tomato Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

This Juicy Beefsteak® tomato salad with crispy chickpeas and lemon tahini is a party for your taste buds. The zingy flesh provides the perfect canvas for the spiced crispy chickpeas and the earthy lemon tahini sauce. This salad is effortless to prepare but big on flavor, a quick meal that is also full of nutrients.

Crisp Cucumber Melon Salad

This Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumber Melon Salad is made of simple, sweet and savory ingredients making it a refreshing twist on your Sunday Brunch!

Village Farms Fresh’s Bret Wiley and Dirk de Jong Detail Spring Crops and New Products Ahead of Canadian Produce Marketing Association Trade Show

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As Seen on And Now You Know

DELTA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA – In-person hype continues to swirl. Members from suppliers to retailers and everyone along the supply chain are converging in Montréal, Canada, as the Canadian Produce Marketing Association (CPMA) plays host once more. Village Farms Fresh is one such greenhouse supplier making its trek to Québec, and I was more than eager to learn more about its spring crop and retail plans ahead of the CPMA Convention and Trade Show.

“The team is looking forward to being back to CPMA this year after such a long period without shows; it will be great to have face time with our retail partners again,” notes Bret Wiley, Senior Vice President of Sales. “CPMA always puts on a good show with lots of networking opportunities, and it always has a great turnout. Our team is excited to discuss how our flavor-forward, Canadian-grown tomatoes and the rest of our portfolio are a key value proposition for the company and customers alike.”

Bret Wiley, Senior Vice President of Sales, Village Farms Fresh

In combination with the grower’s greenhouses and distribution centers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, Village Farms is able to deliver the freshest, most nutrient-dense, and high-quality fruits and vegetables to its customers in a matter of days.

Village Farms Fresh is showing up in full force with a bevy of products on show, such as its Sensational Sara, the newest variety in its portfolio of distinctive specialty tomato varieties

The crops are grown with the utmost care in food safety standards, and the distribution network helps reduce food miles.

Dirk de Jong, Vice President and Regional Facility Manager, Village Farms Fresh

Sensational Sara®—the newest variety to our portfolio—and our exclusive Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Sinfully Sweet Campari®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Maverick Mix®, Cherry no. 9®, and Lip Smackn’ Grape® varieties are just some distinctive specialty tomato varieties we are known for,” Dirk de Jong, Vice President and Regional Facility Manager of the Delta, British Columbia, greenhouse, chimes in. “We provide them in various pack sizes in addition to eco-friendly options to suit customer needs and help drive local and regional sales.”

Bret quickly picks up the conversation to include the grower’s other greenhouse-grown products, stating, “Our Luscious Seedless Long English®, Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers, Sweet Bell® sweet bell peppers, and our brand new Cheeky Sweets® mini sweet peppers are available to help round out your colorful displays and drive your category sales. We are currently offering promotional opportunities for our Sweet Bell peppers now, just in time for consumers heading out to warmer weather in Canada and the States.”

Gurpreet Singh Somal, Maurice Van Der Giessen, and Dirk de Jong make are just a few of the growers behind Village Farms Fresh’s Good For the Earth belief

For Village Farms Fresh, good-for-the-earth growing makes the company strong environmental stewards in the key areas of water resource, pest control, and land management. Its farming methods include technology-driven solutions to curtail climate change, all while providing consistent quality with fantastically flavorful unique varieties.

“Our spring tomato crop is looking very healthy, vibrant, and is thriving due to the excellent climate typical for this time of year,” Dirk continues. “The crops change fast, and this keeps us on our toes daily as we tend to the delicate plant balance. However, the combination of freedom and responsibility to our customers and our Earth, not to mention the joy of growing, is what motivates me and our team.”

With greenhouses and distribution centers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, Village Farms Fresh is able to deliver the freshest, most nutrient-dense, and high-quality fruits and vegetables to its customers in a matter of days

To learn more about Dirk’s growing passion, click here.

If you’re interested to learn more, stop by booth #2616 to chat with Bret Wiley, Lyra Vance, and Andrew Sable!

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The Skinny of Healthy Fats for Good Health

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There is a misconception that fats are bad for your health but adding good fats to your diet can benefit your health significantly. Adding a small amount of healthy fat to your diet will provide the body with the essential fatty acids it cannot make itself. Fat is also necessary for the absorption of vitamins A, D, and E and even plays an important role in creating a strong structure for your cell membranes. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for optimal nervous, heart, and brain function, and can be found in unsaturated fats. And let’s not forget, healthy fats can help aid in your weight loss journey.

What are the healthiest fats? “Good” unsaturated fats — Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower disease risk. Foods high in good fats include vegetable oils (such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn), nuts, seeds, and fish.

Source: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-eating/choosing-healthy-fats.htm

Salmon, Avocado, Tofu, and of course a drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil are some of our favorite healthy fat sources to pair with our Fresh, Greenhouse Grown Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Peppers!  Below we have compiled some of our favorite recipes for you to see how tasty healthy fats can be!

1. Salmon Poke Bowl with Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers, Radish, Scallions, and Seaweed on a bed of Rice

2. Avocado, Arugula & Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes on Rye Crisp Bread

3. Tofu Kebabs with Sweet Bells®, Onion & Zucchini with a Creamy Cashew Sauce

Other plant-based healthy fats include:

  • Avocado. Avocados are as nutritious as they are delicious
  • Nuts. Nuts are one of the best sources of fat in a vegan diet
  • Chia Seeds
  • Coconut
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Flaxseeds

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-super-healthy-high-fat-foods#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

Fall in Love Again®

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Love is in the air and has the aroma of savory dishes cozied up with that special someone or group of friends. We’ve gathered some of our favorite Appetizers, Entrees, and drink recipes for you to choose from, whether you’re celebrating valentine’s day with your loved one or a galentine’s day get-together with your closest friends. We got you covered! 

Drinks

Cucumber Dragon Fruit Margarita

This Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumber Dragon Fruit Margarita is a beautiful drink to serve for a Galentine’s Day brunch celebration with your besties. It’s fresh and full of flavor, fruity, slightly sweet, and has a dazzling presentation.

Roasted Campari Bloody Marys

Sinfully Sweet Campari® Bloody Marys are a great way to kick off any gathering. They are tame in alcohol… depending on how you roll, and their garnishes can double as simple appetizers. The savory flavor helps set the mood for a delicious meal to follow.

Appetizers

Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks

These gorgeous Sensational Sara® tomatoes are the perfect size for stuffing, and this Caprese farro salad is so good inside.  It’s all of your favorite Caprese flavors packed into the cutest tomato package and then grilled for a few minutes for a little smokey flavor that takes it to the next level.

Stuffed Tomato Tulips

Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes aren’t just the perfect shape and size for a fun centerpiece for valentines day; they also have an incredibly sweet flavor and are rich in vitamin A and vitamin K. We don’t know what will wow your family and guests more.

White Bean Argula Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a super fun dish because it allows for such creativity. It’s a blank canvas awaiting your favorite ingredients! Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes are made for this dish because of their sweet and juicy flavor. They’re the perfect size for a chunky mixture to top a bite-size appetizer like bruschetta.

Cabernet Stuffed with Avocado Crema

A very tasty and as-spicy-as-you-want-it-to-be avocado crema is piped inside of the bold Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomato for a fresh but creamy bite. A little mini tortilla chip tucked into the filling provides a tasty crunch.


Entrees

Cajun Salsa over Grilled Salmon

Blackened salmon gets grilled to perfection and then topped off with the most delicious Cajun salsa for some freshness and a little extra heat too. Lip Smackn’ Grape® tomatoes are perfect for this salsa because they are super sweet and hold up their texture.

Seared Ribeye with Blistered Tomatoes and Bordelaise Sauce

A perfectly marbled steak topped with Cherry No.9 Fall in Love Again® Tomatoes, combined with herbs and olive oil, along with a luscious homemade French classic bordelaise sauce is the perfect way to start your valentines day.

Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes & Green Beans

This sensational skillet chicken is paired with roasted Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes and green beans. Trust us, you’ll love the taste and the time you save in the kitchen.

Maverick Mix Grain Bowl

Looking for a plant-based option? We’ve got Maverick Mix® Grain Bowl with Grilled Tofu! Choose a variety of colors not just for looks, but for the health benefits. Our Maverick Mix tomatoes not only add a freshness to this bowl but an antioxidant punch too!

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Village Farms Greenhouse Grown Announces Steve Poklemba as New Director of Global Supply Chain Management for the Company’s Fresh Division

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Village Farms Greenhouse Grown is pleased to announce the promotion of Steve Poklemba, currently Director of National Sales to his new role as Director of Global Supply Chain Management for their Fresh Division.  In Steve’s new role he will be instrumental in vigorous company initiatives targeting expanding top-line revenue.  Steve’s primary focus will be the implementation of vital strategic initiatives to optimize inventory controls on fresh products and supplies.  He will accomplish this through improved operating efficiencies while reducing finished product costs.  His role will also be focused on managing product flow through Village Farms sales and distribution network from sourcing teams with the goal of expanding the company’s grower partner base. Village Farms is confident in Steve’s ability to invigorate overall product fulfillment, product freshness, and the brand’s integrity for their customers.

Steve began his career with Village Farms in 1998 as Packhouse Manager. Shortly afterward, he was promoted to Regional Packhouse Manager of Village Farms’ West Texas facility.  Steve later moved to the company’s Arlington, Texas Distribution Center and transitioned into a Sales role where he eventually worked his way to become National Sales Director.  Steve has a vast array of experience within all facets of sales, operations, and distribution within the farming sector. In his new role, Steve will report directly to the Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Eric T. Janke. “We anticipate Steve in this new role to improve the fresh division’s dynamics and enhance the company’s value proposition to further meet the needs of an ever-changing produce industry,” Eric T. Janke told us, “And Steve is the best candidate for this role given his depth of knowledge and tenure with Village Farms”.  

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Fall Favorite Dishes Part 1

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With the weather growing cooler and the days increasingly shorter, what better time for getting cozy in the kitchen cooking up your fall favorite dishes. And if you find yourself looking for something new to add to your repertoire of savory flavors, we have some interesting takes on a few traditional recipes for you to try. Bursting with Umami, you know this flavor, one of the five basic tastes defined as ‘savory’, and the predominant flavor characteristic found in meat broths & fermented foods. 

So, tie on that apron, and get ready to explore the ‘essence of deliciousness’, (Japanese translation of Umami), for any meal occasion this Fall. We have options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to turn your Fall days into an exploration of flavorful Feng Shui. Let us know your level of Yum after trying any one of these dishes, and don’t forget to include a picture so we can share your creations on our social channels. Happy cooking!

Herby Tomato and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins

Easy Make-Ahead Herby Tomato and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins made with Maverick Mix® tomatoes. These can be frozen up to a week in advance and simply reheated for all of your guests in a matter of minutes! These muffins are perfect for kiddos and adults alike and are so full of flavor!


Tomato Jam on Sage and Feta Scones

This simple and scrumptious Lorabella Blossom® tomato jam pairs perfectly with scones. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a sweet and savory snack!


Shakshuka with Peppers, Feta, and Olives

Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a flavorful stew of tomatoes with as many variations as there are cooks. This one is made with Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes, which are just perfect here. They add amazing flavor and hold their shape well in the stew, which is cooked with onions and garlic, sweet red bell peppers, feta, and Kalamata olives.

Tomato Basil Turkey Soup

This Roasted Tomato Soup is full of fresh flavor in every bite. Roasted Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes are not only blended right into the soup base but they are also added in roasted for extra bursts of flavor all throughout.


Grilled Tomato and Cheese

These Grilled Delectable TOV® Tomato and Cheese Sandwiches will gratify your comfort food cravings in a jiffy! 

Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash Noodles

Warm-up to a big bowl of Homemade Turkey Chili featuring our Sinfully Sweet Campari® as the base. Add a twist of butternut squash noodles and you’ll get all those fall feels & some extra veggies too!


Gemista (Stuffed Tomatoes & Peppers)

Our Juicy Beefsteak® tomatoes and Sweet Bells® Peppers are the perfect vessels for deliciously moist herb feta rice. The roasted stuffed tomatoes encapsulate a rustic charm while the roasted peppers provide a lovely mellow fruitfulness that perfectly complements the tangy tomatoes.


Spaghetti Squash with Cabernet Tomato Meat Sauce

Boost your protein while cutting carbs with this hearty sauce over spaghetti squash featuring our beautifully dark and bold Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes.


Enjoy and explore all of our recipes and be sure to stay tuned for Fall Favorite Dishes Part II coming November 5th!

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Village Farms Amps up Flavor Game with Summer Grilling Campaign

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As Seen on The Produce News

Summertime is outdoors time, and this means grill time! We are all in full swing with the grilling and chilling season. Thank goodness Village Farms has just kicked off their “Grillin’ & Chillin” campaign to keep the party going. Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers are the mainstay of any great barbeque and Village Farms is ready with some usual and unusual ways to make your mealtimes pop. The campaign focuses on recipe ideas shared through Village Farms social media channels and on their website over the next several months created exclusively for Village Farms by their favorite influencers. 

These tantalizing recipes feature Village Farms’ exclusive specialty tomatoes such Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Maverick Mix®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, and Cherry no. 9®, as well as their signature tomato varieties Sinfully Sweet Campari®, and the all-new Sensational Sara®. Not to mention their tried-and-true varieties such as Juicy Beefsteak®, Delectable TOV® and Savory Roma® tomatoes, also Sweet Bells® bell peppers, Luscious Long English® cucumbers and Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers.

Nothing like a hot summer day, grillin’ and chillin’ with the wonderful flavors of Village Farms Greenhouse Grown tomatoes. They are ripe and ready to boost your category. Char-grill a vine of Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes to sauce up your burger creations. Then beeline to your beach chair with Campari Watermelon Cooler in hand that is so easy-peasy to prepare. Later skewer up some Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes and veggies with the kids making grill time fun family time. Summer is the time to add sizzle to your salsa and perk up your tomato offerings with the juicy sweet flavor of Village Farms greenhouse grown tomatoes. We have plenty of easy to prepare plant forward recipes for you to throw on the grill throughout the whole summer season! These recipes boast delicious flavors that also pack in the nutrients that the whole family needs.

Bret Wiley, SVP of Sales and Sales Operations tells us Village Farms is shipping their signature varieties from all their greenhouse locations to meet demand for their sizzling summer retail programs. He tells us, “Product is looking really good and ready for our customer cross- promotional grilling displays, so come and get it while you can”

Try the Tomato Melon Skewers for a fun appetizer with the tantalizing flavor combinations. And the Stuffed Sensational Sara® Snacks have ‘stuffed’ in the name for a reason. You will not be able to stop stuffing them in your belly. Village Farms did not forget about the chillin’ either with Sweet & Savory Ice Pops that make a fast and fun treat.

Let’s get this party started with Village Farms exclusive varieties! And don’t forget to ask us about our point-of-sale programs, custom designed with your consumer in mind. Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication says, “We have a plethora of images and POS opportunities for you to make your grilling season displays fun and family friendly”.

These fun recipes just might be the perfect meal to bring your friends and loved ones together for joyful celebrations that create memories for everyone. We’ve got something for everyone in mind with plant-based ideas and healthy dishes that still have us going for seconds, (and thirds let’s be honest, these recipes are that yummy!)

The Village Farms Greenhouse brand of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers have come to be known for more than 30 years for their sustainable growing practices that are Good for the Earth®.  The company touts that it can grow more food on less land while preserving the planet’s precious natural resources such as water. We can farm in such a way that protects pollinators, reduces food waste, conserves soil, is less chemical intensive, and produces food that is nutritionally dense with the highest level of food safety. All with consistent quality available year-round!

These are just some of the benefits growing food in Controlled Environment Agriculture. Stay tuned for the scoop on the luscious new varietals to come from Village Farms that will put a pucker on your lips because they are loaded with your favorite yummy goodness!

For further information visit our Good for the Earth campaign or reach out directly at goodfortheearth@villagefarms.com about our Grillin’ & Chillin campaign.  And be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook!  We are Village Farms, and we know It Takes a Village® to make the world of fresh produce a better place to eat. 


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Sustainability

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. And How Sustainable Packaging is Evolving our Ideals

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“As a millennial, it’s no surprise, from a very early age I was taught about the ‘Three R’s’ of environmental responsibility and sustainability, ‘Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle’”, Madison Wilson, Marketing Coordinator for Village Farms Greenhouse Grown brand tells us.  She goes on to say, “For many of my peers, the 3 R’s are now engrained into our daily routines and life practices”.  Finding reusable options, using less, and recycling have simply become a way of life for this generation. Millennials, as well as Gen X and Z, prioritize products that align with their sustainability goals and healthy lifestyles. Health is valued by this demographic and has gained an increased interest in not only the quality of their food choices and but the origins of their food in how it is grown and produced.

The recent pandemic has left all of us, regardless of the generation, with time to evaluate the environmental impact of our daily lifestyle practices. Choosing greenhouse grown produce provides some assurance of environmental stewardship.  Yet, ditching plastic straws will not be enough to keep our planet safe from the harm that plastic and other harmful waste can inflict. And people are beginning to understand they have the power to do more by purchasing food products that are packaged sustainably. 

Compared to Boomers, Millennials followed by Gen X, and then Gen Z, are more cognizant of the impact that their purchasing decisions have on society according to a recent report by the Hartman Group.  And at the same time, the World Economic Forum reports every year more than 400 million tons of plastics are discarded worldwide and only 14-18% is recycled.  During the pandemic there was a heightened concern for food safety, especially regarding unpackaged foods. Packaging helps to keep produce items safe and aids in what retailers refer to as reducing ‘shrink’, that also comes at a huge cost of doing business. In turn, packaging can reduce food waste which also comes at a huge cost to the environment. So, the need to protect our food and increase its shelf life with packaging is still relevant and necessary today.

The challenge to find environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic has increased in urgency. Sustainable packaging solutions that ensure the safety and shelf life of a product are also key. Village Farms has been working for several years now to develop and test packaging that can remain out of landfills. The recently launched Sensational Sara tomato was the debut of one such solution for the company.

Sensational Sara tomatoes are packaged in an innovative 1lb environmentally friendly box that is biodegradable and recyclable. The clear window film is made from a natural cellulose material that is certified home compostable.  The film can be easily peeled away and tossed in your backyard compost pile or community compost bin. The remaining paper board box can be recycled in your regular cardboard/paper recycling stream. A QR code on pack guides consumers through this simple process of separating the film from the box.  Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications for Village Farms tell us. “The Pandemic also brought about a resurgence in the use of QR codes for touchless restaurant menus, and Dr. office intake forms, etc.  At the same time the technology caught up to functionality by simple act of opening your camera and pointing it at the code to scan, vs. using a dedicated app.  Both circumstances drove an increased use in QR codes.  This makes QR code the perfect vehicle for providing recycling information without taking up added packaging real estate for this important information”.

Village Farms is thrilled to offer this environmentally responsible packaging option for the debut of its unique newest tomato variety Sensational Sara in a 1lb box.  Village Farms is also offering this box for their 1lb Maverick Mix tomatoes, a lovely mix of specialty tomatoes in assorted shapes and sizes. They are hoping this type of packaging will gain further momentum with their retail partners. Aquino also mentioned, “We have a number of retailers showing interest and some with sustainability initiatives already in place giving preference to suppliers that can deliver on protecting the environment and sustainable packaging is one way such way.” 

To grow healthy and delicious food for human consumption is a huge responsibility. Village Farms is continuing this trend with packaging that is healthy for the planet as well.  The company’s innovative packaging solutions are keeping waste out of landfills, harmful gas out of the atmosphere, and keeping minds at ease knowing they are making a difference for the Earth.  Village Farms is committed to feeding an evolving and growing world population while preserving the planet.  The company’s cutting-edge greenhouses use less water, land, and chemicals to grow more food.   Village Farms’ innovative Controlled Environment Agriculture growing methods pave the way to curtail climate change. To find out more about Village Farms and their sustainability efforts read about their Good for the Earth platform.

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Social Responsibility

Village Farms helps Publix Provide 700,000 Meals to Feeding America

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As Seen on AndNowYouKnow

As it’s been said time and time again, children are the future, and to provide them with nutritious, healthy foods as they grow up, Publix and Healthy Family Project’s Produce for Kids once again teamed up for the retailer’s bi-annual Publix Produce for Kids cause-marketing campaign. The campaign ended June 16 with 12 produce partners coming together to provide 700,000 meals to 32 Feeding America® member food banks in the Publix market area.

Dwaine Stevens, Director of Community Relations, PublixDwaine Stevens, Director of Community Relations, Publix“At Publix, we recognize the importance of helping families achieve their wellness goals through innovative campaigns and programs,” said Dwaine Stevens, Publix Director of Community Relations. “Giving back to our local communities is at the core of our company culture, and we are proud to collaborate with Healthy Family Project for the Produce for Kids campaign.”

To help inspire shoppers to enjoy fresh produce from the dozen produce partners that took part in the campaign, newly designed signage was positioned near their products in more than 1,200 Publix locations. According to a press release, the displays featured QR codes leading consumers to a downloadable eCookbook featuring recipes, details on each partner, and a new section that showcases the sustainable practices of each supplier.

Produce for Kids has been working with Publix and its produce suppliers for 19 years, and through its cause-marketing campaign has raised more than $3.4 million for local families in need. With more than 42 million people across the U.S. facing food insecurity, according to Feeding America, the campaign plays a vital role in overcoming the issue.

John Shuman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shuman FarmsJohn Shuman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shuman Farms“We are proud of the impact the Produce for Kids campaign has been able to make in Publix communities over the years,” said John Shuman, Founder of Healthy Family Project and President of Shuman Farms. “This collaboration has not only helped families facing hunger, but also those tasked with planning meals for their families each week. It is our mission to help them find new and innovative ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal.”

In addition to signage, this year, Healthy Family Project’s Amanda Keefer and two junior chefs hosted a Facebook Live cooking class, with viewership of more than 12,000. A targeted social media strategy was also put in play, with photographs and videos highlighting participating produce suppliers throughout May and June.

Joining Produce for Kids and 12 produce partners, Publix provided 700,000 meals to 32 Feeding America® member food banks in its seven-state footprintJoining Produce for Kids and 12 produce partners, Publix provided 700,000 meals to 32 Feeding America® member food banks in its seven-state footprint

Publix produce suppliers for 2021 included Acosta Sales & Marketing, Ayco Farms, Coast Tropical, Driscoll’s®, Fresh Express®, Litehouse®, Marie’s®, Mission Produce, RealSweet Onions®, SUNSET®, Village Farms, and Wonderful® Pistachios.

Since the partnership’s inception, the campaign has raised over $3.4 million to benefit local charities and has donated more than 5.7 million meals to Feeding America food banks within the seven-state Publix footprint since 2002.

Cheers to Produce for Kids and Publix for continuing to care for communities and in need through the power of fresh produce.

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Grillin’ & Chillin’ This Summer!

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We’re so excited for the summer holidays coming up! We love summer days spent with family enjoying the fresh air outside. Nothing says outdoor get togethers like meals from the grill! Grilling and chilling is where it is at! We have plenty of easy recipes for you to throw on the grill during this holiday weekend and throughout the whole summer season! These recipes boast delicious flavors that also pack in the nutrients that the whole family needs.

These fun recipes just might be the perfect meal to bring your friends and loved ones together for joyful celebrations that create memories for everyone. We’ve also got something for everyone in mind with plant based ideas and healthy dishes that still have us going for seconds (and thirds let’s be honest, these recipes are that yummy!) Sip on Campari Watermelon Coolers while entertaining your buds in the backyard. Our Tomato Melon Skewers make for a fun appetizer with the tantalizing flavor combinations. Our Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks have ‘stuffed’ in the name for a reason. You won’t be able to stop stuffing them in your belly they are so good! Filled with farro and the best cheese, you’ll have you force yourself to walk away from them! We didn’t forget about the chillin’ either! But honestly, who could forget our Sweet & Savory Ice Pops once you give them a try. Truly a life saver in the heat! These are just some of the yummy options we have for you!

So, what are you waiting for? Be known as the cool host you are once you dish out these easy breezy, healthy, grillin’ and chillin’ recipes!

Campari Watermelon Coolers

Make this alcoholic or ditch the alcohol and just enjoy the natural flavors of the renowned Sinfully Sweet Campari tomatoes, watermelon chunks, mint, and honey! We love how the sparkling water adds a little fun your cup! Mix this recipe up for you and your friends for a refreshed cocktail on hot summer days!

Tomato Melon Skewers

Get the best of everything with our Tomato Melon Skewers! Using our Maverick Mix tomatoes means you get a little bit of everything YUM! Have guests make their own so they get their favorite combinations, or add variety all on your own! Be creative! We can’t wait to see what you and family make together!

Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks

Perfect for entertaining, these fun snacks stuff farro salad and caprese into our gorgeous Sensational Sara tomatoes! Not only are they cute, but they really pack the flavor! Popping them on the grill adds that smokey flavor that we all love from cook-outs!

Grilled Salmon with Lip Smackn’ Salsa

Blackened Grilled Salmon already has amazing flavor, but when you add the our Lip Smackn’ Grape tomato salsa, your taste buds will surely rejoice! Opting for a lean protein so you still have energy for all the outdoor activities you want to enjoy, this recipe is the perfect option for the eventful 4th of July weekend!

Grilled Portobello BLT “Pizzas”

This recipe will be a surprise to all! These unique pizzas are great for the vegetarians and vegans in your life! Honestly, with the flavor that the Heavenly Villagio Marzano leaves in your mouth, even the carnivores will be heading back for more of these little treats!

Sweet & Savory Ice Pops

Time for Chillin’! Four different flavors of ice pops means that everyone will be able to find one that they love! We love the idea of an ice pop after a long hot summer day. So which will it be? The Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again sweetness , Cabernet Estate Reserve wine-like flavor, Scrumptious Mini Cucumber, or the blissfully bright Lorabella Blossom popsicle? Let us know which one is your favorite!

So, there you have it! We know you’ll be the talk of town once they either smell or hear about what yumminess was coming from your backyard this holiday weekend! Enjoy and be sure to explore all of our recipes to find your next party dish! We have the best recipes all using Village Farms nutritious and flavorful tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers!


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Spice Up Your Summer

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Recipes and photography by My Diary of Us

Summertime means less time with the oven on and more time spent outside grilling.  That’s why I partnered with my friends at Village Farms to bring you two delicious and healthy summertime recipes featuring their tasty tomatoes.  I love combining smokey grilled flavors with fresh ingredients like delicious summer tomatoes.  Both of these recipes are going to be perfect for all of your backyard entertaining needs. After all, this summer it’s all about grillin’ and chillin’!  We have two new grilled recipes featuring Village Farms NEW Sensational Sara® tomatoes and their Lip Smackn’ Grape® tomatoes: Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks and Grilled Salmon with Cajun Lip Smackn’ Salsa!  These healthy and easy to prepare recipes will add some spice to your Summer cooking!

If you have followed me for some time, you know that I go way back with Village Farms, and for good reason.  Their tomatoes are homegrown in Marfa, Texas and are some of the sweetest tomatoes around.  Next to growing you own tomatoes, there are none other that compare.  I love that I can always count on Village Farms to have the sweetest, perfectly ripe tomatoes year round, but especially in the summer when I use tomatoes in my recipes quite often.

Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks

The first recipe that we are sharing is the Stuffed Sensational Sara Snacks.  This recipe is perfect as a side dish to a lean protein, easy appetizer for entertaining, or to serve up with a leafy green salad.  These gorgeous Sensational Sara® tomatoes are the perfect size for stuffing, and this caprese farro salad is so good inside.  It’s all of your favorite Caprese flavors packed into the cutest tomato package, and then grilled for a few minutes for a little smokey flavor that takes it to the next level.

Grilled Salmon with Lip Smackn’ Salsa

The second recipe we are sharing is the Grilled Salmon with Cajun Lip Smackn’ Salsa!  Blackened salmon gets grilled to perfection and then gets topped off with the most delicious Cajun salsa for some freshness and a little extra heat too.  I love the Lip Smackn’ Grape® tomatoes for this salsa because they are super sweet and hold up their texture in the salsa.  I add in corn, bell pepper, some Cajun spice, and lemon juice to really enhance the already delicious tomatoes.  You will not only be topping your fish with this salsa, but you will be whipping this recipe up for a quick dip that will sure to be a hit with your friends and family.  It’s just that good!

Can we say hello summer with these recipes?  They are both so good and you are going to love making them all season long!


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  My Diary of Us

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Sustainability

Village Farms Bee-lieves in Doing Good with IPM

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Creepy crawly bugs come in all shapes and sizes in this great wide world of ours, and we know that every insect plays a part in keeping our environment in balance.  In agriculture when insects are a nuisance, we call them ‘pests’, but when they are helpful, we call them ‘beneficials’.  Pesticides are used in agriculture to keep plants healthy from the pesky pests.  But, did you know that beneficial insects are used in farming to reduce the need for chemical pesticides and help facilitate the healthy growth of fruits and vegetables?  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a method that has been used with great success in reducing the need for chemicals in agriculture while working to optimize plant health.  Among Indoor farmers, especially hydroponic greenhouse growers, and more specifically high-tech Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA), such as the type of farming Village Farms growers engage, an IPM program was developed and implemented with great success in the greenhouse industry thanks in large part to the contribution of Village Farms.  Here is a bit of a story about how the good bugs fight the bad bugs, and how Village Farms was on the front lines of this from the start, fighting the good fight, and because of this, today we continue to grow healthy plants that blossom into tasty, flavorful fruits and vegetables.

Village Farms’ farmers, (we call them growers) monitor every aspect of the plants growth to make certain crops are healthy and that their fruit is safe to eat. One such person on the helm of this noble endeavor is Mike Bledsoe, Ph.D., who is the Vice President of Food Safety & Regulatory Affairs at Village Farms.  Mike was instrumental in the design and development of Village Farm’s Food Safety Program that he helped establish from the very beginning and now oversees. With a Ph.D. in Entomology along with an extensive experience within the pest management sector he helped develop a pesticide registration solution for the greenhouse industry at large.   Dr. Bledsoe, in conjunction with the IR-4 Project, who supports registrations for specialty crops like tomatoes, have worked to register biologicals for the edible plant industry.  Today, the Food Safety team headed up by Dr. Bledsoe, work with our growers on our IPM program, implemented in all our greenhouses in North America.  The program focuses on stringent protocols to determine the best plan of action for the plants well-being. All this effort ensures that the food we grow, market, and distribute is 100% healthy for you and your family.

Yamilee Galindo Colomo, Village Farms Food Safety team member in Texas.

Among the many insects that are known to be a farmer’s friend, Bees are the most popular helper bugs on Earth. These prolific pollinators are responsible for pollinating about 75 percent of the world’s crops that in-turn help feed millions of people. Village Farms employs about two Bumble beehives per acre in our greenhouses to pollinate our plants and keep them thriving. But bees are not the only insects that are working to keep our crops healthy. Tons of tiny, microscopic helper bugs, like wasps, play in a huge role in keeping bad hungry bugs off our crops. These are examples of the beneficial bugs that are part of Village Farms’ IPM program.

Village Farms IPM program uses the gentlest approach possible to deter bad bugs from our crops. The goal of IPM is to respond to harmful pests with effective, safe, low risk options. When appropriate, Village Farms administers Organic pesticides on all our crops, so that they can grow healthily and free of harmful chemicals. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) approved pesticides, we use, have a very short half-life; meaning no residual chemicals are left by the time Village Farms produce hits the grocery store shelves. These IPM solutions allow for healthy, bountiful harvests. This makes Village Farms a safe choice.

The wide variety of IPM methods make it possible for Village Farms to ensure that food quality and safety always come first. When you think about it, IPM can be utilized to the fullest in Village Farms greenhouses. The glass enclosure around the plants allows for our growers to account for many variables. The temperature, amount of water to the plant and sunlight exposure, and more can be modified in our greenhouses to allow for optimal growth. This allows for more efficient use of resources. For example, the beneficial bugs that Village Farms use are contained within the glass greenhouse. The enclosed greenhouse environment makes certain that all the beneficial insects continue working to protect the crops.

Dr. Mike Bledsoe, Vice President of Food Safety & Regulatory Affairs.

Protecting Pollinators is an important goal for Village Farms, and the company cares about the quality of the food you and your family consume. Dr. Bledsoe reflects, “Village Farms’ IPM program has made an enormous impact on the industry. The work we have done over the past several decades has made greenhouse growing throughout North America, an even more sustainable growing practice. We have been able to stay ahead of the growing safety expectations that our customers now require. There will always be ongoing research to strategize which solutions will be most effective in minimizing exposure to crop disease to keep our crops healthy and safe for the global community.”

Food safety is something Village Farms cares about deeply.  Growing food for human consumption carries a huge responsibility that Village Farms has taken seriously during its 30-plus years in the business of growing fresh fruits and vegetables. The company’s food safety program and environmentally friendly growing methods are best summarized as innovative in doing good for people and the planet as well as all of its creatures big and small.  To find out more about Village Farms’ growing methods, and sustainability growing practices, check out our Good for the Earth program!

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Village Farms Greenhouse Grown Welcomes Eric Janke to Senior Management Team

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Village Farms Greenhouse Grown is pleased to announce Eric Janke has joined the company as Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, effective June 1, 2021.  Mr. Janke will be responsible for the overall productivity and effectiveness of the company’s produce business’ Sales, Marketing, and Fulfillment teams, working in the company’s Lake Mary, Florida corporate offices.  Eric will be concentrating on both short- and longer-term initiatives including the strategy for the company’s future opportunities within the evolving Controlled Environment Agriculture sphere.

Michael DeGiglio, President & CEO of Village Farms International Inc. said, “Village Farms welcomes Eric’s vast experience as a senior leader among the many facets of the produce industry.  Eric has a proven track record of success with some of the largest and most respected organizations in the industry, including Albertson’s, Sysco Food Service, Kraft Food Service, and Fresh America. The expertise he has gained across these core components of the produce and grocery supply chain will provide Village Farms with a solid knowledge base to benefit the company in navigating the future demand of a changing business model.”

Mr. Janke brings to Village Farms a tremendous breadth and depth of knowledge gained over more than four decades of experience in the fresh produce and grocery industries, including over 20 years of which he has held in executive level positions.  Most recently, Mr. Janke had served for 15 years as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for DiMare Fresh, Inc., a vertically integrated grower and shipper of citrus and tomatoes, and distributor of fruit and vegetables.

About Village Farms

Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits, and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

Click here for Press Release

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Village Farms International, Inc. Leads the Flower Segment in Canada

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Village Farms (NASDAQ: VFF) (TSX: VFF) has more than 30 years of greenhouse growing experience, ranging from cut flowers to produce. When cannabis became legal in Canada, the U.S.-based company saw an opportunity to leverage its greenhouse experience and provide more shareholder value by entering this new market. Now, the company offers a premium brand at an everyday price in the Canadian market, and it is contemplating how it will expand its cannabis business into the U.S. President and CEO Michael DeGiglio spoke with New Cannabis Ventures about the Village Farm’s Canadian market position, U.S. strategy and growth trajectory. The audio of the entire conversation is available at the end of this written summary.

Decades of Experience

Ramping up a greenhouse is an enormous task. Village Farms has built multiple megaprojects across North America over the years it has been in operation, experience that has helped it to thrive in the cannabis space. While other Canadian operators have had to shutter assets, Village Farms is doubling its capacity, according to DeGiglio.

Village Farms is now well-established as a greenhouse grower, but DeGiglio was not always in the farming business. His background is in aeronautical science; he spent years as a tactical jet aviator for the Navy. Following his retirement as a Navy Captain, he decided to go into business and landed on farming. He first focused on greenhouse technology in Europe, eventually going on to create Village Farms.

The stock was publicly traded on the NASDAQ years ago. The company was taken private in 2000 and then taken public again in 2006 when it purchased a large greenhouse company in Canada.

Moving into Cannabis

Over the course of its history, the company has learned to adapt to changing market dynamics. Years ago, the company focused on cut flowers, but that industry was largely shifted to other countries, like Colombia. So, Village Farms migrated to produce. Now, it has to compete with the lower labor costs of countries like Mexico. Today, cannabis offers the company an opportunity to create shareholder value. For now, Canada does not allow the importation of cannabis. Village Farms can to use its decades of experience to compete only with other Canadian producers, according to DeGiglio.

Village Farms analyzed the Canadian cannabis market for a year and a half before making its entrance. The team wanted to ensure it had a sustainable business model. Now, Pure Sunfarms, its subsidiary focused on cannabis, is focused on becoming one of the largest growers in North America.

Pure Sunfarms Team Members

Canadian Market Position

The company’s cannabis cultivation operation is located in British Columbia. Over the past five to six quarters, its flower has been a top-seller in the Ontario market. Village Farms plans to continue dominating flower, aiming to capture 20 percent market share in Canada, according to DeGiglio.

Flower remains a priority for the company; the Pure Sunfarms team is exploring new varieties and higher potency to continue meeting consumer demand. Additionally, the company has entered other product categories, like vape pens, prerolls, gummies and oils. DeGiglio believes that it will take time to grow in these categories, but the company is committed.

The Company Is Offering Products Like Flower, Prerolls and Oils.

The company is not in the confectionary or beverage categories. DeGiglio does not necessarily want to explore the confectionary category, and in terms of beverages, Village Farms is opting to wait for that category to gain more traction.

U.S. Strategy

Village Farms is carefully considering its U.S. market strategy. As a TSX and NASDAQ-listed company, it will not be participating in the U.S. cannabis industry until some form of federal legalization moves forward. The company has a significant institutional shareholder base, and it does not want to risk being delisted, according to DeGiglio.

While the company will have to wait, it is keeping a careful eye on the legislative landscape and preparing for market entry in a number of different ways. First, the company has six million square feet of high-tech greenhouse space in southwest Texas. With very limited medical licenses in this state, no major MSO is currently competing in Texas, according to DeGiglio. When the time comes, the company is ready to convert that asset and become a competitive, low-cost producer in that market.

When full legalization passes, the Village Farms team expects that interstate commerce will eventually become a part of the industry. This change could provide the company the opportunity to reach more states.

Finally, Village Farms has been growing hemp in the United States since it became legal in 2018. While it is waiting for further clarification from the FDA, the health and wellness market represents a third potential point of entry into the U.S. market.

International Strategy

Outside of North America, Village Farms has its eye set on the European market. The company is actively trying to move forward in the Netherlands on the recreational side. But, DeGiglio acknowledges that the European market is still nascent and ramping up slowly. Village Farms will take a careful approach to how it enters this market.

Industry Consolidation

In Canada, Village Farms is a low-cost producer with consistent positive cash flow and positive EBITDA. It also has the ability to scale its current footprint to double or even triple its capacity. With that in mind, M&A in the Canadian market is not a priority. DeGiglio remains the largest shareholder in the company, aligning him with other shareholders. From his perspective, any dilution via M&A would need to be very accretive for the company.

Any M&A in terms of technology or IP would certainly be of interest. And, the company is open to deals in the U.S. or internationally. Already, the company has a stake in Altum International, a company in the Asia-Pacific market. Village Farms plans to begin exporting to Australia, and it may increase its position in Altum in the future.

Capital Position

Village Farms has $135 million in cash and a warrant coming in that will increase that cash position to $150 million, according to DeGiglio. Right now, he sees a share buy-back as a great use of proceeds and the best return to shareholders. The company recently announced a normal course issuer bid for up to 5% of its shares.

The company is in a position where it does not need additional capital at the moment. It has adequate cash to convert its Texas assets when that time comes and to look at potential M&A.

If Village Farms does need to raise more capital down the line, DeGiglio recommends looking at the company’s track record. It has done a number of small equity raises and put that equity to work.

Growth Trajectory

Village Farms is ramping up its capacity in Canada. The company expects to go from 90 million grams of production to 180 million grams of production by this time next year. It never grows what it cannot sell, according to DeGiglio. The company had $13 million in inventory for its fourth quarter and approximately the same amount in its first quarter.

Village Farms Is Planning to Double Its Capacity in Canada.

The company has 16 to 17 grow rooms per site. It always operates with the ability to cut back or ramp up production based on the market need. For example, the company cut back on production due to the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown orders. Now, it is back up to full production.

While the pandemic has been a challenge in the Canadian market, the company is steadily aiming for its goal of 20 percent market share. In the U.S., Village Farms is waiting on a regulatory shift. However the cannabis industry evolves, the company is looking for ways to take advantage of this enormous CPG opportunity in North America and international markets.

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Social Responsibility

Village Farms Supports Feeding America

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Village Farms is pleased to take part once again in the annual effort with Produce for Kids, and its valued retail partner Publix, in support of Feeding America.  Feeding America is the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, that helps 1 in 7 Americans and provides 4.3 billion meals annually to those facing hunger or are food insecure.  The Healthy Family Project’s, Produce for Kids campaign will be providing 700,000 meals through 31 Feeding America Foodbanks within the Publix communities.  The campaign launched May 19, 2021 in Publix stores and online and will run over the next several weeks ending June 16.   Village Farms has been a proud sponsor of the Produce for Kids campaign for over a decade.

Village Farms signature tomato, Heavenly Villagio Marzano, a mini-San Marzano snacking tomato will be featured on Produce for Kids point of sale signage displayed in Publix stores as well as banners online announcing Village Farms as a sponsor.  Product signage will feature a recipe and QR code that shoppers can scan to download free E-Cookbook featuring Village Farms’ recipes for a Burrata & Tomato Hand Pies and a Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes and Green beans that both use the Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato. The recipes will also be highlighted in social media posts to more than 300,000 followers.

New to the campaign this year on The Produce for Kids website is a showcase of the sustainability practices of each campaign sponsor. Village Farms is highlighting its Clean Energy initiative where landfill gas is used as energy for its greenhouses and creates clean air the citizens in the greater Vancouver, CA area. This powerful messaging creates a link for consumers to help them better understand how their personal food choices can impact not only giving back to the community but by supporting brands that protect or improve the overall environment and by doing so that they are doing good for our planet. 

Helen L. Aquino, Director Brand Marketing & Communication said, “We are happy to be able to support this great endeavor again this year with the Healthy Family Project during a real time of need in our country. Feeding America serves every community in the US, so their impact is tremendous. And Our Good for the Earth sustainability story is a wonderful platform for this message now, especially as more and more people are focused on plant-based diets and are looking to increase their intake of healthy fruits and vegetables”.

Click here for Press Release

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Spring into Summer

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Recipes and photography by Susan Spungen

After the winter season, it’s refreshing to have a wider variety of produce to choose from when shopping and planning menus. I have always loved vegetables, but my diet leans more and more towards being plant based all the time. We have a completely vegetarian meal at least once a week, and sometimes more, but vegetables are always on the menu. One of our go-to’s has been a grain bowl of some variety about once a week. It’s a great way to use up bits of vegetables that you may have in your fridge that are not quite enough for anything else. I created two new recipes in partnership with Village Farms to celebrate this season of plenty. Both recipes pack lots of fresh produce into one delicious bowl. Each is flexible enough that you can make swaps to incorporate something special you might find in your farmer’s market or supermarket.

Maverick Mix Grain Bowl

The first recipe is for Maverick Mix Grain Bowls with Grilled Tofu. I usually try to pack at least five different vegetables into my grain bowls and go for a mix of cooked and raw for the most flavor and nutrition. Choose a variety of colors not just for looks, but for the health benefits. By choosing different colors, you can be sure you are getting a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients. Instead of roasting the vegetables like I do in the winter, I grill some asparagus while I’m grilling the tofu. I also char some Village Farms Maverick Mix® tomatoes alongside the asparagus to make a tasty dressing for the bowls. Fresh Village Farms Maverick Mix tomatoes add freshness to the bowl as well as an antioxidant punch. Tomatoes two ways! Don’t feel hemmed in by the vegetables in the recipe- feel free to switch them up according to what you find or what you have. Go for the freshest and most seasonal items and you can’t go wrong!

You can use the protein of your choice in place of the grilled tofu. Try leftover grilled or roasted chicken, cooked or canned beans, or shrimp. When you light the grill to cook the tofu, you’ll be cooking the asparagus and charring the tomatoes at the same time, so make sure you have all those elements ready at once. A grill platter, which is a perforated metal sheet, comes in very handy here to cook the asparagus and the tomatoes for the dressing, which would otherwise fall through the grates.

Sweet Bell Pepper Slaw with Mango

The second recipe is for Sweet Bells® Pepper Slaw, which also has shredded Savoy cabbage (that’s the crinkly looking one you’ll find in your supermarket) but you can use regular cabbage (red or green) or even a couple bags of pre-shredded slaw mix instead. Mango adds sweetness, and the slaw is simply dressed with lime juice, rice wine vinegar, and oil. Nothing could be easier than a slaw, just toss everything together and you’re done! Serve as a side dish with grilled fish or chicken, or as a filling for fish tacos. Since serranos and jalapenos can vary so much in size, use less at first and add more as needed. Slicing them thinly will lessen their hot punch and allow them to integrate into the slaw better. Village Farms Sweet Bell Peppers not only add color (use two out of the three colors) but a healthy dose of vitamins A & C.


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  Susan Spungen

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Healthy Spring Refresh

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Recipes and photography by Lunches + Littles

Spring is here, and summer is right around the corner, and when it comes to nicer weather- there are always a couple of things that we enjoy a bit more of…. sunshine, the outdoors, cookouts and smoothies! Yep, smoothies are a great way to pack in goodness all year long, but we always find ourselves making them more often during the warmer months.

Cucumbers are not only great tasting in summer salads and as part of veggies trays, etc. they are also perfect in smoothies. We are big fans of all things from Village Farms (like their incredible greenhouse grown tomato varieties and assorted bell peppers), and while they may be known more for their tomatoes, their cucumbers are just as incredible.

Fresh Cucumber Smoothie

And while cucumbers may not seem like the most obvious smoothie ingredient, but don’t knock it- until you try it! Cucumber adds a delicious flavor to smoothies, and is full of nutrients and water making whatever you are making even better. Recently we created these delicious Fresh Cucumber Smoothies which turned out so creamy and yummy, and are a great way to load up on nutrients, while beating the heat. Whether for a snack, breakfast or other mealtime addition, these smoothies are a family-friendly hit that we were so excited to work with Village Farms on.

For these Fresh Cucumber Smoothies, we used the cool and refreshing Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumbers from Village Farms. Did you know cucumbers are loaded with vitamin K and C, and are also an excellent source of potassium? Cucumbers boast all sorts of health benefits and are the perfect smoothie addition.

For these Fresh Cucumber Smoothies we blended up Luscious Seedless Long English cucumbers, fresh pineapple, banana (frozen works best!) and a bit of orange juice for a tasty, refreshing smoothie that screams Spring…. and Summer! And, if it’s a super hot day, throw a bit of ice into your blender before you blend for an icier version of this treat!

To make these smoothies this time, we used our new BlendJet blender, and were amazed at how easy it was to use. I was certain that I would have to get out a high-powered blender for the frozen banana (or ice if using), but the BlendJet blended it all up without any issue. And we have actually teamed up with Village Farms to giveaway a BlendJet 2.0 and more to one lucky winner- click here

And, for more healthy recipe ideas as well as family-friendly recipes be sure to check out our feed @lunchesandlittles where we share kid-approved meals, lunchbox inspo, family favorites and tasty treats! And, next time you head to your grocery store, be sure to pick up some Luscious Seedless Long English cucumbers from Village Farms, as well as some of their tomatoes and peppers. With grill season here, there are endless ways to use their produce for everything from Grilled Portobello BLT Pizza to Grilled Cioppinio Foil Packs!


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches + Littles​​​ ​​​​​​​

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Masters of Merchandising with Village Farms® Greenhouse Grown

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As Seen on The Produce Business

Power the Spontaneous

Compared to one year ago, we are more polished shoppers, making less trips to the grocery store, and spending more per trip. One thing is certain, we are shopping from a list while trying to get in and out of the store as fast as we can! This leaves little room for impulse buys or discovering new products. Activate the power of the spontaneous purchase with strong emotive imagery using POS signage.

Healthy snacking, immune boosting, mood lifting, all are themes for strong Point of Sale messaging that will motivate shoppers. Innovative and intriguing imagery will get the eating occasion ideas owing. Village Farms is here to help with this endeavor, with our full library of content for POS, as well as all your digital promotional needs.

Keep an Eye on the Trends

2021 is the year for fresh as consumers continue to set their sights on healthy and easy to prepare food choices. Trending is ‘celebrating food as an occasion’, especially with fresh produce.

And though consumers are moving more quickly through the store, they continue to crave inspiration as they shop.

Plant Based for the Win!

Fruits and vegetables are trending in 2021 as the focus on a ‘Plant Based Diet’ continues to evolve. Consumers are determined to purchase flavorful immune boosting tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers that are the primary staples for their plant-based food choices and the foundations of their meal planning. Focus Point of Sale on inclusivity of more plant-based content that will connect a more diverse community of consumers, while celebrating food heritage through nostalgic recipes and real-life stories.

Sensational Sara

The recently launched and new to the category lovely Sensational Sara® tomato is an exciting new addition to the tomato-on-the-vine varietal segment. Her deep red inside and study green vine make her really stand out. She is simply amazing, great as a slicer, handy for sandwiches or salads, and the best part is that she is a phenomenal cooking tomato.

Sensation Sara®is packaged in an innovative 1lb environmentally friendly box that is biodegradable and 100% recyclable. Ask us more about her availability!

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Village Farms New Crop and New Packaging Continues Good for the Earth Trend

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As seen on The Produce News

Village Farms reports their Spring greenhouse grown crop of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers is looking fantastic in their northern most Canadian locations of British Columbia and Ontario. Currently planted are their exclusive specialty tomatoes, including Heavenly Villagio Marzano, Cabernet Estate Reserve, Cherry No 9, Maverick Mix, Lip Smackn’ Grape, Lorabella  Blossom and Mini Sensations, that will all begin to be harvested as soon as March. Sinfully Sweet Campari, Juicy Beefsteaks, Delectable TOV, Savory Roma, Exquisite Heirloom tomatoes, as well as, Sweet Bells peppers, Scrumptious Mini cucumbers, and Luscious Long English cucumbers will all be vine-ripened and ready to ship from these locations.​​​​

Village Farms’ sustainable growing methods in their environmentally friendly all glass climate controlled hydroponic greenhouses offer produce that is picked fresh daily to deliver to its dedicated retail partners, or as the company likes to tout, “From Our House to your Home” Village Farms Vice President & Regional Facility Manager at its Delta, BC greenhouse, Dirk de Jong, says that the crop is looking really healthy and happy.  And he contributes this to the weather being favorable with the right amount of sunny days.

Also available will be Village Farms’ newest variety Sensational Sara, which is going into its second season, and the company reports demand is strong.  Sensational Sara is a novel tomato variety with a stunning deep red color inside and out. With a juicy sweet flesh and vibrant red colored inside, Sensational Sara’s flavor is best described as a perfect natural balance of sugar to acid ratio.  This new tomato is bigger than a cocktail but smaller than a TOV, with an extremely sturdy deep green vine.  Village Farms is expecting Sensational Sara to be a ‘change agent’ in the tomato category, bringing more versatility to the TOV variety segment, long considered a commodity tomato.  According to Bret Wiley, Senior Vice President Sales and Sales Operations for Village Farms, “We are not surprised our newest tomato Sensational Sara has been a hit, the initial launch was strong with our retail partners offering the variety.  Consumer response has been positive, and people really like the unique flavor.  We are planning additional acreage and have key retailers already lined up for a full ramp up this Spring and Summer”. 

Sensational Sara is a versatile tomato, great as a slicer, handy for sandwiches or salads, and it is a phenomenal cooking tomato.  Roasting, grilling, sautéing or saucing brings out this tomato’s deep complex flavor.  And the company reports shelf-life for Sensational Sara is 21 days.

Just like all of Village Farms’ exclusive tomato varieties, Sensational Sara, is harvested by hand. This variety is picked and packed on-the-vine for maximum flavor and grows with 6 to 7 fruit per truss.  Sustainably grown in Village Farms’ lush indoor hydroponic glass greenhouse gardens, that are a controlled environment agricultural approach, which achieves unsurpassed quality and Garden Fresh Flavor.

Village Farms is offering Sensation Sara packaged in an innovative one-pound environmentally friendly box that is biodegradable and 100% recyclable. The company says sustainable packaging interest has been on the rise with retailers due to pressing consumer demand and there is increasing interest in the company’s offerings. Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms says, “Sustainable packaging is the wave of future, but has its challenges from consistent supply to adapting operationally. We have tested numerous sustainable packaging types over the past few years. One of the best features about this new box is that it intuitively looks environmentally-friendly, has ample room for brand messaging, shows off the product well, and holds up to the rigors of the supply chain.”

Sustainability is something Village Farms has lived by and has always taken seriously during its 30-plus years in the business.  The company’s environmentally friendly growing methods are best summed up as ‘Good for the Earth’ can grow more food on less land while using less of earths precious resources, like water, and doing so much more efficiently environmentally.  To find out more about Village Farms and how the company grows, as well as having a look at their full line of product offerings, please visit www.villagefarmsfresh.com or follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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A Simple New Year’s Celebration

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Recipes and photography by Susan Spungen

Celebrations look a little different this year, so we may not be attending or hosting any big New Year’s Eve bashes (what a relief, right?), but that’s no reason not to be festive with your immediate others, or hey, even if it’s just you and Zoom! Maybe New Year’s Eve can just be drinks and nibbles, and just skip the dinner part. Haven’t we all been eating too much lately anyway? Here are two recipes that I created in partnership with Village Farms to help you celebrate what can only be a better New Year. Both of these recipes are fresh and festive, with a slightly tropical air. Though you may not be jumping on a plane to hit your favorite beach resort, these two recipes will transport you, full of the fresh flavors of cucumbers and tomatoes, with a special guest appearance by the gorgeous dragon fruit (also known as pitaya) in the form of its bright fuchsia-colored powder, which tastes as good as it looks.

Cucumber Dragon Fruit Margarita

The first recipe is for a Cucumber Dragon Fruit Margarita, which is simple to mix up, but dazzling! This is a fruity drink that is not too sweet, but you can add more simple syrup to taste if you want. To make simple syrup, just combine equal parts sugar and water and boil until the sugar dissolves. Let cool before using. You can keep it in a glass jar in the fridge for a long time so you can always be ready to conjure up a refreshing drink. Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumber is used both in a puree that is shaken up in the cocktail, and as an edible garnish (and stirrer!). Using the cucumber puree in the drink lightens it up a little so it isn’t quite as strong as a normal margarita, and gives it a fresh, vegetal flavor too.

Cabernet Stuffed with Avocado Crema

The second recipe is a perfect little bite for any time of year, since Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes are responsibly greenhouse grown. They are juicy and flavorful all year round, so enjoy some summery freshness for a change of pace, and as a tasty companion for your Dragon Fruit Margarita. I love their brown-ish color and sweet ripe flavor. A very tasty and as-spicy-as-you-want-it-to-be avocado crema is piped inside for a fresh but creamy bite. A little mini tortilla chip tucked into the filling provides a tasty crunch. Serve the rest of the chips on the side!


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  Susan Spungen

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Home for the Holiday Activities

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Recipes and photography by Lunches + Littles

Christmas week is here (can you believe it?), and between last minute shopping, baking, wrapping, and more, we are also finding family-friendly things to do with our little ones and fun platters and sides to share with close family this holiday.

Now, on most holidays we travel, but this year we are doing things just a little differently because of all of the craziness that is 2020. We know that for so many people this year, holidays are looking very different too, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy delicious food and fun treats with loved ones. And that is why we are so excited to partner up with Village Farms this week, and share two simple, no-bake recipes, that are sure to delight your taste-buds- and your little ones!

First up we have our Easy Antipasto Wreath featuring the Maverick Mix® Tomatoes from Village Farms. This wreath combines tomatoes, salami slices, olives, peppers, fresh mozzarella cheese balls, basil leaves- and more. It’s the perfect appetizer platter, full of color and super simple to put together, yet still very impressive looking.

Our Easy Antipasto Wreath gets some added pops of color thanks to the mix of 4 to 6 different flavorful varieties that are found in each container of Maverick Mix® Tomatoes. Red, orange, yellow, green, and brown- there’s always a rainbow mix as well as sweet and intense flavor you will love.

This variety from Village Farms is one of our favs and as a bonus, our kids love them too. The Maverick Mix® Tomatoes are perfect for adding to salads, using to top pizzas, enjoying straight out of the package and so much more. These tomatoes are also rich in lycopene, and full of other nutrients and antioxidants. You will absolutely love this mix in this recipe.

For our Easy Antipasto Wreath simply gather your ingredients (prepping them prior as needed), and line up little bowls/containers so you have everything ready to go. Then, simply thread different ingredients on skewers, as shown. This is also a great one to get your little ones in on. Depending on their ages, little ones can help thread skewers or hand you items to add to the ones you are making.​​

And a little pro-tip: Not every skewer needs everything… mix and match, using different combos on different skewers. Keep some skewers meat and cheese free, for those that may not want to or be able to eat those items.

Once you have all your ingredients threaded on skewers, simply arrange them on a circular plate as shown adding pops of rosemary for added visual interest and voila! Get the full instructions below.

Easy Antipasto Wreath

Next up, we have something totally different for you. Are you ready to take a little trip back to childhood? Okay. Let’s go!

Rock candy is something that is not just sweet- it usually has some sweet memories attached to it too. Often found at fun vacation spots, carnivals, amusement parks, candy stores, and more- this treat is one that we had not had in years. But last week, we got to work making it with our little ones and not only did it bring back sweet memories- we also made some new sweet ones too!

Now, you may be wondering…how does rock candy tie in with the Village Farms brand? Well, that’s a fair question. To answer it, let’s talk about the ingredients that are typically found in rock candy- sugar and water. Yep, that is it (seriously!). Now, of course you can always add different flavorings and food colorings as desired, but can make it with simply sugar and water alone too. Who knew, right? For this version, we subbed fresh cucumber water, from Village Farms’ Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumber variety in place of the water. Not only did this add a bit of flavor and color, but it also added in a bit of nutrients too.

And, that brings us to another question, did you know that Village Farms doesn’t just grow tomatoes? In addition to their delicious greenhouse grown tomato varieties, they also grow mini cucumbers, long English cucumbers, as well as a variety of sweet bell peppers!

Now back to the rock candy….Blending and straining the cucumber juice was a great little activity to do with our kids, as was the melting of the sugar and of course- the growing of the rock crystals on the sticks. We loved doing this fun activity with our kids last week, and think it would be a great one for you to do with them Christmas week!

Cucumber Peppermint Rock Candy

Making our Cucumber Peppermint Rock Candy was a combination of blending, a bit of science and some patience. That is all it took for us to transform a couple of simple ingredients to homemade nostalgic rock candy sticks with a cucumber twist! See some of the sneak peeks below, as well as the instructions to make this fun treat- perfect for kids, or us kids at heart!


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches + Littles​​​ ​​​​​​​

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Sensational Sara Shocks the Tomato World with Hypnotic Beauty, True Flavor, & Sublime Versatility

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Village Farms is pleased to introduce its newest exclusive tomato variety, Sensational Sara®. The question begs asking, who is Sara and why is she sensational? Sensational Sara® is a novel tomato variety with a stunning deep red color inside and out. One slice through her juicy sweet flesh reveals her vibrant color that is simply mesmerizing. Her flavor is best described as a perfect natural balance of sugar to acid ratio. She’s bigger than a cocktail but smaller than a TOV with a super-hero sturdy vibrant green vine. Village Farms vaunts that one could think of her as the love child of their Delectable TOV® and Sinfully Sweet Campari® varieties.

Sensational Sara®, just like all of Village Farms’ exclusive tomato varieties, is harvested by hand. This variety is picked and packed on-the-vine for maximum flavor and grows with 6 to 7 fruit per truss. Sustainably grown in Village Farms’ lush indoor hydroponic glass greenhouse gardens, a controlled environment agricultural approach that achieves unsurpassed quality and Garden Fresh Flavor®.

She’s is super versatile as a great slicer, and handy for sandwiches or salads, but the best part is that she is a phenomenal cooking tomato. Try roasting, grilling, sautéing or saucing her to experience her deep complex flavor. Her pure flavor is best experienced when roasted, grilled, or sautéed. Shelf-life for Sensational Sara® is a whopping 21 days.

According to Debi Street, VP of Variety Development & Innovation, who searches the world over for exclusive and unique varietals for Village Farms, “I am flattered that the seed companies I have established great relationships with over the years invite me to peak into their secret gardens where literally the seeds of innovation are blossoming. When I first saw Sensational Sara I was stunned by her beautiful red color and juicy sweet flavor. Her taste profile, versatility, and shelf life are all a win-win and total game changer for our retail partners with this consumer-centric driven tomato.”

Sensational Sara® is packed in a 1lb recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable container with 8 units to the case. Another reason why Village Farms’ is Good for the Earth®.

For more information on Sensation Sara® and how Village Farms is driving great flavor from its unique and exclusive varieties such as Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, the one, the only, and the original authentic mini San Marzano tomato and our new environmentally friendly sustainable packaging options come visit us at New York Produce Show online.  You can also explore our website for fun facts about who we are and why it Takes a Village® to make the world of fruits and vegetables a better place to eat, along with lots of delicious recipe ideas.

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Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Deliciously Transformed

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Recipes and photography by Lunches + Littles

This year, for likely all of us, things have looked very, very different. The way we work, the ways we shop, the ways in which kids get their education, even the ways in which we travel and see our beloved family and friends- it has all changed. And this year, our holidays may look quite a bit different too. I know ours will….

For a lot of us, including our own family, we have family members and close friends that live out of state, and traveling right now or having larger gatherings together simply may not be possible. With all of these changes, many of us may find ourselves celebrating the holidays in untraditional ways this year- or at the very least gathering with less people around the table. But, one thing that remains the same is that most of us will still be celebrating, and there is one staple that will likely find its way to the middle of the table no matter where or who you gather with. Yep, we are talking about the turkey.

Now, we love juicy, tender turkey meat on Thanksgiving with all the fixings, but we all know it doesn’t need to stop there. And while most of us are probably used to eating lots of turkey sandwiches as leftovers in the days following the big feast, this year we are taking leftovers to the next level with a couple of delicious recipes that feature the star of your Thanksgiving meal, in two totally different ways.

Turkey Fajitas with Homemade Salsa Fresca

First up we have our Turkey Fajitas with Homemade Salsa Fresca. For this dish, we take leftover turkey, marinate it up with a homemade spicy marinade- made with cumin, garlic, and adobo sauce. Cook it all up and serve the seasoned turkey alongside delicious, fresh tri-colored sautéed peppers- and more. It’s a tasty twist on traditional fajitas, and they are oh so good. And the salsa fresca- that’s fresh too. For this delicious fajita topping, we use the maverick mix® tomatoes from Village Farms. If you are not familiar, this medley of tomatoes contains four to six different, flavorful varieties- like cherry and grape tomatoes, each one with a distinct shape and flavor. Red, orange, yellow, green, and brown- the maverick mix® medley boasts a rainbow of color with a sweet and intense flavor profile. Perfect in so many dishes, this mix was a delicious choice for this recipe.​​​​​

And, while most of you probably know that Village Farms grows a wide variety of delicious greenhouse grown tomatoes. Did you know they also grow delicious bell peppers and cucumbers too? Over the last year as we have been adding more and more fruits and vegetables to our dishes (yes, even more than normal!), we have been using a lot more of their peppers and cucumbers too, and Village Farms makes doing so very easy. Their sweet bells® peppers work perfectly in this fajita recipe and also add the perfect pops of color, which we love!

Tomato Basil Turkey Soup

Another delicious way to elevate your leftovers is our Tomato Basil Turkey Soup. This recipe is amazing and surprisingly quick to pull together, which is great because post-holiday, you are going to want to rest a bit (or shop!), am I right? This soup is packed with flavor, made using delicious heavenly villagio marzano® tomatoes from Village Farms. These mini San Marzano tomatoes pack in so much flavor and are perfect for soups and sauces. We love using them in homemade tomato sauce for spaghetti, though they are also incredible as is- we all love eating them straight out of the container as sides, or even snacks.

Our Tomato Basil Turkey Soup is hearty enough for a full-on meal, thanks to the turkey addition. And while it kind of brings us back to our younger days of grilled cheese and tomato soup- this soup definitely doesn’t taste canned. No, this one is full of fresh flavor in every bite. Roasted heavenly villagio marzano® tomatoes are not only blended right into the soup base, they are also added in roasted for extra bursts of flavor all throughout. You have to make it to truly get it. And when you do- you won’t be disappointed!

When it comes to the holidays, yes- this year may look a lot different, but we hope that no matter who you spend it with, or how you choose to celebrate, you have a beautiful time, full of love, gratitude and of course-good eats. And, if you find yourself with some leftover turkey meat, we hope that you will give either- or both, our Turkey Fajitas with Homemade Salsa Fresca or our Tomato Basil Turkey Soup recipes a try.

For more recipes to take you through the holidays- and beyond, be sure to follow us over on our feed, @lunchesandlittles. ​​​​​Happy Thanksgiving from our family- to yours!​


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches + Littles​​​ ​​​​​​​

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Village Farms’ Clean Energy Subsidiary Renews and Extends Vancouver Landfill Gas Contract to Transition to Renewable Natural Gas Model

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VANCOUVER, BC, Nov. 10, 2020 /CNW/ – Village Farms International, Inc. (“Village Farms” or the “Company”) (TSX: VFF) (NASDAQ: VFF) today announced Village Farms’ wholly owned subsidiary, Village Farms Clean Energy, Inc. (“VFCE”), has renewed and extended its existing contract with the City of Vancouver under which VFCE receives landfill gas captured by the City of Vancouver at the City’s landfill site in Delta, BC (the “COV LFG Contract”). The 20-year extension period, with an option for an additional five-year extension period, commences upon start-up of the Delta RNG Project commercial operations.

The renewed and extended COV LFG Contract enables Village Farms to transition VFCE to a more attractive long-term business model based on the conversion of landfill gas to high-demand Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) (the “Delta RNG Project”), which will also generate food-grade liquid CO2, significantly reducing Village Farms’ and Pure Sunfarms’ reliance on natural gas to produce CO2 in their operations. The reduction in natural gas requirements is expected to eliminate 28,000 tonnes of CO2 emitted through natural gas production, or the equivalent of taking more than 6,000 automobiles off the road, annually.

VFCE has entered into a partnership with Mas Energy, LLC (“Mas Energy”) for the Delta RNG Project, under which Mas Energy will design, build, finance (including all capital expenditure for construction), own and operate the Delta RNG facility.

“Throughout our history, Village Farms has been committed to environmental sustainability and clean agricultural technologies,” said Michael DeGiglio, CEO, Village Farms. “The Delta RNG Project will allow Village Farms to take this commitment to the next level to meet the evolving energy needs of the region and further contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the Fraser Valley, while the City of Vancouver will  benefit from higher beneficial landfill gas utilization. Village Farms’ and especially Pure Sunfarms’ Delta greenhouses, will benefit from a reduced reliance on fossil fuel-sourced natural gas, as well as an improved earnings profile, with lower ongoing capital expenditure requirements. It’s a win-win-win for the region, our Company and our shareholders.”

“The City of Vancouver is pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with Village Farms for beneficial use of landfill gas from the Vancouver Landfill. Their new venture to convert the landfill gas into Renewable Natural Gas supports our on-going efforts to address the climate emergency and cut carbon pollution in Vancouver by 50% by 2030,” said Albert Shamess, Director of Zero Waste and Resource Recovery, City of Vancouver.

“Mas Energy is proud to partner with Village Farms and the City of Vancouver on this exciting project,” said Michael Hall, Principal at Mas Energy. “We look forward to starting site activities very soon and delivering the benefits of cleaner energy and air to the citizens of the Vancouver region for a long time to come.”

The Delta RNG Project is subject to additional regulatory approvals, which the Company expects to be received in the first half of 2021, potentially leading to operational start up as early as the first half of 2022.

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Women in Produce Spotlight Lyra Vance

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The Southern Roots Committee is honored to announce Village Farms very own Lyra Vance as the Southern Roots Member Spotlight for August 2020. Let’s take a moment and get to know Lyra!


1. Who has been the most influential person in your life?

My mother – she’s shown me how to love, how to be generous, how to be grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way in life and to truly cherish the journey not just the outcome.


2. Favorite Quote and Why?

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  ​- ​​​Maya Angelou

​Over my 30 year career I’ve had many great mentors who encouraged and made me feel valuable. I’m working with several right now at Village Farms. Positive people have tremendous power to affect, inspire and motivate others.


3. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your career?

Relationships matter and I’ve had the good fortune to make a lot of friends in this industry. Take time to nurture your friendships.


4. What is on your Bucket List you would most like to do?

Visit Madagascar to see rare animals and the humpback whale migration. Would also like to return to Botswana for a night safari. Being 12 feet away from a pride of lions in the moonlight is one of the most amazing experiences of my life.


5. Favorite Thing to Eat/Drink

IPA style beer, Jai Alai from Cigar City Brewing in Tampa.


6. What Advice would you give someone going into Leadership role for the first time?

Chances are you’ll be working more hours so make time for yourself to recharge each week.


7. If you could learn to do anything what would it be?

Hang gliding – once the initial fear of crashing subsides, I imagine hours of peaceful bliss. Closest I’ve come to this thrill is bungee jumping in New Zealand and Zambia.


8. When you have 30 min of free time what do you do?

Enjoy a bike ride outside in the fresh air or do some yard work


9. What’s your guilty pleasure?

Pizza with red sauce, extra cheese and veggies.


10. What are you passionate about?

Poker. I was a competitive athlete and poker provides an outlet for this energy. To be profitable one must be patient, disciplined and not allow emotions to guide your decisions. Poker is all about comfort with uncertainty…kind of like the produce business. 

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Back to School Made Easy

Back to School Made Easy
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Recipes and photography by Lunches + Littles

This year, August looks a lot different for most of us. There’s been a lot of new expectations, big decisions and SO many changes. But one thing that remains the same is that we all still need to eat. So, whether your kids are heading back to school for in-person instruction, doing virtual learning at home, or even full on homeschooling, you are likely going to be packing and/or making lunches. And that’s why we are so excited to have partnered back up with Village Farms to share some quick, doable, kid-friendly recipes that are perfect for both packed lunch boxes and lunches at home.

And, if you don’t have kids- don’t pass this one by. Because easy, yummy food isn’t just for kids! These recipes would certainly work and be great for adults too- packed up to go for a work lunch, or to enjoy at a lunch or dinner table at home. So, read on!

First up, we have our Burrata and Tomato Hand Pies. For these, we used the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes from Village Farms which are one of our all-time favorite varieties. These little tomatoes are incredibly sweet and perfect for all sorts of cooking; one of our favorite ways to use them is in a sweet sauce for spaghetti, but they are so versatile! For our hand pies they add just the right amount of sweetness and are also a great size for the recipe as well.

Rich in vitamins A and K, these mini San Marzano tomatoes are as healthy as they are delicious! For our Burrata and Tomato Hand Pies we combined these little gems with bits of fresh burrata cheese and basil, cooked in a thin, flakey crust. We cut our pies circular, though you could certainly cut them in rectangles, etc. No matter how you cut them, they’re perfect for lunchboxes, meals at home- or even some entertaining. And perhaps the best part is that you can easily prep them ahead of time or even bake them ahead of time and simply re-heat.​​

Burrata and Tomato Hand Pies

The second recipe is our Easy Rainbow Spring Rolls, and this is a recipe we have been so excited to share. If you follow us over on our feed, @lunchesandlittles, you know that we love color and these rolls really pack the rainbow!

Something you may not know about Village Farms is that they grow more than just tomatoes. While delicious tomatoes are a big part of what they produce, they also grow peppers and cucumbers and for our Easy Rainbow Spring Rolls recipe we were able to incorporate both their Sweet Bells® (red, yellow and orange peppers) as well as their Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers.

Rainbow Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Quick little fact: cucumbers are made mostly of water and therefore are a great way to rehydrate your body. They are also perfect for replenishing nutrients. So, we were all about including these in our Easy Rainbow Spring Rolls.

These rolls were so fun to make, and they look so impressive, don’t they? You would probably think that these took a while to make, but actually they just take minutes. Yes, minutes! The most time-consuming part of the whole recipe is prepping the ingredients. Then you just fill, roll, and serve! These are perfect for a fun and colorful lunch box, or on a plate at home.​

No matter what your plans are for the Fall, we know that you have enough to worry about besides what you’re going to pack up for lunch or serve at home to your kids. So give these fun recipes a try. They are a great way to get kids more comfortable with eating a variety of produce- and they aren’t too hard to make up either.


Enter in Our Back to School Giveaway!

Our Back to School Giveaway will be hosted by Lunches + Littles via Instagram. The giveaway will take place for one week – Thursday August 28th through Thursday September 4th, 2020. Click here to learn how to enter for a chance to win one of 3 awesome prizes!


Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches + Littles​​​ ​​​​​​​

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10 Simple Summer Side Dishes

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Summer is in full swing, which means a ton of grillin’ and chillin’. And we are here to help you in your relaxation endeavors that’s why we have created 10 simple summer side dishes all featuring the delectable flavors of Village Farms Greenhouse Grown tomatoes and cucumbers. Not only are these flavorful dishes packed full of healthy immune boosting properties, but they are easy-peasy to prepare, making it effortless to get those essential vitamins and nutrients into you and your family’s diet!

We have selected a sweet mix of fresh and cooked recipes so there’s something for every flavor palate sure to please the most fickle of your friends and family. Try our Tomacado Salad or Crisp Cucumber melon salad (but only if you can say either name ten times fast) to have everyone asking for more. Or the oh so zingy and sweet Caprese salad with grilled peaches or the tomato melon skewers for a neat take on a classical fav. These are just a few of the 10 simple summer dishes we have ready to not only tempt but empower your chef within.

These fresh dishes are also terrific for those on-the-go activities, whether it’s time spent at the beach, camping with the fam, or last minute invites to patio potlucks, we got you covered. The fancy Farro Salad with toasted Pine Nuts and roasted tomatoes works wonders for a quick and easy on dish-on-the-go.  And we love the savory flavors of the beefsteak tomato salad with crispy chickpeas and lemon tahini to wow your next picnic party. Psst… Be forewarned if you make the white bean arugula bruschetta you might just want to keep it all to yourself because it is that yummy!

And if you’re looking to fire up your home meal prep game we have tasty recipes, ready to sizzle on the grill or even quick pan to plate stove top solutions. Hello grilled Portobello BLT pizza for snazzy side dish or appy. And the summer veggie pasta salad or the spicy Asian cucumber noodle salad is a win-win for most ease of prep and highest delivery on flavor. Glad summer is going to be around for a while because there still is plenty of time to try all these fabulous side dishes!

What are you waiting for? Give it a whirl! Now it the time to get more fresh, easy to prepare, healthy and immune boosting dishes into your meal time so you can have more chill and relax time!

1. Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes

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Fresh greens, farro, roasted tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta cheese a homemade lemon vinaigrette- and more, all come together in harmony to create tantalizing flavor. The Maverick Mix® tomatoes in this recipe are totally the star of the dish.


2. Beefsteak Tomato Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and Lemon Tahini

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This Juicy Beefsteak® tomato salad with crispy chickpeas and lemon tahini is a party for your taste buds. The zingy flesh provides the perfect canvas for the spiced crispy chickpeas and the earthy lemon tahini sauce. This salad is effortless to prepare and full of nutrients.


3. Tomacado Summer Salad

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This Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado salad with hemp seeds screams everything summer and is filled with refreshing flavors. The sweetness of the Maverick Mix® tomatoes and creaminess of the avocado create a luscious burst of mouthwatering goodness.


4. Caprese Salad with Grilled Peaches

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There is just something magical when you bring together such beautifully fresh ingredients to complement one another. Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes are an ideal choice for this iconic salad because they are the perfect combination of sweetness and acidity. Their vibrant red exterior and ideal size help to make this salad a piece of delicious art.


5. Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad

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Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad that is the perfect side dish to bring to potlucks, or to serve up any of the night with some grilled chicken thighs or seafood! Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers make the crispest cucumber noodles, which are so fun for this salad!


6. Grilled Portobello BLT “Pizzas”

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Think outside the crust and swap your pizza dough for large Portobello mushroom caps as the base for these grilled mini BLT pizzas featuring our Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes. Take one bite and only one word will come to mind, phenomenal. You can even leave the pancetta off for an adaptable vegetarian dish.


7. Tomato Melon Skewers

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This no-cook skewer recipe highlights the best summer ingredients like melons, Maverick Mix® tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, prosciutto and balsamic. If your party guests are more creative, you could even leave your ingredients as a DIY bar for them!


8. Crisp Cucumber Melon Salad

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Crisp and refreshing is the name of this game. Our Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumber Melon Salad is made up of the best sweet and savory ingredients like fresh melon, feta and arugula. Try this combo and your taste-buds will be thanking you!


9.  White Bean Arugula Bruschetta

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Bruschetta is a super fun dish because it allows for such creativity. It’s a blank canvas awaiting your favorite ingredients! Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes are the perfect size for a chunky mixture to top a bite size appetizer. The final touch? A drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a strong, sweet-tart finisher.


10. Summer Veggie Pasta Salad

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Fresh, summer ingredients that are juicy, sweet, and scream summer. Alongside our Maverick Mix® tomatoes we’re also adding some sweet summer corn and a refreshing lemon basil dressing that is out. of. this. world. A really simple, easy, and nutrient-dense dish that you can feel really good about.


To explore more delicious and exclusive recipes using Village Farms flavorful tomato, cucumber and peppers click here!

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7 Dishes, 7 Days, 1 Tomato

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A little Meal Planning Love in the time of Quarantine

There’s no doubt these days we are all looking to get the most out of our trips to the grocery store. And what better way to do this then with some smart meal planning with simple, healthy, easy to prepare recipes. You know the old saying, “I hate when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients”. Well we have taken the stress out of cooking and shopping with these seven dishes, for seven days using our famous Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato. This tomato is the one, the only, the original & authentic Mini San Marzano variety. The great thing about Heavenly Villagio Marzano is that it’s suitable for dishes that you can enjoy any time of the day because it is so versatile. You can grill it, roast it, saute’ it, and of course eat them fresh, just leave a bowl on your counter for handy and healthy snacking. This is your go to tomato for fabulous dishes that will earn you the new title of Top Chef in your household plus we have taken the time to plan all of these dishes while shopping on a budget.

The great thing about meal planning using our Seven Dishes, Seven Days, One Tomato is that it’s a quick and easy solution to figuring out what to make and serve now that you and your loved ones are all home for 3 square meals a day. We have put together the whole shopping list for you with all the ingredients you’ll need to create seven healthy and hearty dishes. So whether you are making your weekly trip to the store or ordering online you have everything you need in one list. And the best part is when you look this list over you may discover that you already have a fair amount of these items on hand in your kitchen already.

Fabulosity let’s get started! Hey parents with kids many of these recipes are super easy and fun for the whole family to get in on the act of cooking together. From the novice to the professional you will see the easy to prepare recipes can happen rather effortlessly. We have put together a recipe collection to plan two breakfast, two lunches, two dinners, and one snack.

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We have two easy breakfast choices for you. First up are our Savory Tomato Infused Waffles. These roasted tomato waffles topped with a fried egg and bacon are a hit with both savory and sweet breakfast eaters alike. If you like things a little sweeter, drizzle a little syrup on top. If you like things a little more savory, skip the syrup altogether! Now what makes these waffles so special is that there are roasted tomatoes (and diced fresh ones) mixed directly in the batter.

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Next we have a splendid Roasted Tomato and Shaved Asparagus Frittata. This frittata is one of our favorite ways to make a simple breakfast or better yet brunch. Thinking ahead this frittata is lovely for spring family gatherings, like an Easter brunch or

Mother’s Day brunch. And, if you are feeling it you can even serve this dish as a simple dinner, alongside fresh bread and a salad!

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For lunch we are going full on plant based with a Tomato and Chickpea Fattoush Nourish Bowl. Do not be intimidated by the name it is easy peezy to prepare. Fattoush is a Lebanese salad that’s a mix of herbs, cucumber, tomatoes, and crispy pita pieces, brightened with the flavor of sumac, a traditional spice. This recipe is a nourish bowl inspired by the concept of fattoush; we’ve added spiced chickpeas to make it more filling. It is delicious and healthy.

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Our other lunch option is for an Italian Sausage, Tomato, Tortellini Soup. I love the creamy, slightly tomato flavor of the soup broth made with real, whole ingredients. The water and bone broth can be substituted for typical soup broth. It’s the milk and butter that create the perfect creamy base mixed with the sweetness of sautéed Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes.

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It’s snack time! Finally! What we all have been waiting for and what better than a Quick & Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus. I like to call it yummish because it is really that good. I promise it will be a huge hit with the whole family – the tomatoes add such a great flavor to a basic hummus recipe and we top it all off with fresh thyme and shaved parmesan cheese; perfect for pairing with veggies that your persnickety eaters may not readily partake in on their own for a total plant-based win.

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Dinner time brings two options for savory favorites. First up is a Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes & Green Beans. Enough said! A flavorful dish that is easy to prepare in with only 10 minutes of preparation and 30 minutes to cook. Dust off that cast iron pan and make it happen.

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This is a fun spin on a simple pasta dish. Individual Baked Spaghetti’s. If ever there was a fun way to engage the kids this is it. You can customize your dish, more sauce, less sauce, more cheese, less cheese anything goes!

All of these dishes take under 40 minutes including prep and cook times. That means more time eating! I do hope you enjoy these 7 Dishes, 7 Days, 1 Tomato using our exclusive Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato. Let us know which is your favorite.

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Finding Comfort in Family and Food

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Recipes and photography by  Hetty McKinnon

To say that this year has been the most extraordinary of our lives would be a flagrant understatement. However, to scramble the famous words of Charles Dickens, during these worst of times, there has also been the best of times. As we navigate life in isolation, we have learnt to appreciate the small things – waking up naturally each morning without having to rush three children out the door, making dumplings with friends via a group video chat, and sitting down for lunch every day with my kids. Home is, now more than ever, our buttress, a cocoon from the chaos of the world outside.

As days bleed into one another and time blurs, my one constant has been family and food. While cooking all day is not that far from my normal day-to-day as a recipe developer and food writer, the way I cook right now is very different. Today, as our pantry takes center stage and creativity and flexibility become key tenets of everyday cooking, there is a sense of fearlessness in the kitchen. If a recipe calls for cauliflower, substituting with tofu doesn’t feel like a stretch at all; making lasagna with tortillas is perfectly acceptable, and leftover odds and ends of homemade bread are not wasted, but are rather transformed into a hearty soup. In many ways, the way we are cooking right now harks back to the time of our grandmothers when frugality and practicality were always front of mind. Back then, much like now, recipes revolved around pantry staples and making the most out of everyday ingredients.

So, while this time in isolation has been unsettling, I have found myself feeling incredibly nostalgic about the food I ate as a child. I grew up in a traditional Cantonese household where my mother cooked big flavored savory dishes using scant ingredients, and my father brought home bright produce from the local markets every day, where he worked. Along with mangoes, peaches, plums and all the fruits and vegetables imaginable, we also feasted on the plumpest, juiciest beefsteak tomatoes. I would each them whole, taking a voracious bite straight into them as one would eat an apple. Recently, I was reminded of this treasured childhood food memory when I tried a Juicy Beefsteak® tomato from Village Farms – at first bite, as the tomato juice slid down my chin and arm, I was instantly transported back to my mother’s kitchen.

The joy of beefsteak tomatoes is their simplicity. They are brimming with flavor, and achingly juicy, perfect for creating effortless meals that allow the zesty hum of tomatoes to shine.

Often fresh tomatoes may benefit from some salting to bring out flavor and juice, but with Village Farms beefsteaks, this is not necessary. These tomatoes are firm, juicy and bold, perfect for slicing and using in laid-back salads. This beefsteak tomato salad with crispy chickpeas and lemon tahini is a party for your taste buds. The zingy flesh provides the perfect canvas for the spiced crispy chickpeas and the earthy lemon tahini sauce. This salad is effortless to prepare but big on flavor, a quick meal which is also full of nutrients.

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While fresh tomatoes exemplify casual laid-back fare, roasted stuffed tomatoes encapsulate rustic charm. Gemista (or yemista) is a Greek dish of stuffed vegetables; tomatoes and peppers are most common, but you could also use eggplant, zucchini, and even onions. While I adore gemista, I rarely make it at home. For me, it’s a dish to enjoy when I eat out. However, these long days in isolation have given me a new appreciation for dishes that I wouldn’t normally cook.  In many ways, this is the perfect isolation recipe – there are a few steps, but they are all simple and all of the ingredients are either pantry staples or easily adaptable.

Here, I’m stuffing my succulent Village Farms Juicy Beefsteak® tomatoes and Sweet Bells® peppers with an herby feta rice, but you could also use this as an opportunity to use up any leftover vegetables in your fridge – zucchini, carrots, or eggplant would be nice additions to the rice filling. Juicy tomatoes with a firm flesh are key for this dish, as the flesh, seeds and juices of the tomatoes are all used to flavor the rice, while the vegetables cook in a fresh tomato puree. I love to add peppers to the mix as they make substantial and sturdy vessels for the rice, while retaining their beautiful floral shape when baked. Village Farms sweet bells peppers are wonderfully sweet (as its name suggests!) and when roasted, they provide a lovely mellow fruitfulness which perfectly complements the tangy tomatoes.

Peppers are such a great everyday food in our home – my kids love to consume them raw, dipped into hummus as a snack, while roasted peppers drizzled with vinegar is one of my favorite things to add to hearty grain salad. Even though this gemista is roasted, this dish effortlessly embodies the liveliness of summer produce, a perfect meal to celebrate flavor-bursting produce during these long, languid days.

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Hetty McKinnon

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Village Farms Helping Families In Need During Covid-19 Crisis

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Village Farms International Inc. is helping to feed over 10,000 families in Texas with donations throughout the state to local food banks and food pantries.  Demand for donations has been higher than usual due to the COVID-19 crisis and Village Farms has been stepping up their donations of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers to meet this need.  Village Farms operates three growing operations in the towns of Marfa, and Fort Davis, where they are the largest employer in both Davis and Presidio counties.  Village Farms also operates a state-of-the-art high-tech greenhouse in the Permian Basin region.  And, Village Farms operates one distribution center within the city of Fort Worth, all facilities are within the great state of Texas.

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Over the last 2 weeks Village Farms has donated over 10 truckloads, equivalent to approximately 400,000 pound or 200 tons of fresh produce to numerous organizations who distribute food to help feed those in need.  Some of the food distribution organizations Village Farms has been able to help thus far are listed below.

Tarrant Area Food Bank, Fort Worth & Dallas
South Cliff Baptist Church, Fort Worth
West Texas Food Bank, Odessa
El Paso Food Bank, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger, El Paso
Marfa Food Pantry Saluvida Inc., Marfa
Food Pantry of Jeff Davis County, Fort Davis
First Baptist Church, Alpine
Grace Christian Fellowship, Alpine
Sunshine House, Alpine
Big Bend Family Crisis Center, Terlingua

Dr. Caroll Marr, Senior Pastor at South Cliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas told us “I want to express a great appreciation for Village Farms and the massive impact they have had on the lives of thousands of people weekly here in North Texas”.  Pastor Marr recounted how every day by 4:00 pm there are hundreds of cars lined up across four lanes in the church parking lot.  Pastor Marr went on to say that it has been a learning curve in trying to gear up for the sheer amount of people in need of food but he felt that they had it down to a science now.  Pastor Marr went on to say, “It also gives the young adults who have been volunteering an opportunity to help in a meaningful way and allows the older adults to stay safely at home”.

Nina Dietzel who represents Marfa Food Pantry in an email to the company said that she felt, “Times are about to become much harder for many so this (donation) was truly a much needed ray of sunshine”.

And Kym Flippo who represents the Big Bend Crisis Center in Terlingua also sent an email to Village Farms thanking the company and stated that, “Food is love and I thank you for both”.

According to Village Farms’ President & CEO, Michael A. DeGiglio, “Farming and food distribution has been deemed an essential business by our government during this crisis.  I am proud of all of the Village Farms employees company-wide who are working tirelessly to ensure healthy and safe produce is getting to our retail partners as well as those in need.  And, we are thankful to be able to do a small part during this national crisis”.

Click Here for Press Release

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Nostalgic, Easy Recipes from Our Kitchen to Yours

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Recipes and photography by  Lunches + Littles

It is now officially Spring, a time when we all want more easy, delicious, and lighter dishes. Of course, right now we are also in the midst of unprecedented times- putting easier dishes even higher on the priority list for most of us.

A couple months ago we first started brainstorming recipes we could make this Spring, in partnership with Village Farms that were both easy to prep, as well as nostalgic in nature. They say nostalgia can drown out anything, and I would have to say there is truth in that, especially when it comes to food. And right now we need that truth more than ever.

Back when we were recipe testing and planning this set of recipes, we knew we wanted to create at least one dish that could easily go from dinner table to weekly lunch prep, without a second thought so we landed on a tasty Caprese Chicken. Now we know that the majority of us are no longer packing up lunches to take into work on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still meal prep lunches for the weeks ahead. In fact, in our home- continuing to prep just like we have during more normal work weeks has helped us keep some normalcy in an otherwise abnormal time. And, if lunch prep isn’t your thing, this recipe is still a great one for dinner.

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Our Easy Caprese Chicken can easily be dressed up or dressed down if you will, for the fancier dinner plate, or the everyday packed lunch. It’s juicy, flavorful and as the name says- easy! Pair it with some broccoli or other greens and you have a delicious meal- perfect for weekdays, the weekend or a sit down dinner. And if you have little ones, you could also try pairing this chicken with a side of pasta (something most little ones will easily eat up). No matter how you serve it- our Easy Caprese Chicken is recipe perfection- as is the balsamic glaze, which you could use on so many things beyond just this recipe.

Growing up my Mom always used to make a delicious Caprese Chicken dish. While hers was different, the taste still takes me back and instantly gets me remembering younger days, meals around the table, and most of all the love that filled our dining room. Giada De Laurentiis has been quoted as saying “Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love,” and we couldn’t agree more.

The use of the Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomatoes from Village Farms really heighten the flavor of this dish too. These tomatoes are so sweet and perfect in so many dishes- we especially love them paired with anything featuring Mozzarella. Village Farm’s Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomatoes are a low-calorie delicious source of Vitamins C and K, which also help to support brain health and strengthen bones. Now that is YUM- with benefits!

Easy Caprese Chicken RECIPE

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Next up, we have a salad that is honestly so much more flavorful than we even expected it to be, when we were planning for it. Our Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes isn’t just delicious, and beautiful to look at- it features tomatoes in one of the sweetest ways.

Now we know that salads can often get a bad rap, but truth is they can truly be sooo good- and good for you. And this recipe really combines the best of the best when it comes to flavors. This is another one that is great for lunch or dinner. And bonus- in a large bowl or spread out on a platter it is also a beautiful dish to place in the center of your table, whether or not you can have guests over. Truth is, beautifully presented food just tastes better, doesn’t it? And we all deserve a bit of beauty at the table.

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Back when our kids were a few years younger and we started giving them tomatoes to taste, two (out of three) of them just didn’t care for tomatoes, which was a bit tough since we love them- and regularly include them in our recipes. One of the ways that we first got our little ones to change their minds was to offer up tomatoes that had been roasted (versus raw). They didn’t just tolerate or like roasted tomatoes- they ate them up like candy, and we have to say- roasted is one of our favorite ways to enjoy tomatoes too!

Our Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes takes a bit of time to come together (due to the roasting), but it is still very simple. While the tomatoes roast, you can prep all of the other ingredients and then you just combine it all together and voila- dinner (or lunch) is served.

Fresh greens, farro, roasted tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta cheese a homemade lemon vinaigrette- and more, all come together in our Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes. The Maverick Mix® Tomatoes from Village Farms featured in this recipe are the total star of the dish. These little beauties come together in a fun, multi-colored pack containing 4- 6 different flavorful, plump varieties with colors ranging from red, orange, yellow, green, and brown, and while they are a-mazing straight out of the container, they are next level when they are roasted.

Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes RECIPE

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Village Farm’s Maverick Mix® Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, and full of other essential nutrients and antioxidants, and our Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes featuring these are a must-make. It’s feel good food that checks all the boxes and is incredibly nourishing.

We hope that you will give one or both of these easy recipes a try. With many of us now home full-time, with lots of extra time on our hands, there really is no time like the present to try new things in the kitchen. Our Easy Caprese Chicken and Farro Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts and Roasted Tomatoes are both delicious and easy recipes highlighting one of our favorite brands; Village Farms. Which one will you make first?

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  Lunches + Littles

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Spring Peppers on the Verge of Ripe & Ready

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As seen on The Produce News

Village Farms International Inc., headquartered in Vancouver Canada announced today their Village Farms Greenhouse Grown brand of tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are all ramping up for a strong season.  In particular, the company’s Canadian grown national pepper program will commence shipping at the beginning of April to all retail partners across the United States and Canada.

Village Farms is one of the largest and longest-operating vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America and the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada. Village Farms produces and distributes fresh, premium-quality produce with consistency 365 days a year to national grocers in the U.S. and Canada from more than nine million square feet of Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) greenhouses in British Columbia and Texas, as well as from its partner greenhouses in British Columbia, Ontario and Mexico.

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Lyra Vance, Director of Strategic Business & Sales Development for Village Farms is feeling extremely optimistic about the quality and volume of this year’s pepper crop, “We have a wide range of pack styles to suit our retail partner pepper category demographic.  Not to mention our growers are phenomenal seasoned pepper farmers with a solid track record of growing premium quality peppers. ”

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Village Farms’ brand of sweet bell peppers, ‘Sweet Bells®’ are available in a full offering of Red, Yellow, and Orange packaged sizes including  3 count,  4 count, and 6 count bags.

According to Nielsen data provided by United Fresh produce association Bell Peppers were the 6th most popular purchased vegetable item in US produce departments in 2019 with $391 million dollars in sales and were up over 7% from the previous year in total volume.  Village Farms offers their Sweet Bells in addition to the wide range of packaged size options also as PLU bulk 11lb boxes.

Bret Wiley, Senior Vice President & Sales Operations with Village Farms tells us the crop is looking really great and that the company expects to exceed expectations this year given this, “Our Canadian grower partner has been farming peppers for years and also does a great job with Beefsteak tomatoes”.

Village Farms offers their ‘Juicy Beefsteak®’ tomatoes in all standard bulk PLU sizes as well as packaged, 2 count, 4 count, 6 count clamshells, and 5lb box.

If you are interested in growing your sweet bell pepper or beefsteak tomato programs with Village Farms please reach out to Lyra or Bret who would be happy to help you find the right solution to meet your store’s needs.

Cozy Italian Date Night In

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by Rebecca Costa from xxrilly

Turn up the Italian dinner music and pour a glass of Sangiovese wine. Today I’m sharing two Italian inspired recipes for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day- white bean arugula bruschetta and Italian sausage, tomato and tortellini soup. Don’t worry, we’re keeping it simple, because a romantic dinner is more about the time spent with loved ones than it is time spent slaving away over the perfect meal. Clearly we’re going for simple and delicious!

Last Spring, Justin and I visited Italy for a late Honeymoon. We explored Rome, Florence and day-tripped around Tuscany to Pisa, Siena and San Gimignano. Above all, we loved spending our days engulfed in history and the fresh flavors of locally-inspired food. We taste tested endless pasta, marinara, pizzas, bruschetta, cured meats, cheeses and gelato. Undoubtedly, we also drank a lot of wine. I mean a lot.

So this Valentine’s Day we’re reminiscing on our Italian vacation with Italian inspired white bean arugula bruschetta and sausage, tomato, tortellini soup. It’s funny how food can be such a time machine like that! Without a doubt, the taste of fresh tomatoes and cheeses makes me so nostalgic for the memories we made together. Snag your sweetheart and some fresh tomatoes to enjoy these recipes together!

White Bean Arugula Bruschetta

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Bruschetta is a super fun dish because it allows for such creativity. It’s a blank canvas awaiting your favorite ingredients! I love Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes for their sweet and juicy flavor. They’re the perfect size for a chunky mixture to top a bite size appetizer like bruschetta. I tossed them with mozzarella, fresh arugula, navy beans, olive oil and garlic for the perfect hearty bite. The final touch? A drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a strong, sweet-tart finisher.

Italian Sausage, Tomato, Tortellini Soup

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Now on to our main course; Italian sausage, tomato, tortellini soup with kale and fresh parmesan. I love the creamy, slightly tomato flavor of the soup broth made with real, whole ingredients. The water and bone broth can be substituted for typical soup broth. It’s the milk and butter that create the perfect creamy base mixed with the sweetness of sautéed Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes. These incredibly sweet and juicy, bite-size tomatoes are the perfect addition of flavor and texture for those chunky soup lovers (like me!) when paired with fresh tortellini and chicken sausage.

We love pairing Italian Chianti wine with these dishes. The high acidity and body are a perfect pairing for the tangy tomatoes and strong flavors of garlic and olive oil. Zinfandel is another favorite if you’re looking for something a bit fruitier!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Rebecca Costa from xxrilly

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Unfussy Holidays

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Recipes and photography by  Susan Spungen

I do a lot of hosting this time of year, and often have people over at “off times” since everyone is already so busy with family get-togethers and parties. I like asking people to stop by for a cocktail in the evening before heading out to another event, or to come over for brunch or a simple lunch since I’m more likely to get a “yes” than a “no”, plus it’s an easier way to host, and still get to see friends which is the whole point, isn’t it?. These two recipes, created in partnership with Village Farms, fulfill those needs beautifully. Both recipes are fresh, easy and definitely crowd-pleasing, full of the bright flavors of delightfully sweet and juicy tomatoes. True to my “get-ahead” philosophy for hosting, both dishes can be prepared for cooking ahead of time, leaving just a last-minute finishing in the oven or on the stovetop for perfect timing that will leave you free to mingle and relax.

Tomato and Mozzarella Dip

The first recipe is a very quick to put together Cheesy Tomato Dip made with Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes, which are plump and juicy with a cute pear shape, true to their San Marzano heritage, but in a mini size. Like its larger predecessor, this tomato is firm and meaty with a decidedly sweet flavor, and is fantastic for cooking, in addition to eating raw as a snack or sliced into salads. Here, they are tossed in a baking dish (preferably a metal one so you can start the first step on the stovetop) with mozzarella, garlic, and red pepper flakes. This part can be done ahead of time! Bake it in the oven just before you want to serve it, so your guests can sop up all the melty cheese and flavorful juices with toasted crusty bread.

Shakshuka with Peppers, Feta, and Olives

This next recipe is perfect for a casual breakfast, brunch, or lunch, or honestly even dinner, at a time of year when there is so much running around and parties with foods that are heavier than we might normally eat. Sometimes breakfast for dinner is just the thing! Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a flavorful stew of tomatoes with as many variations as there are cooks. It’s one of those dishes! This one is made with Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes, which are just perfect here. They add amazing flavor, and hold their shape well in the stew, which is cooked with onions and garlic, sweet red bell peppers, feta, and Kalamata olives. It’s all finished off with a shower of fresh herbs. If you want to serve more than four people, you could squeeze two more eggs into the pan, or make a double batch in two pans. If you want to prepare it ahead of time, make the stew a few hours (or even the day) before, and reheat before proceeding with the recipe and poaching the eggs. Serve with warm pita bread on the side and you have a very satisfying and special meal with a minimum of fuss.

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  Susan Spungen

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Looking back on 30 years at Village Farms

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As Seen on The Produce News

If the produce industry was female the Fine Young Cannibals may have sung it best, She Drives Me Crazy, but those who have been around long enough to know when this song peaked 30 years ago have without a doubt been faced with serious challenges at some point or another in their businesses.

For Village Farms International it has been no different over its 30-year history, including a baseball sized hailstorm that took down 80 acres of glass and steel greenhouse, to near catastrophe caused by a fast-moving prairie fire, avoided, thanks to the quick wits of a handful of superhero employees.

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But by far its greatest challenge according to the company’s president and chief executive officer, Michael A. DeGiglio, is something faced industry-wide on a day after day basis. “To this day I can tell you whole-heartedly there’s nothing more difficult and nerve-wracking to deal with than perishability,” said DeGiglio.

As 2019 comes to a close, Village Farms finds itself rounding out its “30 years of growing strong” as the oldest operating greenhouse grower in the U.S., and the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada. Today Village Farms has approximately 420 acres in Canada, U.S., and Mexico growing tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers under the Village Farms Greenhouse Grown brands, majority ownership investment in Pure Sunfarms growing cannabis in Canada and ownership of majority investment Village Fields Hemp in the United States. So, as the company turns it sights to 2020 and what the future will bring, its CEO is feeling very optimistic that weathering the storms of this crazy business has been a worthwhile endeavor for more reasons than one.

It is fairly well known within the industry that greenhouse grown and specifically, Controlled Environment Agriculture, exudes a certain sense of control over the effects of Mother Nature in comparison to the challenges faced by outdoor farming. That’s a huge advantage that has helped Village Farms maintain the quality and consistency of the products they grow.

This CEA technology along with its master growers has created an assurance for Village Farms’ customers that the company is able to deliver a “four-legged stool” of a value proposition of fresh tomatoes 365 days a year to its customers. This was not always the case.

“The story I always tell is how in the early years when we were just one greenhouse in Pennsylvania and we had finished with our season, I said to my retail partner (because I only had one), ‘Ok see you next year enjoy your holidays and he said ‘Hey wait, we need more right away and we need it every day.’ From that day on this is what drove our growth strategy,” said DeGiglio.

He reminisced on the past remembering the early days. “We were on the forefront of greenhouse growing, going against the grain of the established retail supply chain field grown tomato mentality. With the ability to introduce a superior product that was available year-round we had everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

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Year-round availability and the demand for products propelled greenhouse-grown from a niche market to fostering the development of large-scale greenhouse building projects for Village Farms. The company was focused on efficiency in all aspects of growing because this was the only way to compete with the lower cost of field grown produce. It developed proprietary technology and built an entirely enclosed greenhouse that was an innovative project for its time.

DeGiglio recounted the excitement of those early years and what seemed to be the birth of a whole new industry. “We were pioneers in the sustainability business,” he said. “When I began in this business my passion was growing produce in a way that was healthy, sustainable and better for the earth.”

DeGiglio remembered helping to introduce the state-of-the-art greenhouse growing medium rockwool and the company Grodan to North America back in 1985. He also recalled acutely how the challenges of raising capital and achieving profitability have never gotten any easier through all these years.

Fast forward to 2012 and the company’s most recent home run has been the Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato. The first business to introduce a mini San Marzano to North America, it is still the exclusive grower for this authentic variety. As the perfect tomato for snacking or cooking it’s no surprise it is the category driver for specialty tomatoes.

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These are just a few examples of the major progress the company has made within just one generation. “I think it’s fair to say that we helped put the greenhouse industry on the map within the U.S., not only for tomatoes, but for all produce,” DeGiglio said. “For greenhouses to take control of 85 percent of the market within the timeframe of one generation speaks volumes.”

As Village Farms moves forward it continues to have a strong foothold within the produce industry but are exploring new avenues as evidenced by their partnerships, mainly with Pure Sunfarms and Village Fields Hemp.

“We’re doing what we’ve always done just with a different crop,” DeGiglio said. “Every once in a while, maybe once in your lifetime if you’re lucky, a new industry is born. We moved very quickly on this opportunity and we’re now able to leverage our 30 years of experience and within two years have become the No. 1 brand and most profitable cannabis company in Canada.”

As the end of 2019 approaches, Village Farms International Inc. is listed on both the Nasdaq and TSX, stock symbol VFF. This year it was recognized as one of the Top 30 on TSX where the company ranked third among the top performing stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange’s inaugural TSXD30 program.

Reflecting on being in business for 30 years, DeGiglio said there is a lot to be thankful for. “The greatest thanks I have is when I hear people’s stories from within the company. Knowing that Village Farms in some way impacted somebody’s life for the better to me far outweighs any of our other accomplishments,” he said. “Also, I’m grateful for the perseverance of the people in this company who have helped us make it through the disasters — both natural and manmade.”

Keep the Holidays Fresh: Your Complete Party Guide

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Do something different this holiday: Follow this guide for tasty tomato crowd-pleasers!

Wracking your brain for that perfect holiday appetizer, side or cookie?!? Look no further, we’ve got you covered with quick, easy and delicious ideas, check out the full guide below:

Appetizers

Snack Board

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Nothing signals a special holiday gathering like a snack board. Put one on the table and watch the crowd, drink in hand, gather around for a generous slice from a wedge of cheese.

This season, instead of garnishing your cheese board with a typical bunch of grapes, surprise, delight, and nourish your guests with some pop-them-in-your-mouth tomatoes, no cooking or prepping needed!

Mini Christmas Tree Pizzas

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Move over Christmas cookies, let kids get creative for the holiday season with these fun pizzas. Plus, sneak more veggies into your kid’s diet. Tomatoes pose as colorful lights/ornaments for decorating.

Tomato, Feta & Pesto Puff Pastry

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Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes pair with pesto, basil and feta cheese to create this combination of red, white and green, bringing a colorful spin to any holiday party.

Drink

Rosemary Cucumber Gimlet

rosemarycucumbergimlet11This cocktail is mixed up with delicious fresh cucumber juice, lime juice, gin, and a rosemary simple syrup and just so happens to be as stunning as it is delicious!

Fresh Bloody Mary

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This deliciously fresh homemade Bloody Mary mix can be made a few days in advance so it will take the edge off twice.

Main Dishes

Tomato Galette

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This recipe is super easy to make and boy will it make your taste buds sing joy to the world!

Hot Damn, Tamales!

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There are lots and lots of food traditions in the state of Texas, but none is stronger and more deeply rooted than making and eating tamales at Christmas.

Rudolf Tomato Grilled Cheese

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Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose…and it’s a bright red tomato!

 Sides

Roasted Tomato White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

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This homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes is comfort food at its finest, featuring a silky cheese sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Texas Harvest Succotash

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A welcomed sight amongst all of the carbs, plus all the ingredients can be prepped a day in advance!

Spiced Tomato Cranberry Sauce

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Wow your guests this with a twist on traditional Cranberry Sauce! This Spiced Cranberry Sauce is the perfect tangy accompaniment to your holiday dinner!

Crispy Tomato Sage Upside Down Cornbread

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The colors are stunning and you invert it after baking to reveal a lovely tomato design.

Tomato Cobbler

This recipe is the ultimate cozy holiday food and would be a great side to any holiday menu! I could even see leftovers being served as breakfast with a couple of fried eggs!

Dessert

Cherry Tomato Thumbprint Cookie

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We guarantee no one else will have this at the cookie swap! This Texas Christmas recipe combines not one, but two traditions – Christmas thumbprint cookies and Texas Red Pepper Jelly.

A Friendsgiving Supper Club

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by My Diary of Us

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  The time where friends and family come together around a table and share a special meal that is prepared with love.  We get to reflect on the past year and all that we are thankful for. It’s the time where I am always reminded how quickly each year passes and how I want to soak up more moments spent with those I love the most, which is why I wanted our last Supper Club of the year to be a special Friendsgiving.  This week will be all about sharing what we are thankful for, yummy food of course, and I will also be helping to get you prepared for your own Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving celebrations. I partnered with Village Farms to bring you two must make recipes this holiday season. My Autumn Panzanella Salad with a Citrus Sage Vinaigrette and my Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar Thyme Drop Biscuits are going to wow your guests and add a little something special to your holiday table.

If you are new here, and are asking yourself what is all this talk about a supper club?  Well, let me tell ya. This is our third, and final, Supper Club of the year and it truly is such a fun week we can spend together (virtually of course), but it’s a time where I get to connect with each of you in a new way!  We hang out over on my Instagram page where I demo each recipe live and you get to chat one on one with me and other women around the country! This year, I will be answering all questions holiday prep, recipe, entertaining, and more!  It’s going to be helpful and fun I promise you!

Now on to the food…

While I love a good turkey on Thanksgiving, the sides are the reason that Thanksgiving dinner is maybe my favorite meal of the year!  I love the traditional side dishes like sweet potato casserole and stuffing, but this year I’m adding two new ones to the menu that are definitely going to become staples from here on out!

Autumn Panzanella Salad

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The first recipe that I’ll be sharing with you is my Autumn Panzanella Salad with a Citrus Sage Vinaigrette.  A panzanella salad is basically a bread salad, I mean who wouldn’t love a salad that has a bread base right? I did my own twist on a classic panzanella salad and roasted up some gorgeous fall veggies including Village Farms  Cherry no. 9 Fall in Love Again tomatoes and then tossed it all together with a citrus sage vinaigrette that is amazing! The salad is full of my favorite fall colors and couldn’t be any more stunning of a presentation. The recipe is easy and you can prep ingredients the day before, which I am all about when preparing for a holiday meal.  I promise you are going to love it!

Tomato Cobbler

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The second recipe that I’m going to be whipping up is my Tomato Cobbler with Cheddar Thyme Drop Biscuits!  OMG. Y’all this recipe is amazing! I used Village Farms Heavenly Marzano Tomatoes and make a tomato base that is perfect for cheddar thyme biscuits right on top!  This recipe is the ultimate cozy holiday food and would be a great side to any holiday menu! I could even see leftovers being served as breakfast with a couple of fried eggs!

YUM!

Make sure to tune in Tuesday, November 19th and Thursday, November 21st to catch me live and get to know each other more!  Bring all of your holiday menu questions, holiday favorite traditions, and anything else you want to chat about! I can’t wait to “see” you there!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from My Diary of Us

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Cuddle Up To Comfort Food

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Recipes and photography by  Lunches + Littles

For most of us those long summer days are a thing of the past, and the cozy sweaters, boots, crunchy leaves and warm dishes are now making their way into our days- and nights. Yep, Fall is here and certainly in the air.

And, we are all about a cozy dish in our kitchen. There is just something about putting your hands around a warm bowl of soup or chili or taking a bite of a dish that boasts all of the seasonal flavors. Can’t you just taste it?

And just in time for all things Fall- we were so excited to once again partner with Village Farms to create two totally different dishes- both inspired by our favorite season.

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First up, we are sharing our take on chili; our Homemade Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash Noodles. This dish features the Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomatoes from Village Farms in place of traditional canned tomatoes that the majority of chili recipes call for, and the difference of fresh in this dish is truly a-mazing. Our chili is full of vegetables, hearty and oh so cozy, and the butternut squash noodles add such a seasonal touch- and look.

Doesn’t it look delicious? And, it’s easy too. We love cooking up a large batch of chili for dinner- and having leftovers for the next few days. Yum. Another great thing we love- all of the goodness you can pack into a dinner like chili. We have celery, onion, squash, garlic, carrots, tomatoes, and more in this tried and true family favorite.

Oh, and the Sinfully Sweet Campari® Tomatoes are perfect for this one- they are a cocktail-size tomato with the perfect combination of sweetness and acidity, and work splendidly in chili, homemade pasta sauces, and more.

Turkey Chili with Butternut Squash Noodles

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Another dish we’ve been loving lately is a brand new one for us- our Autumn Pasta Bake featuring the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® Tomatoes. We have used these tomatoes before in a variety of recipes, and they never disappoint- these beauties boast an incredibly sweet flavor and are perfect baked into this dish (though, we all love eating them straight out of the package too!).

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And, since it’s Fall: let’s talk pumpkin. In our house roasted pumpkin never lasts long- it is so good, and we were so excited to work it into this recipe. There is just something incredibly cozy about a pasta bake and the amazing, seasonal flavors in this one takes it over the top. With a homemade pumpkin tomato sauce, assorted cheeses and then blistered tomatoes, sage leaves and roasted pumpkin pieces sprinkled on top- our Autumn Pasta Bake is a must-make; a great dish for a weeknight dinner, but also one that would be perfect for entertaining guests too- especially as we begin to approach the holiday season.

Autumn Pasta Bake

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When it comes to Fall, you just can’t beat cozy recipes like these, and we hope that you will give one- or both a try! They are both so perfect for the colder weather and highlight one of our favorite brands; Village Farms.

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  Lunches + Littles

Get Your Grill on This Labor Day

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by How to Feed a Loon

Keep That Grill Alive!

These glorious summer days and nights will start to wind down before too long, but that’s no reason to put the grill away – keep it fired up for some amazing culinary creations that are perfect for the Labor Day weekend! We just love grilling and nothing spells happy times for us much more than a beautifully grilled dish to share with family and friends.

That’s why we couldn’t be more excited to be partnering one of our favorite vegetable providers in the world, Village Farms, to create two unexpected dishes that will elevate your average Labor Day backyard BBQ to a knock-out summer soiree.

Let’s start the party right with everyone’s favorite summertime salad: caprese salad. But let’s up the ante and include the sweet and savory taste of grilled peaches along with Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, topped with a balsamic reduction.  Yum.

We’re going to follow that up with another grill-thrill dish:  Grilled Portobello BLT “Pizzas” featuring Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes.  Hungry yet?

Classic Caprese Salad with Grilled Peaches

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The beauty of a caprese salad is in its simplicity. There is just something magical when you bring together such beautifully fresh ingredients to complement one another. Village Farm Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes are an ideal choice for this iconic salad because they are the perfect combination of sweetness and acidity. Their vibrant red exterior and ideal size help to make this salad a piece of delicious art.

Grilling the peaches takes the dish to an entirely new level. Fresh mozzarella and basil is a must. A final drizzle of lusciously sweet balsamic reduction brings it all together. This is one dish that you and your guests will not soon forget, and will probably be have you firing up your grill well into fall to re-create many times over.

Grilled Portobello BLT Mini Pizzas

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Okay, folks…we told you we were going to do something a little unexpected.  It’s time to think outside the crust and swap pizza dough for large Portobello mushroom caps. And that’s just the beginning…

Grilling has been a favorite way for us to make and cook pizza for a long time.  But we knew we needed an even more spectacular way of featuring Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes, and let us tell you…these gems are a home run.

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We scrape out the gills of the Portobello’s to remove the slightly ‘woodsy’ taste. If you like that sort of thing, keep ‘em in…they’re completely edible! To that we layer in classic BLT components…but once again, we wanted to ratchet up the flavor profile. For the sauce, we used classic pesto sauce. Then a beautiful layer of grated fontina cheese. Topped with crispy pancetta (for the bacon) and gorgeously sliced Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes.  Grilled to absolute perfection. We topped these incredible mini ‘pizzas’ with peppery baby arugula (for the lettuce).   We knew we were on to something when we opened up that grill and saw the beautiful mushrooms, melted cheese and slightly blistered tomatoes. Then we took a bite.  One word:  Phenomenal. You can even leave the pancetta off for an adaptable vegetarian dish.

Labor Day is the perfect time to keep the summer alive and the grill going strong.  We hope you enjoy these two dishes as much as we have enjoyed bringing them to you along with the incredible Village Farms.  Long live summer deliciousness!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Kris and Wesley from How to Feed a Loon

News

CEO reveals why Village Farms has an investor edge

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As seen on CNBC

WATCH: Cramer chats with Village Farms CEO Michael DeGiglio

What started as a large vegetable greenhouse developed into a pot stock.

Village Farms has been growing crops like tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers under the tutelage of founder Michael DeGiglio for three decades. The company shifted into the marijuana business a year prior to Canada’s legalization in 2018.

“For us the switch to cannabis was just, really, another agricultural crop and in that regard we saw the transformation of our assets to a much more valuable crop from produce,” the CEO said in an interview with “Mad Money’s” Jim Cramer.

Through a couple of recent joint ventures, Village Farms made its foray into Canada’s legal cannabis market and the United State’s cannabidiol, known as CBD, market. The company formed a joint venture with Canadian marijuana grower Pure Sunfarms in 2017 and Nature Crisp to cultivate CBD products in Colorado.

Village Farms operates 200 acres of grow operations in the United States and Canada. DeGiglio told Cramer he owns a 20% stake in the company. The U.S. market “gives us great opportunity to deliver unmatched results,” he said.

“I really believe in the future, so I’m aligned with our shareholders and I think it brings a different element because I’m at risk,” he said. “We want to be 80% correct that decisions we make will pay out and, in that regard, I think I am different, but it’s really about our team. We’re team-oriented.”

In its second quarter report earlier this week, Village Farms delivered earnings of 20 cents per share to top Wall Street consensus of 4 cents. The results came on $53.5 million revenue, which beat a $41.8 million estimate from analysts.

While Village Farms’ produce sales came in short, sales from the cannabis joint venture with Pure Sunfarms grew by 125% to $24.2 million in U.S. dollars.

“The cannabis in Canada as well as CBD in the US just gives us a great opportunity to deliver unmatched results, and that’s where we’re headed,” DeGiglio said.

Shares of Village Farms are up more than 300% this year and has $662 million in market cap. The stock slipped 4 cents in Wednesday’s session to close at $17.90.

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Village Farms’ Krysten DeGiglio Named Produce Business 40 Under Forty

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Village Farms is proud to announce that Krysten DeGiglio, Regional Sales Manager, has been selected as a winner of the 14th annual Produce Business 40 under Forty award for 2019. 

Each year Produce Business conducts an extensive, widespread search to elicit nominations for top young leaders in the industry. Winners are selected by a group of industry mentors based on their professional accomplishments, demonstrated leadership and industry and community contributions. The publication recognized its first honorees in 2005 as a way to identify and support future produce industry movers and shakers. Way to go Krysten!

“I feel truly honored to be chosen as one of the award recipients for this year’s Produce Business 40 Under Forty,” said Krysten DeGiglio. Produce Business has a long history of selecting the best and brightest in their field and I’m humbled to be included in this outstanding group.”

DeGiglio came to Village Farms in 2015 with a MBA in Finance and embarked on her career with the company as a regional sales manager responsible for the Northeastern United States. Her day to day activities keeps her on her toes managing several top retail accounts.  She is also responsible for managing Village Farms wholesale and terminal market accounts in this region as well as the quickly expanding home delivery business segment for the company. 

Although she is the daughter of Michael DeGiglio, founder, President, and CEO of Village Farms International Inc., she didn’t get hooked on the industry until attending her first PMA Fresh Summit conference back in 2013.  “My decision to join the company was fueled by the many authentic people I connected with at this time. I was truly impressed then and continue to be now by Village Farms’ commitment to sustainability combined with their unique and exclusive tomato varieties that seek to drive not only solid customer value but unsurpassed consumer value.” said DeGiglio. “All of these elements fuel my passion today as I focus on increasing brand value for my customers.”

As the future of the produce industry unfolds, DeGiglio feels encouraged by current trends within the industry. While advancements and innovations within companies are changing the industry, in part due to a generational shift, one thing that remains constant is the importance of relationships.

“Over the last 4 years I have observed more and more young professionals joining the produce industry. Millennials and Gen Z are fortunate to be working amongst those who have been in produce for most or all of their careers. The knowledge, passion and expertise passed on is invaluable, and something that can only be experienced firsthand not learned from a book. I am pleasantly surprised to work with people who are extremely committed to this industry and I appreciate how many doors a solid network can open for you. Produce is all about maintaining relationships, staying dedicated, being ethical, and keeping one’s integrity intact; these are some of the reasons I love working in this industry.  Working for Village Farms, a company who has grown their business over the past 30 years by abiding to these principles makes me feel optimistic for the future.  At Village Farms we like to say, ‘It takes a Village’ and I see this village as a solid foundation within the company I work for and the produce industry at large all working together toward a common goal to bring healthy products into people’s daily lives.”

News

Village Farms to Host Virtual Summer Supper Club

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As seen on The Packer

Village Farms has partnered with My Diary of Us to host a virtual Summer Supper Club July 16 and 18 at 8pm EST.

The event is set to take place live via Instagram, according to a news release.

Two recipes — spicy Asian cucumber noodle salad and grilled cioppino foil packets — will be featured, according to the release.

“We had a lot of positive feedback and honest conversation during the Spring Supper Club gatherings which focused on easy-to-prepare kid-friendly meals,” Helen Aquino, director of brand marketing and communications for Village Farms, said in the release. “This round we are going a little more adult, exploring the tastes of Asia and Italy with a summer twist.”

Village Farms and My Diary of Us encourages participants to download the shopping list and cook during the event.

 

Summer Supper Club

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by My Diary of Us

It’s time for our second Supper Club y’all!  I am so excited to cook and hang out with you guys for the second Supper Club this year!  I love Supper Club because it’s a place where we can come together as women and cook, chat, and support each other all while being miles apart!  That’s the beauty of a virtual Supper Club and I love that anyone can be involved! I partnered up with Village Farms again to bring you the best Summer recipes for grilling and entertaining all summer long!  My Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad and my Grilled Cioppino Foil Packets are two fresh and delicious recipes that are perfect for patio hanging with your friends and family!

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In case you are new here and want to know more about what this Virtual Supper Club is all about and how it works, here’s the deal…

We all come together over on Instagram where I will share recipes and tips, we will have live cooking shows, chat sessions and more!  I will be cooking up these two delicious recipes live and you will have the chance to cook them right along with me or you can just come hang out for the conversations!  Either way, it’s a blast and no topic is off the table! In March, we chatted about all things parenting and the struggles that come with it but this round we are chatting Summer grilling and entertaining including tips to help you host your own Supper Clubs or dinner parties!   I figured what better way to celebrate the rest of summer, than with your girlfriends and some yummy food! We are going to explore tastes of Asia and Italy with these dishes and I love the flavors of these recipes so much!

Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad

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The first recipe we are going to cook up is my Spicy Asian Cucumber Noodle Salad that is the perfect side dish to bring to potlucks, or to serve up any of the night with some grilled chicken thighs or seafood!  I used Village Farms Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers to make crisp cucumber noodles, which are so fun for this salad! I toss them with a Thai inspired vinaigrette and finish it all off with spicy peppers, fresh herbs, and crushed peanuts!  This salad is one for the books and couldn’t be more beautiful either! I could seriously eat this dish every day of the week and never get tired of it and you are going to love it too!

Grilled Cioppino Foil Packets


For the second recipe, we are heading to the coast of Italy!  Not really, but we are going to pretend! My Grilled Cioppino Foil Packets are perfect for warm summer nights complete with a crisp glass of your favorite white wine!  If you don’t know what Cioppino is, it’s a seafood stew, typically served in a large pot on the stove, but I turned it into an easy recipe that can be made into individual packets on the grill perfect for entertaining!  I took one of my favorite tomatoes, Village Farms Cherry no. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes and turned them into a luscious sauce that is a delicious base for lots of fresh seafood! These Cioppino foil packets are packed full of flavor and your guests are going to flip over how tasty and beautiful they are!

Tune in Tuesday, July 16th and Thursday, July 18th to catch me live and bring your drink of choice, your appetite, and your girl talk!  I can’t wait to get to know you more! This week is going to be a blast! Click Here For An Exclusive Shopping List

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from My Diary of Us

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Simple Summer Entertaining

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by Rebecca Lilly Costa from xxrlilly

Summer entertaining is in full swing at Casa de Costa! I’m talkin’ grilling, watermelons, refreshing mocktails… we are in party mode over here. I’m excited to be partnering with Village Farms to share two easy summer entertaining recipes featuring their lovely tomatoes. They offer quite the selection of tomatoes at my local grocer, but today I’m using their Maverick Mix® and Sinfully Sweet Campari® in these easy summer party favorites.

Tomato Melon Skewers

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The first is a no-cook skewer recipe highlighting summer melons, Maverick Mix® tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, prosciutto and balsamic. If your party guests are more creative, you could even leave your ingredients as a DIY bar for them! I opted to create my skewers before my guest’s arrival to keep things simple. Each juicy refreshing bite is more flavorful than the last! Plus, they’re an easy grab-and-go item for munching while you mingle at a summer party or for sandy hands enjoying a beach day.

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Now on to the mocktails! These tomato watermelon coolers can be made with vodka too, but I opted for sparkling water. A great trick I’ve learned for mocktails (or cocktails!) is using a mason jar as a makeshift shaker. Add all of your ingredients and cover. Shake it up, add ice and use a hand held strainer or mason jar lid with holes to strain. I love a signature drink for any party and this one has been a hit all summer! It’s refreshing, hydrating and delicious.

Campari Watermelon Coolers

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Another reason I love combining these recipes for the perfect summer party? They use the same ingredients! I like to keep my grocery list as simple as possible, so I love how diverse my menu can be even with just a few key ingredients, it even creates a theme to keep in mind!

If you’re short on honey, feel free to substitute with agave or maple syrup! Keep extra limes and tomatoes around for garnishing and feel free to offer jars of these for your guests to adorn their own drinks.

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Rebecca Lilly Costa from xxrlilly

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Fun Spring Dishes for the Family

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by Lunches + Littles

It feels like we were just in our kitchen prepping recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yet, blooms are popping up all around us outside, and somehow Easter is right around the corner. I don’t know how it happens, but time flies, doesn’t it? And, as a family who often does a lot of hosting around the holidays, we know that time in the kitchen goes by way too fast as well- making delicious, easy recipes is a must.

That’s why today we are sharing two simple, fun, and kid-friendly recipes that we’ve created exclusively in partnership with Village Farms- and they are perfect for your Easter get-togethers. First up is a hearty, yet healthy breakfast: our Hash Brown Egg Nests w/ Blistered Tomatoes. These nests are so fun for little and big hands alike, and the individualized presentation just feels really special on your plate too.

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We have been making these little nests – in various forms, for a couple years now and they are always a hit with everyone. And making them with the addition of Village Farms’ Maverick Mix® tomatoes is a perfect way to add pops of color and tons of flavor too. Aren’t these tomatoes beautiful?

To make these Hash Brown Egg Nests w/ Blistered Tomatoes we start with seasoned shredded potatoes (you can shred your own, but a great, time-saving hack for this recipe is to buy a bag of pre-shredded potatoes from your local grocery store), cheese and crumbled maple sausage and form that mixture into nests using a muffin tin. Once those bake and start to crisp up, we prepare fluffy scrambled eggs to add to the nests and then top them with a mix of blistered tomatoes, that resemble colorful little eggs.

The Maverick Mix® Tomatoes from Village Farms are so perfect for this dish because each pack contains 4 to 6 different flavorful varieties; each with a distinct shape and flavor, and the colors are stunning – red, orange, yellow, green, and brown- a true rainbow of color. These nests are tasty, pretty to look at, and easy to make, even for a busy Easter breakfast or brunch. And there is such a fun sophistication to these nests – beautiful to look at, but also so kid-friendly.

Hash Brown and Roasted Tomato Easter Egg Nests

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Next up, we have a centerpiece that is part work of art – part simple appetizer/side dish. Our Stuffed Tomato Tulips are a perfect centerpiece for your Easter table – and such a fun way to get your little ones involved in the kitchen doing more than just dying eggs, or eating chocolate! These little tulips are, in our experience, a show-stopping conversation piece – and delicious too!

Stuffed Tomato Tulips

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This recipe is not only simple; it is a great one to get your little ones to help out in the kitchen with. They can help mix up the filling, cut the chives or stems, and with help (dependent on their age) even stuff the tomato tulips!

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These tomatoes aren’t just the perfect shape and size for a fun centerpiece like this; they also have an incredibly sweet flavor and are rich in vitamin A and vitamin K. We don’t know what will wow your family and guests more – the taste of these authentic mini San Marzano tomatoes or this fun flower creation you can make with them.

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We are always looking for fresh new ways to bring people around our table and serve delicious, real food. We hope that you will give one- or both of these fresh recipes a try. They are both such fun recipes highlighting one of our favorite brands; Village Farms.

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by  Lunches + Littles

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Village Farms to Highlight Organics & Innovations at CPMA

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As seen on Fresh Plaza

Village Farms is poised to pack a punch in Montreal at the upcoming Canadian Produce Marketing Association trade show & conference held on April 3rd and 4th, 2019. 

The company will be adding the original & authentic Heavenly Villagio Marzano® and Maverick Mix® varieties to their certified organic offerings. These new items will be offered in 10 oz. and 1lb top seal packaged containers with attractive earthy designs.

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“With the continued success of our Stackable Snackables line of top seal packaged tomatoes the natural next step for us is to offer top seal packaging for our new Organic items that will provide all the same proven benefits to retailers and consumers,” said Helen L. Aquino, Director of Corporate Brand Marketing & Communication. “Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is the one, the only, and the original, authentic mini San Marzano tomato available on the market today in North America, and we are pleased to now offer these as certified organic as well to our customers.”

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Village Farms will also be showing its award-winning Stackable Snackables line of top seal packaged tomatoes filled with their garden fresh exclusive varieties such as Lorabella Blossom®, Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Cherry no. 9 Fall in Love Again®, Maverick Mix®, and Lip Smackn’ Grape®.

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(Andrew Sable, Sales Manager; and Avery LeFils, Marketing Coordinator)

They’ve also been working on some exciting new seasonal items to really “mix things up” including their new Chameleon Collection™.  Please come by booth 1405 and say hello to fellow villagers Aman Chatha, Northwest District Sales Manager; Andrew Sable, Sales Manager; and Avery LeFils, Marketing Coordinator at booth #1405 to get a sneak peek! 

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You’re Invited to a Supper Club!

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by My Diary of Us

Have you heard the news?  I’m launching a brand new virtual Supper Club where we can come together as women and share, cook, eat, and get to know one another all through the touch of a screen!  With the launch of this supper club, I am hoping to bring back a sense of community among other women, share delicious recipes, find out more about YOU, and to bring a little fun back into cooking!  I partnered with Village Farms to bring you two of my favorite easy recipes that are perfect for a gathering of friends and family, or in this case they are perfect for any supper club! My Green Monster English Muffin Pesto Pizzas with roasted tomatoes and my Individual Baked Spaghettis are super simple to make and they are guaranteed to delight kids and adults alike!

You might be wondering how a virtual supper club is going to work, well here is the deal…

Green Monster English Muffin Pesto Pizzas

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For this supper club, we are going to be cooking together live over on my Instagram page where you can interact with other home chefs, will be able to ask me on the spot questions that you might have about feeding your family, hosting parties, etc… nothing is off limits here, so there is no need to be shy!  (Hey, you just might even make a new friend!) I will be showing you just how easy and fun it is to use Village Farms fresh tomatoes to make two of my favorite recipes from my cookbook, Natural Baby and Toddler Treats, along with how to let to go and have a blast in your kitchen!

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First up we are going to make my green monster English muffins pesto pizzas, which happen to be the perfect party appetizer, or lunchbox item!  With the addition of fresh Village Farms Maverick Mix® roasted tomatoes on top, these mini pizzas are extra tasty and you will love that you will end up serving multiple veggies per pizza!

Individual Baked Spaghettis

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The second recipe we will be cooking up together are my individual baked spaghettis which is a take on a classic recipe my mom used to make growing up!  I am going to show you how to transform Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes into a homemade meat sauce that makes this spaghetti extra delicious!  You will love making individual serving sizes the next time you host your own supper club or even for a family weeknight meal so that everyone ends up with the coveted crispy cheese edges!

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My hope for this supper club is that you can forget about perfection in the kitchen, and embrace the imperfections that is life instead!  Whether you have a toddler clinging to your leg as your cook up dinner, or have a dog barking for attention, let’s have fun regardless of the chaos!  Crank up the tunes and pour yourself a drink, because we are going to have a blast making some really delicious food!

Tune in Monday and Thursday for two Instagram live cooking sessions plus plenty of time for Q&A and girl talk!  I want to know all of your favorite ways to make memories through food with your friends and family! I am willing to bet, most of them start right in your very own kitchen!

I hope you will be cooking along with me this week and joining me (and other amazing women) as we rediscover what it means to have fun in the kitchen through this virtual supper club!  Just head over my Instagram page to participate!  These recipes are from my cookbook, Natural Baby and Toddler Treats and are a prime example how the book goes beyond babies and is really recipes that the whole family can enjoy!

Come introduce yourself, I can’t wait to know more about you!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from My Diary of Us

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Village Farms Spreads the Word About Healthy Eating

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As seen on The Packer

Village Farms recently sponsored and participated in “Cars for the Cure”, a car show benefitting the American Lung Association. This event showcased an array of the most distinctive and unforgettable cars from around the world during a daylong, family-friendly festival.

A team of volunteers from Village Farms spent the day giving away almost 2000 pounds of their authentic Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes to participants, attendees, and volunteers. The Transformer Bumblebee even got in on the action to create some buzz about eating healthy!

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“Village Farms was proud to be a sponsor and support Cars for the Cure in its 15th year,” said Helen Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing and Communications. “Participating in an event like this for such a good cause was especially rewarding. We truly enjoyed getting out in our community to promote health and wellness and we loved hearing time and time again how much people enjoy the Garden Fresh Flavor® of our tomatoes!”

Now in its second century, the American Lung Association is the oldest voluntary health organization in the United States and the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Founded in 1904 to fight tuberculosis, the American Lung Association today fights lung disease in all its forms, with special emphasis on asthma, tobacco control and environmental health.

A Special Cupid Day Dinner

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by How to Feed a Loon

2019 is moving right along, and Valentine’s Day is almost here. There are plenty of folks who are somewhat cynical about Valentine’s Day. They think it’s cheesy and just a way for the card stores to make extra money. Well, there may be some truth in that, but it’s also a perfect excuse to do something a little ‘extra’ special with your significant other, or that dear friend you just don’t spend enough time with.  We are both a couple of romantics, so we choose to honor the day by doing something special with each other. As you might expect, we find one of the most lovely and enjoyable ways to make Valentine’s extra special is to create an extra special meal.

Get some nice wine. Put on your favorite song list: (Wesley loves 80s dance music, which will have to do). And together, prepare a meal that you’ll remember yearlong. That’s why we’ve partnered with one of our favorite vegetable providers of all time: Village Farms. Showcasing their fresh greenhouse grown tomatoes will bring these V-Day dishes to amazing heights.

Let’s start off with a show-stopper appetizer. Our Grilled Oysters with Roasted Tomato Compound Butter. That’s followed up by another stunner: Our Seared Ribeye with Blistered Tomatoes and Bordelaise Sauce.

Grilled Oysters with Roasted Tomato Compound Butter

Oysters are just down-right sexy and ideal for a special Cupid Day dinner. We love raw oysters, no doubt, but if you’ve never tried grilled oysters, man, oh man, are you both in for a culinary gem. Use an oyster knife, or even a small screw driver, and shuck the oysters at home.  It takes a little elbow grease, but is actually kind of fun to do together, and you can be sure that none of the delicious liquid inside the fresh oyster is lost.  In a pinch, have your fish monger shuck them for you.  Just be careful transferring them home!

We can’t rave enough about Village Farm’s Cabernet Estate Reserve® Cherry Tomatoes. The tomatoes are a beautiful red wine color, and the taste is rich, crisp and slightly sweet. Roasting  them heightens the taste even more. And then combining them with herbs, balsamic vinegar and butter is heavenly. A generous dollop of this roasted tomato compound butter on top of the freshly shucked oyster is all that’s needed before grilling for just a matter of minutes. This appetizer is stunning in appearance and unmatched in taste.

Seared Ribeye with Blistered Cherry Tomatoes and Bordelaise Sauce

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The only entree that we can think of that will be a fitting V-Day follow-up to those amazing Grilled Oysters with Roasted Tomato Compound Butter is a beautiful marbled steak, topped with incredible blistered No. 9 Cherry Tomatoes, combined with herbs and olive oil and topped with a luscious homemade French classic bordelaise sauce.

We love to finish off the tomatoes by placing them under the broiler to give them just a little char. A perfectly cooked ribeye steak, thickly sliced, is the perfect vehicle for these rich and deeply flavorful tomatoes. The homemade Bordelaise sauce, a red-wine and demi-glace reduction, puts the entire dish over the top.

This Valentine’s Day, we hope you take Cupid by his bow and arrow and make these two amazing dishes.  May it be filled with delicious memories and a love that carries you through the year!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Kris and Wesley from How to Feed a Loon

Cheers to a Lucky New Year

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by My Diary of Us

We are nearing the end of the year and I cannot believe how quickly this holiday season has passed by!  It seems like every year I look so forward to the holidays and in a blink of an eye, they disappear!  Luckily we still have New Year’s to celebrate before heading into 2019 which is why I partnered with my friends at Village Farms to bring you two recipes to enjoy during your celebrations!  My refreshing Cucumber Rosemary Gimlet is the cocktail you are going to want to sip on during your New Year’s Eve festivities and my hearty One-Dish Black Eyed Pea Stew is the perfect dish to cook up on New Year’s Day!  These two recipes easy to make, full of flavor, and you are going to want to make them year after year!

Cucumber Rosemary Gimlets

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While you are enjoying the company of your family and friends, ring in the New Year with one of my Cucumber Rosemary Gimlets made with Village Farms Luscious Seedless Long English Cucumber® and skip the sugary champagne this year!  This cocktail is mixed up with delicious fresh cucumber juice, lime juice, gin, and a rosemary simple syrup and just so happens to be as stunning as it is delicious!  You will love this healthier cocktail swap and you can be sure your guests will too!

Black Eyed Pea Stew topped with a Tangy Tomato Relish

The next day you can recover from a possible rowdy evening with my hearty Black Eyed Pea Stew topped with a tangy tomato relish that will be your new favorite way to embrace tradition!  In Texas, we believe that on New Year’s Day you should eat ham, black eyed peas, and greens for a little luck and this dish combines all of those components into one easy and tasty dish!

This black eyed pea stew is made extra special with the sweet heartiness of Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes that I used twice in this recipe because they are so delicious! First the tomatoes get cooked in with the stew while it simmers on the stove, and then I top off the stew with a fresh tomato relish that adds just the right amount of tang to each bite!   This recipe is so good in fact that my husband requested I make this dish more than just for a New Year’s Day dinner!

I was able to grab all of these simple ingredients right at my favorite Texas grocery store, H-E-B for a one-stop shop!  I can’t wait for you to give both of these recipes a try because I know you are going to love them and so will all of your friends and family!

Cheers to very happy New Year and to a fantastic 2019 friends!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from My Diary of Us

News

Stackable Snackables Wins Joe Nucci Award for Product Innovation

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As seen on Fresh Plaza

Village Farms Stackable Snackables™ series of exclusive specialty tomatoes in new top-seal packaging won the Joe Nucci Award for Product Innovation at New York Produce Show and Conference sponsored by Produce Business Magazine last week held at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. The new packaging features bold, eye-catching colors and designs while keeping sustainability and consumer convenience top of mind and delivering concise retailer benefits.

The clear resealable top-seal film is rimmed with original illustrations depicting the spirit of each variety in a fun and lively way. Available in 10 oz. sized containers are Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Lorabella Blossom®, Maverick Mix®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® and Lip Smackn’ Grapes®, all are exclusive tomato varieties from Village Farms.

Last year the company was one of ten Innovation Award winners for its newest specialty tomato variety, Lorabella Blossom®, a tomato that boasts a blissfully bright flavor profile. This year in addition to being an Innovation Award winner the company was also the overall award winner of the competition for Stackable Snackables™ receiving the prestigious Joe Nucci award. Village Farms Director of Brand Marketing and Communication, Helen L. Aquino, accepted the award from Jim Prevor, CEO & Editor-in-Chief of Produce Business magazine and Joe Nucci’s sister, Lorri Koster, at the Thought-Leader breakfast.

“We are elated to win the overall Joe Nucci award,” Aquino said. “Our marketing team worked diligently in creating, testing, and trailing this program. The graphics embody the spirit of each variety in order to entice consumers on shelf with the overall intention of increasing tomato consumption while the Stackable Snackables™ series delivers clear benefits for our customers hence the old axiom used as the programs tagline, ‘Stack ‘em High and Watch ‘em Fly’.”

Retailers are embracing the Stackable Snackables™ program for its three-fold benefits; more items per square inch of merchandising space allowing five-high container stacking, increased shelf life compared to bags or clamshells and reduced plastic waste compared to clamshells making top-seal better for the environment.

Comfort Food for the Family Holiday

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by A Couple Cooks

This homemade white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes is comfort food at its finest, featuring a silky cheese sauce and roasted cherry tomatoes.

Do you have a loved one far away who will be home for the holidays? This time of year, families are coming together from places all over the globe and gathering around the table. My sister and her husband are coming home this year: all the way from Thailand! They’ll be flying literally halfway around the world to come to Alex and my kitchen. If you have loved ones far away, you’ll know that special feeling of reuniting together around the table. With my sister here, we’ve been brainstorming some cozy celebration foods to serve her, and we came up with this white cheddar mac and cheese with tomatoes recipe!

Roasted Tomato White Cheddar Mac and Cheese

With families reuniting this time of year, we’re all looking for those perfect dishes to warm tummies and hearts. And it’s hard to argue that there’s a better comfort food than good old mac and cheese, right? Alex and I have created this sophisticated spin on mac and cheese using the sumptuous combination of roasted tomatoes and white cheddar cheese. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser for adults, and you’ll even be able to sneak in a few veggies for the kiddos during this sugar-filled season. Keep reading for our roasted tomato white cheddar mac and cheese recipe!

How to roast cherry tomatoes

Usually Alex and I wouldn’t be roasting fresh tomatoes to go with a cozy comfort food dish like this white cheddar mac and cheese. However, Village Farms is a brand of greenhouse grown tomatoes that is gentler on the Earth and farmed without pesticides. Since these tomatoes are grown in greenhouses, they are available year around and truly taste garden fresh no matter what the season. To add a spin (and a pinch of health) to our white cheddar mac and cheese, we added Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes. The sweetness of the tomatoes is the perfect juxtaposition for the sharpness of the white cheddar cheese.

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How to roast cherry tomatoes? There are several different ways: slow roasting cherry tomatoes over a few hours turns them into dried out sundried tomatoes. For this white cheddar mac and cheese, we wanted to roast the tomatoes just enough so they hold their shape, but not so long that they dry out. To roast this variety of cherry tomatoes, the best method is to coat them with olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and roast at 350F for about 40 minutes. We tested roasting the cherry tomatoes with the cut side up and cut side down. Roasting with the cut side down chars them a bit more and brings in a sundried tomato vibe, but they do lose their shape more. Roasting the tomatoes with the cut side up helps them keep more of their shape and still brings in a lovely concentrated tomato flavor. You decide!

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Food is the focal point when we gather together, especially during the holiday season! Many of our recipes here are designed to be high vibe healthy; others are comfort food made with real food ingredients. This white cheddar mac and cheese is a true gem: several friends helped to taste test and gave it 5 stars! The sharpness of the white cheddar cheese brings a sophistication, and the contrast of the bright roasted tomatoes is an unexpected flair. One nice feature to this mac and cheese with tomatoes is that it doesn’t require baking time: simply make the mac and cheese, top with roasted tomatoes, and serve! This recipe will be part of our entertaining menus for years to come. Alex and I could not get enough of that silky white cheddar sauce against the tangy tomatoes! It’s a keeper in our house.

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by A Couple Cooks

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3 Rockstar Recipes to Simplify Turkey Day!

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by My Diary of Us

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and friends, let me tell you, it doesn’t have to be a stressful day! With the right amount of prep, you can enjoy your holiday with your friends and family and feel confident about the dishes that you are serving them too! I’ve got a few recipes that will make your Thanksgiving day a breeze, starting with a make ahead breakfast! I partnered with Village Farms to bring you three delicious and easy recipes that will complete any Thanksgiving while alleviating some of the to-dos the day of! These three recipes will help you feel like a rockstar in the kitchen when turkey day arrives!

Herby Tomato and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins

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I love an easy breakfast the morning of Thanksgiving because most of the time I am already prepping the big dinner and don’t have time to whip up something fancy, plus I want to be able to watch the parade a little and hang with the rest of the family! That’s why I created Easy Make Ahead Herby Tomato and Goat Cheese Egg Muffins made with Village Farms Maverick Mix® tomatoes. These can be frozen up to a week in advance and simply reheated for all of your guests in a matter of minutes! These muffins are perfect for kiddos and adults alike and are so full of flavor! Egg muffins keep breakfast light, which helps everyone save room for the main meal, while being satisfied at the same time!

I love finding ways to prep in advance and get others involved on this family-focused holiday so I don’t have to spend the whole day in the kitchen while everyone else is hanging out without me! Assign out tasks your kids and other family members can do so they feel like part of the celebration and the delicious meal too! (I bet they will enjoy dinner even more if they had a hand in preparing it!)

Spiced Tomato Cranberry Sauce

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One of my favorite sides that I always make a day or two in advance is my cranberry sauce! This year I have a recipe that will wow your guests with a twist on the traditional using Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes! My Spiced Tomato Cranberry Sauce is going to be the perfect tangy accompaniment to your turkey this year! This sauce is so great to make ahead because it actually gets more flavorful as it sits in the refrigerator, plus it’s one less dish to make on my list for Thanksgiving day!

Texas Harvest Succotash

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Side dishes to me are just as important as the turkey itself! My Texas Harvest Succotash is going to be a welcomed sight amongst all of the carbs at the table! It’s such a great recipe where you can add in vegetables like Village Farms Cherry No.9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes and so many more!  I put a twist on the traditional and gave it a more harvest feel by adding in earthy fresh sage and butternut squash! All of the ingredients can be prepped a day in advance and simply sautéed up when ready to serve! This recipe is so delicious and beautiful; I am super excited for you all to try this one out this year!

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Another easy tip is to shop at one store for all of your Thanksgiving needs to save time! I was able to shop for all of the ingredients in these recipes at my local H-E-B! I love creating my master grocery list of everything I need to buy the weekend before Thanksgiving and then shopping at the beginning of the week so I can get a jump-start on prepping my dishes!

These recipes are sure to bring a little Texas to your table and make your day easy and delicious!

Recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from My Diary of Us

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Two Winners Crowned for Village Farms 2018 PMA Taste Challenge!

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As seen on AndNowUKnow

For those who attended 2018 PMA Fresh Summit, you know there was an abundance of excitement to spare. One such company leading the action was Village Farms, who asked showgoers to vote for their favorite tomato in their “Are you Sweet or Smooth?” tomato taste test challenge. Participants casted their vote by stating their preference for either Village Farms signature and exclusive “Sweet” red Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato or, the newest variety to their offerings, the “Smooth” orange Lorabella Blossom tomato. Each tomato offers a unique flavor profile, but the results were not as divisive as one might expect. Those in the sweet camp were practically equal to those in the smooth camp.

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“It is wonderful to compliment the Nielsen consumption data we use with this rich qualitative taste challenge data that shows consumers are becoming more adventurous in their taste preferences and delighting in our little orange snacking tomato Lorabella Blossom just as much as they have been with our Heavenly Villagio Marzano tomato,” said Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication.

Village Farms noted in its press release that after the success of its Heavenly Villagio Marzano—a variety that launched at PMA seven years ago—the company was sure the market was ready for the smooth taste of Lorabella Blossom. Aquino stated that while the orange tomato is unconventional in color, this promotion has shown consumers are ready for new flavor opportunities in the tomato category.

Village Farms is ramping up production on both the Heavenly Villagio Marzano and Lorabella Blossom tomatoes and is ready for a strong winter season with these varieties, as well as all of its other flavorsome tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumber varieties.

Tomato Jam Is My Jam

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by The Toasted Pine Nuts

My love for scones happened the first time I ate one when I was about 13. A new brunch spot opened up near us and the moment my mom and I walked in, my eyes landed on a fluffy, crispy triangular thing behind the display case that I never saw before.

I learned it was a scone and I had to have one. I tried that spicy Mexican chocolate scone (yes of course I remember) and was delighted by the flakey, fluffy, crumbly interior but crisp outerior.

My life was changed. Scones soon became one of my favorite pastry items.

But as I consumed ALL the sweet scones, more recently I began to think about savory scones and maybe they would be a fun option for breakfast, or brunch, or just whatever time of day you’re craving one.

I made these savory sage and feta scones with tomato jam and I literally couldn’t stop eating them. The flavors! The textures! That sweet tomato jam! The whole situation is pretty amazing and I can’t wait to hear what you guys think of them!!

I’m using Village Farms Lorabella Blossom® tomatoes which is one of my absolute favorite tomatoes because it’s so sweet and has unique floral and citrus undertones that really make for a delicious jam.

So let’s make some Savory Sage and Feta Scones with Tomato Jam!!

Savory Sage and Feta Scones with Lorabella Blossom® Tomato Jam

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First, make the scones. Place the almond flour, tapioca flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, and sea salt in a large bowl. Whisk until the dry ingredients are combined.

Add the eggs, cream, butter and vanilla to the bowl. Use your hands to mix everything together until incorporated and combined.

Use a rubber spatula to fold in the feta and chopped sage. Transfer the dough to a cutting board and form into a large circle with your hands.
Use a sharp knife to cut into size large triangles.

Transfer each triangle to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

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While the scones are cooking, place the sliced Lorabella Blossom® tomatoes in a pot over medium heat. Cook the tomatoes, stirring frequently until the tomatoes are reduced, about 20-30 minutes. Add the coconut sugar and balsamic vinegar. Continue to cook until combined and thick, about five more minutes.

If you like chunky jam, transfer to a jar and set aside. If you like smoother jam, transfer to a food processor and process for about 30 seconds until the jam is less chunky before transferring to a jar.

When the scones are done baking, transfer to a cooking rack then serve with the jam.

These recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from The Toasted Pine Nut

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Village Farms asks, ‘Are you sweet or smooth?’

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As seen on Perishable News

Village Farms is ready to celebrate and has a few surprises in store for this year’s PMA.  First, Village Farms is celebrating the success of its flagship tomato variety, Heavenly Villagio Marzano.  Launched at PMA 2011, it has seen unprecedented success for the past 7 years.  According to Bret Wiley, SVP of Sales for Village Farms, “the success of Heavenly Villagio Marzano is attributed to a number of key factors, no one else has a tomato just like our Heavenly Villagio Marzano, it is an extremely versatile tomato with a unique flavor people love, and it has amazing shelf life our customers think is fantastic.”  Heavenly Villagio Marzano is the only authentic San Marzano tomato available in North American today and it has won over the hearts of consumers, foodies, and chef’s alike with its amazing authentic flavor.  Wiley goes on to say because of the success of Heavenly Villagio Marzano we want to build on this to get the word out about the newest addition to our exclusive specialty tomato offerings also in the San Marzano family, Lorabella Blossom at this year’s PMA. Lorabella Blossom is an orange tomato bursting with fragrant floral notes, citrus essence and earthy undertones some have described as reminiscent of tangerines, apricots, almonds, and honey.


“Are you Sweet or are you Smooth” is a consumer taste challenge campaign Village Farms will be promoting in their booth at PMA this year.  Show goers will have the opportunity to taste both tomatoes firsthand to determine if they are “sweet” like Heavenly Villagio Marzano or if they are “smooth” just like Lorabella Blossom.  Helen L. Aquino, Director Brand Marketing & Communications for Village Farms told us, “This is a fun way to get folks to try our tomatoes, there are no right or wrong answers for this campaign and everyone is a winner – you take the challenge and get a sticker proclaiming, “I’m Sweet” or “I’m Smooth”.  Plus, the best part is that by casting your vote you can enter for a chance to win an awesome Traeger Grill.”   Aquino goes on to tell us while most people may not associate tomatoes with grilling, Village Farms varieties are great for this and more, “We have a plethora of tried and true exclusive recipes on our website for Heavenly Villagio Marzano and Lorabella Blossom that are perfect for grilling, roasting, and cooking”.

In addition, the company will be looking to ring in 2019 as its 30th year in business with a cocktail reception open to all during the last hour of on the first day of PMA in their booth on the tradeshow floor 3601 from 5-6pm.  The event theme “30 years and still growing strong”, signifies a milestone for Village Farms as one of the largest and longest operating vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America and the only publicly traded greenhouse produce company in Canada. The company is elated for this opportunity to toast all of its loyal customers, suppliers, vendors, and friends while raising a glass to a bright future for all.

Events

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Runs for the Cure

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Village Farms Raises over $10,000 and Wins Pepsi Corporate Spirit Award at Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure

Delta, BC – October 1, 2018 – The Village Farms family came together to raise awareness for the Run for the Cure while exceeding their goal by raising more than $10,000 last week for the Canadian Cancer Society. In addition, Village Farms took home the Pepsi Corporate Spirit Award as the top fundraising corporate team at the CIBC Run for the Cure event on September 28, 2018 in Surrey, BC.

The Canadian Cancer Society CIBC Run for the Cure is a 5k or 1k walk or run that raises funds for Canadian Cancer Society (CCS). It is the largest single-day, volunteer-led event in Canada in support of the breast cancer cause.  A team from Village Farms participated in the run lead by VP & Regional Facility Manager of Village Farms Delta, Dirk de Jong.

According to Lindsay Baldrey, Village Farms Foreign Worker Coordinator and team captain who spearheaded the fund raising efforts for the company, “It was really inspiring to see everyone come together, the response and support for this cause was overwhelming. Everyone was ecstatic that we received the Corporate Spirit Award and we’re really looking forward to seeing how we can grow even more next year!”

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The Canadian Cancer Society invests the funds raised into breast cancer research, support services, health education and advocacy programs. Their mission is to reduce the number of people diagnosed with breast cancer, reduce mortality for those who develop the disease, and improve the quality of life for those affected.

Baldrey continued, “A huge thank you goes out to all the staff in our USA & Canada offices, as well as the Packhouse and Greenhouse workers, and our foreign workers who generously donated toward this important cause that we hope one day will find a cure”.

Nutrition

Produce

Fresh Family Meals Under 30 Minutes

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by My Diary of Us

Just because back to school has rolled around and life is a little hectic right now, doesn’t mean that family dinners should go bye-bye because of a lack of time!  If anything, this is the time of year where family dinners become even more important because it just might be the only time everyone is together in one place! As you know by now, easy dinners that use minimal ingredients and can be on the table in around 30 minutes are kinda my thing!  That’s why I partnered with Village Farm Tomatoes to bring you not one, but THREE easy dinners that can be on your table in a hurry any night of the week! My Mexican Tomato Soup, Grilled Tomato and Cheese Sandwiches, and Skillet Chicken with Green Beans and Tomatoes are three recipes that your whole family is going to love!

Mexican Style Tomato Soup

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One tip for planning meals for busy weeks is to do one large grocery run where you can grab everything you need for dinners for the whole week!  I make a list on Sundays of the recipes I want to make, and then simply do one big run Monday morning! This keeps you from having to make multiple trips (that’s a time saver right there) and you will have all of your ingredients on hand to prep in advance or to make the night of! I always shop at our local HEB grocery store where I can grab everything I need from the Village Farms tomatoes to the rest of my ingredients where I know they are fresh and high quality ingredients that I am looking for! I am always impressed with all of the healthy options that HEB offers to its customers including their selection of Village Farms tomatoes that happen to be grown in a greenhouse right here in Marfa, Texas, which is so cool to me!  I love when I know that my ingredients are grown in the same area as me, don’t you?

Grilled Tomato and Cheese

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Another tip for easy weeknight cooking is to make dinnertime fun by getting the whole family involved with prepping the food.  This is one of my favorite tips for getting kids excited about what they are eating! Nine times out of ten, if they help you prep it, they will eat it!  Plus, it’s quality time that everyone can chat about their day before sitting down to dinner. I grew up in a house where we all ate dinner together and it’s still one of my favorite traditions to carry on with my own family because it really is a time to share good food and to interact with each other.

Skillet Chicken with Tomatoes and Green Beans

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These three recipes are going to become regular dinners in your house because they are healthy, easy, and taste amazing too!  I can’t wait for you to try them out for yourself!

These recipes and blog were created exclusively for Village Farms by Leigh Ann Chatagnier from My Diary of Us

Nutrition

Produce

Hold on to Summer

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by A Couple Cooks

This Mediterranean tomato & grilled eggplant stacked sandwich with savory olive tapenade and basil pesto is a fresh, delicious vegetarian sandwich that’s quick and easy to make!

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It’s summer, you’re busy, and it’s hot, right? These times call for simple to prepare summer fare, which is where this stacked sandwich comes in! This tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich is the first recipe that we’re sharing inspired by our summer vacation to the Mediterranean, and it tastes just like our travels. Many times during the day, we’d grab a sandwich from an Italian or Spanish sandwich shop. Especially in Italy, there were lots of tomatoes and eggplant sandwiches. We created our stacked sandwich especially for Village Farms and it features their juicy Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes alongside smoky grilled eggplant, creamy fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, and our secret ingredient: olive spread. A stacked sandwich looks impressive without the fuss, which makes it a great option for concerts in the park and beach blanket picnics. Don’t forget the wine (or the frosé)! Keep reading for the recipe.

Tomato & Grilled Eggplant Stacked Sandwich Recipe 

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How to make a simple vegetarian stacked sandwich

Even with something as simple as a sandwich, it can become complex the more components you add. Since we wanted these vegetarian sandwiches to be as easy as possible, we chose each component carefully. A stacked sandwich can’t just look good: it’s got to taste amazing, too! The key is in the ingredient quality: do not skimp on this one. Here are the secrets on how to make our stacked sandwich:

Ripe tomatoes: In this recipe, we’re highlighting greenhouse grown Village Farms Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. These are hydroponic tomatoes grown in a way that’s gentle on the Earth and it makes a flavor that’s truly garden fresh (Alex and I are consistently impressed by the flavor of Village Farms!). The Campari tomato is cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato.

Grilled eggplant: We used a grill to grill up our eggplant, but you can also use a grill pan or even bake it.

Basil pesto: What is summer without pesto? For a quick prep, we used a purchased pesto, but you can make it at home too.

Olive spread (tapenade): The “secret” ingredient here is olive spread, also called tapenade. You should be able to find several varieties of an olive spread or tapenade at your local grocery. If not, we have a killer recipe for homemade Kalamata Olive Tapenade.

Good bread: Here we used what our grocery store called an artisan hoagie; you can really use any type of bread. Just make sure it’s high quality!

For a low carb version of this stacked sandwich: forgo the bread and use the grilled eggplant as the stacking base, which makes a great presentation over greens as well.
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Tips for grilling vegetables

We love throwing summer vegetables on the grill, even tomatoes (including these). Writing a recipe for grilled vegetables is tricky because it depends on their thickness and each grill’s specific model and temperature. The most important thing is to pay attention: cook the vegetables until they are tender but not so soft that they fall apart. We like to use a medium to medium-high heat depending on the vegetable. Grilling vegetables can take anywhere from 8 to 25 minutes, depending on the vegetable. Grill pans can be useful for smaller cut vegetables so they don’t fall through the grates.

This recipe is…

This Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomato and grilled eggplant stacked sandwich are vegetarian and refined sugar-free. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread. For vegan, you could try without the mozzarella, but we might sub in hummus to bring in a salty, savory component.

 

This post and recipe was created exclusively for Village Farms by A Couple Cooks

Produce

Tomatoes All Day Long

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by Nosh and Nourish 

From waffles to mason jar salads, to hummus and salsa, to nachos and soup… Village Farms tomatoes are such a versatile and healthy addition to meals throughout the day. Joy and I are excited to share a few delicious recipes you’re going to want to make ASAP.

I recently shared over on IG that I’m much more of a savory person when it comes to breakfast.

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Give me avo toast, or scrambled eggs, or quesadillas, or savory waffles any day —- though my daughter would gladly devour a donut (or two).

These roasted tomato waffles topped with a fried egg and bacon are a hit with both savory and sweet breakfast eaters alike. If you like things a little sweeter, drizzle a little syrup on top. If you like things a little more savory, skip the syrup altogether! Now what makes these waffles so special is that there are roasted tomatoes (and diced fresh ones) mixed directly in the batter.

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The Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes are just that… heavenly! On their own, roasted, or diced fresh — you will want to eat them all day long.

Babycakes never used to like tomatoes (though ketchup is her friend). My hubby didn’t love them either… so those two peas in a pod would encourage each other in their dislike of tomatoes and refuse to eat them. Until one day, the grown-up (Danny) changed his tune about tomatoes, thanks to the delicious Heavenly tomatoes I brought home, and said how good they really were. Now they both happily eat them, and Babycakes even requests them specifically… which goes to show, it really does matter what the parents are eating!

Lucky for us, I always make a double batch of these waffles, so they’re easy to grab from the freezer, pop in the toaster, and serve within 3 minutes. This is perfect for busy weekday mornings or any morning when the kiddos are STARVING. Isn’t it amazing how they can go from absolutely fine to starving in about 2.8 seconds?!?

Savory Tomato Waffles Recipe

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The Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes are just that… heavenly! On their own, roasted, or diced fresh — you will want to eat them all day long.

Babycakes never used to like tomatoes (though ketchup is her friend). My hubby didn’t love them either… so those two peas in a pod would encourage each other in their dislike of tomatoes and refuse to eat them. Until one day, the grown-up (Danny) changed his tune about tomatoes, thanks to the delicious Heavenly tomatoes I brought home, and said how good they really were. Now they both happily eat them, and Babycakes even requests them specifically… which goes to show, it really does matter what the parents are eating!

Lucky for us, I always make a double batch of these waffles, so they’re easy to grab from the freezer, pop in the toaster, and serve within 3 minutes. This is perfect for busy weekday mornings or any morning when the kiddos are STARVING. Isn’t it amazing how they can go from absolutely fine to starving in about 2.8 seconds?!?

For lunch, Joy is making us these gorgeous Greek Chicken Mason Jar Salads.

Greek Mason Jar Salad Recipe

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Featuring the beautiful orange Lorabella Blossom® Tomatoes from Village Farms, this salad is so fresh and packed with flavor – and so quick to make. It’s great to assemble these the night before and then take on-the-go to work or to the park. They’re such a better option than most “fast food.” The Lorabellas are packed with a special type of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps build strong bones and supports a healthy heart. And they’re really sweet and soooo vibrant!

Tomatoes also make the perfect snack! Think salsa, hummuscheese boards, or even gazpacho!

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For dinner, we’re serving up Mexican Street Corn Nachos topped with Village Farms’ Maverick Mix® tomatoes. They’re colorful and smaller (ie. more bite-size!).

Loaded Mexican Nachos Recipe

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These nachos are LOADED (as you can see!) with alllllll the good stuff:

  • MEXICAN STREET CORN
  • A BEEF/SWEET POTATO/QUINOA MIX (OPTIONAL)
  • SHREDDED MEXICAN CHEESE
  • MAVERICK MIX TOMATOES
  • RED ONIONS
  • JALAPENOS
  • QUESO FRESCO
  • CILANTRO
  • GUAC
  • GREEK YOGURT

I love nachos because they’re so easy, and everyone loves them!! They’re also super customizable… for instance, I only put onion and guac on one side, since the hubby and daughter don’t like those. Though maybe they’ll change their minds in the future, like they did with tomatoes all those years ago! I can always hope, right?!? Because we all know guac is AMAZING!

Now that things are winding down and we’re finishing up our day of tomatoes, let’s talk bedtime.

I go to bed early(ish) because my daughter ALWAYS wakes up early no matter if it’s summer or the weekend, or she’s stayed up super late. All you parents know what I mean! I haven’t slept in past 7:30 in eight years! But you know what’s worth waking up for? Roasted Tomato Waffles! So let’s do this delicious day on repeat, what do you say?

Disclaimer: this is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Village Farms. The opinions, text, recipe, and beautiful photos are all mine. Thank you for supporting brands that support Nosh and Nourish!! I choose them based on what I already cook/create with and feel 100% confident in recommending to you.

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms by Nosh and Nourish and Lunches and Littles

News

Village Farms Launches Stackable Snackables

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Village Farms’ has launched a new topseal program for of their exclusive specialty snacking tomatoes. Available in 10oz sized containers now available are Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Cherry no 9®, Lip Smackn’ Grape®, Maverick Mix™, and Village Farms’ newest tomato variety Lorabella Blossom®. The clear topseal label-film rimmed with fun and lively designs depicting the spirit of each variety are all original illustrations as part of the ‘Stackable Snackables’ line created exclusively by Village Farms.

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Village Farms is challenging consumers to ‘Snack with Impact’ to encourage healthy snacking through their new ‘Stackable Snackables’ program. Retailers are embracing the program for its three-fold benefits; more items per square inch of merchandising space allowing five high container stacking, increased shelf life compared to bags or clamshells and reduced plastic waste compared to clamshells making topseal better for the environment. According to Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communications for Village Farms, “Increasing dollar sales in the same shelf space and reducing the potential of out of stock all while improving labor efficiency with less restocking are all benefits with this program. Plus reducing shrink by increasing shelf life with topseal containers provides an important benefit for our retail partners.”

Village Farms Stackable Snackable program is designed to make healthy snacking fun and easy for consumers with the high impact graphics enticing consumers to ‘Snack with Impact’. For more information visit Village Farms’ website at www.villagefarmsfresh.com

 

Nutrition

Produce

Summer Snack Hacks

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by Lunches & Littles

As a mother of three little ones (five years old and younger), I make a lot of meals and snacks for my family. In any given week, there are school and work lunches, play date snack platters, and our own family breakfasts, at-home-lunches, and dinners. Additionally, my husband and I also really enjoy having friends over and entertaining and while we love it, let me tell ya; that requires a lot of extra time spent prepping and cooking!

Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely love spending time in the kitchen, but you know what I love even more? – Quality time with my family and friends; especially as the weather is getting warmer and the nights longer. Now, if you follow me over on my feed @lunchesandlittles, you already know that eating healthy, real food is a priority for my family and me. And so, I love it when I find a company that helps us do that in a way that is both tasty and easy. Hello, Village Farms.

I cook quite a bit with tomatoes from Village Farms and my family also enjoys this bit of nature’s candy straight from the package. Fresh tomatoes have a place in our day to day; from snack platters to salads, to packed lunches and main meals, and our current obsession: Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes. These tomatoes are so juicy and sweet, absolutely perfect for making homemade sauces and so much more. These little tomatoes are loved by even our youngest foodie (age two), are rich in vitamins A and K… Oh, and did I mention how versatile they are?

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We use tomatoes all different ways in our home, but one thing that I love to do with these tomatoes is roast up a whole batch at once and then make several different meals, sides or appetizers with them. Personally, I don’t meal plan enough (though that is a goal I have for 2018 for sure!), but when I do, even just a little, I know how much it helps. A little prep really can go a long way, and roasting just once for multiple meals/recipes is a great way to maximize the time that you are spending in the kitchen. That’s cooking smarter, not harder… Am I right?

I recently roasted up a pretty large batch of these beauties and developed 3 recipes exclusively for Village Farms. Each recipe combines the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes with other fresh ingredients, and while each one has its own unique flavor and purpose, they are all sweet, fresh and made with real food. I am so excited to share these new recipes with all of you: Sweet & Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa, Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus and a Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Gazpacho – perfect for a summer day (or night)! All of these recipes are bursting with flavors, and they’re kid-friendly – which as you can probably imagine is very important in our home.

Knowing salsa can often be too spicy for the little ones, I make mine with just a little heat and a drizzle of honey for added sweetness (you can totally omit the heat if desired).

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa

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Then, the Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus is a huge hit with our whole family – the tomatoes add such a great flavor to a basic hummus recipe and we top it all off with fresh thyme and shaved parmesan cheese; perfect for pairing with veggies that your little ones may not eat on their own (a total mom-win!).

Easy Roasted Tomato Hummus

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And, speaking of mom-wins: the kiddos enjoying the third recipe; a Roasted Tomato + Red Pepper Gazpacho; a recent addition to our meal rotation, certainly has my hubby and I all smiles. This chilled soup is full of hidden veggies, but overall maintains a very fresh, light and sweet taste (and smooth texture)! Perfect for the whole crew (and so easy to make!)

Roasted Tomato & Red Bell Pepper Gazpacho

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So, this season – let’s simplify meal planning. Easy prep like batch roasting some tomatoes can help you make several dishes in one take. And the versatility of Village Farms’ Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomato is perfect for so many summery dishes!

Be sure to pick up some Village Farms tomatoes the next time you are out at your local store, and check out @lunchesandlittles for more family-friendly meal ideas, and simple recipes featuring real ingredients.

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches & Littles and also appeared on Produce for Kids

News

Village Farms Enters into New, Exclusive Long-Term Agreement with Agroparque de Yecapixtla

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Village Farms International, Inc. (“Village Farms” or the “Company”) (TSX:VFF) (OTC: VFFIF) today announced it has entered into a new, exclusive, seven-year agreement to sell, market, and distribute Village Farms’ exclusive tomato varieties grown by Mexico-based Agroparque de Yecapixtla. The new agreement extends the existing agreement between the two companies, under which Agroparque de Yecapixtla grows tomato varieties for Village Farms, including Village Farms’ exclusive specialty varieties, which are distributed under the Village Farms brand and sold to Village Farms’ marquee retail & food service partners in the United States and Canada.

Agroparque de Yecapixtla is in the process of a major expansion, more than doubling its growing area to 125 acres from its current 50 acres through an addition to its existing  greenhouse and state of the art packaging facility built just two years ago. This expansion will further leverage its scale and expertise to expand into cucumbers and peppers, which will also be sold, marketed and distributed under the agreement.

Agroparque de Yecapixtla is located in the state of Morelos, just south of Mexico City, a mountainous region with warm days and cool nights that makes it one of the best areas for greenhouse growing in all of Mexico, and ideal for tomato, pepper, and cucumber plant cultivation. The company’s master farmers have generations of experience cultivating tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. As part of the extended agreement, Village Farms will continue to provide Agroparque de Yecapixtla with technical expertise in growing and packaging operation support, with two full-time Village Farms employees on site.

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Michael A. DeGiglio, President & CEO for Village Farms had this to say about the agreement, “We are thrilled to build on this existing and flourishing relationship with Agroparque de Yecapixtla. Village Farms prides itself in its ability to deliver year round consistent quality products to its customers. This new, exclusive, long-term agreement with Agroparque de Yecapixtla further solidifies Village Farms’ value commitment to its customers. And reflecting upon our many years of operating in Mexico we are most grateful to be associated with such a highly respected company lead by the honorable Mr. Miguel”

We are pleased to commence upon this long term agreement between Village Farms and Agroparque de Yecapixtla, a great achievement uniting not only these two companies but inaugurating the Mexican countryside as a source of reliable and quality product.

According to Michael Minerva, SVP, Grower Relations & Supply Development for Village Farms, “Working with Agroparque de Yecapixtla over the past year has confirmed for us that we are aligned with a great long-term partner in Mexico who will further enhance our winter supply capabilities for our growing customer base. We look forward to accomplishing great things together in the years to come.”

Download the press release here

This has also appeared on AndNowUKnown and The Produce News

Savor Summer with Fresh Pasta Salad

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by The Toasted Pine Nut

Lately I have been CRAVING pasta salad hard. There’s something about a comforting and hearty bowl of pasta salad with fresh, juicy tomatoes that I’ve been loving. Plus, it’s super easy to whip together which makes pasta salad a double dose of exactly what I need in my life.

Village Farms’ Maverick Mix® tomatoes are so juicy and sweet. My kids were popping them like candy, and I had to hide them from my husband because he was eating them ALL. They’re the kind of tomatoes that you always keep in your house because whether you’re eating them as a snack, dipping them in hummus, or using them in your dishes, they’re always perfectly satisfying.

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Summer is upon us and if you didn’t already know, pasta salads are kinda a big deal at backyard barbecues. I was thinking…maybe we can create a fresh and fun take on a traditional pasta salad that will be the star of the potluck, win you friends, and have those burgers and dogs be a total afterthought.

My favorite thing to do with pasta salad is customize it with different dressings and add-ins based on what veggies and leftovers I have in my fridge. It ends up being a really simple, easy, and nutrient-dense dish that I can feel really good about.

So we’re incorporating fresh, summer ingredients that are juicy, sweet, and scream summer. Alongside Village Farms’ Maverick Mix® tomatoes we’re also adding some sweet summer corn and a refreshing lemon basil dressing that is out. of. this. world. I’m telling you, this pasta salad is next level, I know you guys are going to love it!!! I used these tomatoes in this homemade salsa for our fish tacos and they added such a perfectly sweet flavor to them, so I was dying to create something else with those tasty tomatoes!

Maverick Mix® and Grilled Veggie Summer Pasta Salad

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Cook your pasta according to package directions and drain. While the pasta is cooking, saute the bacon on medium heat, flipping every couple minutes. Once the bacon is cooked through, transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel, cool and chop into bite sized pieces.

Drizzle the asparagus and corn with avocado oil. Heat your grill on high, and then turn it down to medium. Grill your veggies, turning them often so they don’t burn. The asparagus cooks pretty quick, so watch to make sure it’s the perfectly crispy brown. Once your corn is brighter yellow and has grill marks, you can pull it off.

Cut the corn off the cob and cut the asparagus into 2 – 3 inch pieces. In a food processor or blender, combine the lemon juice, basil, avocado oil, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Blend until combined, about 15 seconds.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpea pasta, bacon bites, asparagus, corn, halved tomatoes, and dressing. Toss and serve!!
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This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on The Toasted Pine Nut.

Eat Local in British Columbia

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by Foodology

One of the many staples in my pantry are tomatoes and grains. You’ll always see them in my kitchen since they’re very versatile and great in so many different dishes. I try my best to purchase local BC veggies whenever possible as it adds super fresh colour and nutrients to the meal.

Village Farms has a variety of tomatoes that grow right here in British Columbia – among them are Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Maverick Mix ®, Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®, Lorabella Blossom®, and Cabernet Estate Reserve®. Each has its own unique taste but all of them are full of sweetness.

Lorabella Blossom® is bright orange and plump, full of sweet flavour, making it great right out of the box as a snack. Probably the sweetest out of the line up in my opinion. If you’ve never had an orange tomato before, you’ll want to try this variety.

Cabernet Estate Reserve® is easily identifiable by its rich dark crimson colour, round shape, and green stem. It is a great tomato if you want a beautiful presentation. It has a milder flavor, not as sweet as the Lorabella Blossom®, but would work well for roasting or incorporating in a sauce.

Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® is similar to the Cabernet Estate Reserve® but it is smaller and vibrant in colour. You can incorporate this in salads where you eat the cherry tomatoes whole to keep the juicy fresh and sweet flavours intact. When you bite into this, there is a refreshing snap.

Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is best known for its slightly elongated shape. It’s one of the most readily available tomatoes in the produce aisle in British Columbia. I use it a lot in making salads.

Maverick Mix ® is stunning and contains a variety of cherry and grape tomatoes in each carton. There are different shapes, colours and slight flavour profiles that work together in harmony. It’s a great way to see and taste tomatoes that you might not normally choose.

From the assortment of amazing local tomatoes, I decided to make a Farro Grain Bowl using the Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes in celebration of BC Greenhouse Veggie Days.

Check out the recipe for this Farro Grain Bowl for a taste of Spring

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Farro is an ancient grain with a nutty earthy flavour with a good texture that would pair well with vegetables to add more bite. This grain is high in fiber, iron, magnesium, and protein, which make it nutritious and great in any dish.

BC Greenhouse Veggie Days are here this week and you can even visit a few greenhouses to meet local growers and see local produce being grown like cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce. With Village Farms as one of 42 greenhouse growers in the Lower Mainland, you can feel proud that this produce was grown sustainably right in British Columbia by people like Leesa who just might be your neighbor!

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This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Foodology.

Get Hooked on Fish Tacos

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by The Toasted Pine Nut

My family has a tomato obsession. We pop them like treats all hours of the day, but the latest batch we got was next level amazing. I had to hide a stash on the top of my fridge so they wouldn’t all get eaten before I could make something fun out of them!

My husband couldn’t stop raving about these Village Farms Maverick Mix® (formally known as True Rebel Mix) tomatoes. “They’re the sweetest most delicious tomatoes,” he said. “How is this even possible?” He wondered aloud. I get it, man. Once I tried them for myself, I couldn’t get enough.

While we are all perfectly happy eating them as is, dipping them in hummus and dressings, I wanted to take it one step further and make something special with them. I just HAD to experiment.

So, I made some salsa. It was the first time I ever made salsa. And, friends, why have I never made homemade salsa before? Ah, it’s so fresh and so tasty and SO flavorful! It’s a salsa experience on a whole new level, I tell ya!

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After making this salsa and dipping alllll the things I could into it, I decided to make some tacos that could complement the fresh flavors. Today we’re making some fish tacos, my friends!! I decided to go for salmon tacos because salmon is so accessible and easy.

For me, fish tacos are one of those items I always order at a restaurant and never make at home. They always just feel so special occasion to me, but after I made this recipe, I realized that they’re actually super simple to make and make for the perfect #TacoTuesday or #FiestaFriday.

So, without further ado, let’s get into this fun recipe for Salmon Tacos with the best darn homemade salsa you’ve ever tried.

Salmon Tacos with Homemade Maverick Mix® Salsa Recipe

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Place the salmon on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil. Sprinkle each filet with the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, ground pepper, and sea salt. Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes until the salmon is no longer translucent and is opaque. When it’s done cooking, use a fork to break the salmon up into large chunks.

While the salmon is cooking, brush your corn with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Turn the grill on high until heated. Place the corn on the grill and turn it frequently until it’s charred, it took me about 5 minutes. You can also do this in a grill pan, or just boil it if you wish.

While you’re there, you can also put your tortillas on the grill to heat them up and toast them a bit. But, they do brown quickly, so be vigilant!
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Make the salsa: combine all the salsa ingredients in the food processor. Process for about 5 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides and process again until combined but still a little chunky. It’ll be bubbly from the blending at first, but after it sits for a bit, the bubbles will go down.

 

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on The Toasted Pine Nut.

Spring Forward with a Fresh Frittata

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by A Couple Cooks

Hello, spring! Over here we couldn’t be more excited about sun, flowers, light, and all things spring. Every year, I’m surprised when the weather starts to turn warmer and everything, literally everything in life seems better. We can walk to the park with Larson, start using fresh chives from the garden, and pack up our winter parkas in favor of springtime garb.

And of course, our recipes can turn from heavy winter foods to light and bright! This new frittata is everything spring, contrasting the fresh goodness of asparagus with the roasty sweetness of Mini San Marzano tomatoes. You may notice that Mini San Marzano tomatoes are not typically a springtime food. We’re huge supporters of local tomatoes, which show up around July here in Indiana. However, we’ve started to allow sustainably grown hydroponic tomatoes into our repertoire in the spring, when we’re craving tomato juiciness but local crops are months away.

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The tomatoes we used here are Heavenly Villagio Marzano® from Village Farms. Village Farms’ use of hydroponics in greenhouse growing allows them to provide delicious tomatoes year-round by farming indoors using sustainable growing practices. Not only are these growing methods eco-friendly, they result in ripe, juicy flavorful tomatoes–the flavor is unlike any other grocery store tomato we’ve had. Village Farms’ growing methods use:

  • 86% less water compared to the average tomato grown outdoors.
  • 97% less land to grow the same amount of tomatoes grown outdoors.
  • Beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth, instead of harmful chemicals

Get the Recipe: Roasted Tomato and Shaved Asparagus Frittata

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The frittata is one of our favorite ways to make a simple brunch entree. And, you can even serve them as a simple dinner, alongside fresh bread and a salad! This Roasted Tomato & Asparagus Frittata is lovely for spring family gatherings, like an Easter brunch or Mother’s Day brunch. While you’d imagine cooking the asparagus and using the tomatoes raw, we’ve flip-flopped it! To capitalize on the fresh spring flavor of asparagus, we’ve shaved it into long ribbons. Not only is the flavor lighter than cooked asparagus, the ribbons look lovely and bright green as they decorate the top of the frittata. To contrast the fresh green asparagus, we’ve roasted the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes, which develops their robust flavor into something even more complex. The bites of roasted tomatoes inside the frittata remind us of the savory goodness of pizza! To top it off, a sprinkling confetti of feta cheese, which adds a salty element.

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While these tomatoes are lovely raw, we loved roasting them to develop their flavor! You could use the roasted tomatoes in other ways outside of the frittata: try them as a side dish, on a Caesar salad (yum!), or inside a grilled cheese.

Look for Village Farms tomatoes at your local grocery (ours has them!). Happy spring!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on A Couple Cooks.

Nutrition

Produce

One Pan Perfection

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by Lunches + Littles

For as far back as I can remember, I have been interested in creating colorful, delicious food. When I was a little younger I had a bit more time to play around with intricate recipes, but today my life looks a little different. When it comes to meal times these days, there are two things that are important to me: 1. Ensuring that what I am cooking is healthy for my family and 2. Ensuring that time to the table is kept to a minimum.

I want all of my children (3 babes, 4 years old and younger) to see me in our playroom playing with them, not constantly in the kitchen, and as such, developing recipes that are quick and easy, but also healthy and colorful is the key.

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When I was introduced to Village Farms last year I was immediately intrigued – all of their tomatoes are greenhouse grown and are just bursting with flavor. One variety we have fallen for is Village Farms’ Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes. They are good on almost anything and sweet enough to be a satisfying snack even for the littlest family members. Loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and riboflavin, these sweet little tomatoes are a healthy choice and natural immune booster (which is perfect for a home full of little ones).

One Pan Roasted Cherry No.9 Fall in Love Again® Tomatoes, Chicken & Potatoes with Lemon Salad Recipe

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Recently I developed a recipe specifically for Village Farms’ Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes. This easy sheet pan meal; Roasted Tomatoes, Chicken and Potatoes w/ Lemon Salad is perfect for any family or couple, and also perfect year-round. The seasoned chicken breast tenderloins get all tender and juicy and then quartered potatoes and full tomatoes get roasted until perfected; then tossed with greens in a lemony homemade dressing, topped with lemon zest. The whole dish comes together in just 45 minutes, and the tomatoes give it that beautiful pop of color my family and I love.

Just last week, I made this dish that is now a staple in our home, again and had my best friend over for the meal. Not knowing that I had even developed this recipe with Village Farms, she said: “these tomatoes taste even better than the ones my parents have grown in their yard.” And, I’d agree. If you are looking for a delicious recipe that comes together easily and quickly check out this recipe, and if you are looking for a tomato variety that is kid-friendly and perfect for so many recipes as well as salads, snacks, etc. be sure to look for Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes in a store near you. You will not be disappointed!

Created exclusively for Village Farms by Lunches + Littles

Demystify Your Dinner

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by Lindsay Freedman, The Toasted Pine Nut

You ever come across a food or veggie that seems really amazing but when it comes time to cook it, you don’t even know where to start? Spaghetti squash is exactly that. I promise you… it’s way easier to make than you think.

 

We don’t do too much traditional pasta in our house. My husband, Jaryd, can’t eat it, so I tend to sub in spaghetti squash when we’re craving a pasta night. Spaghetti squash is a really great way to make our meals more plant based, AND keep it lower carb and gluten free.

I’ve shared a few times on my Instagram stories my no-fail favorite way to prepare spaghetti squash and I get a bunch of thank you messages from you guys because in a few quick steps, this marvelous and versatile veggie has been demystified.

Today I’m making it blog official and I’m sharing the best and easiest way to roast a spaghetti squash.

But, you can’t eat spaghetti squash without a really delicious sauce, right? Well, I suppose you can, but sauce is highly recommended. Check out these TWO new fun sauce recipes using my favorite tomatoes from Village Farms.

Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomato Meat Sauce

The first sauce is a Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomato Meat Sauce. It uses Village Farms’ beautifully dark Cabernet Estate Reserve® cherry tomato. I was immediately drawn to it because, well, the Cabernet part. The tomato itself is everything I wanted it to be: deep wine color and rich crisp sweet fruity flavor. I love the Cabernet tomato in this recipe because it adds such a depth of flavor to this sweet meat sauce. Jaryd tried the Cabernet tomato and declared it his favorite, I’m inclined to agree.

Lorabella Blossom® Tomato Romesco Sauce

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The second sauce is the Lorabella Blossom® Tomato Romesco. I love the exciting orange color of the Lorabella tomato. With its unique citrus floral undertones, I thought the Lorabella Blossom® tomato would be perfect for a light and playful romesco. And!! If you’re looking to keep things lighter in the new year, this sauce is Whole30 compliant and vegan!

So, let’s get to it and make roasted spaghetti squash with two fun new sauces!

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First, cut the ends off the spaghetti squash and then cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Brush the inside of the spaghetti squash with avocado oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place the spaghetti squash flat side down on a lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Flip it and roast for another 10 – 20 minutes (depending how large your squash is).

Once the squash is done roasting, use a fork to pull the spaghetti strands from the shell. You can either scoop them onto a plate or bowl, or eat it straight from the shell. Choose your sauce and enjoy!!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on The Toasted Pine Nut

News

Named to 2018 OTCQX Best 50

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Vancouver, B.C. – January 24, 2018 – Village Farms International, Inc. (Village Farms) (VFF.TSX) (OTCQX:VFFIF), is pleased to announce it has been named to the 2018 OTCQX® Best 50, a ranking of top performing companies traded on the OTCQX Best Market last year.

The OTCQX Best 50 is an annual ranking of the top 50 U.S. and international companies traded on the OTCQX market. The ranking is calculated based on an equal weighting of one-year total return and average daily dollar volume growth in the previous calendar year. Companies in the 2018 OTCQX Best 50 were ranked based on their performance in 2017.

“Our ranking as the fourth best performing company traded on the OTCQX in 2017 – up from 17th prior year — reflects our position as one of the largest vertically integrated greenhouse growers in North America alongside our ability to leverage our 30 years of experience to capitalize on new opportunities that will drive future profitability and generate long-term shareholder value,” said Michael DeGiglio, CEO, Village Farms International. “We would once again like to acknowledge the OTCQX for its continued support, providing a liquid and efficient market for our many US shareholders.”

For the complete 2018 OTCQX Best 50 ranking, visit http://bit.ly/OTCQX-best50-2018

The OTCQX Best Market offers transparent and efficient trading of established, investor-focused U.S. and global companies. To qualify for the OTCQX market, companies must meet high financial standards, follow best practice corporate governance, demonstrate compliance with U.S. securities laws and have a professional third-party sponsor introduction. The companies found on OTCQX are distinguished by the integrity of their operations and diligence with which they convey their qualifications.

See press release here.

 

News

Sustainability

Why Some Greenhouses Are Sourcing Landfill Gas

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As seen on Waste 360

by Arlene Karidis

British Columbia is mandated to have 75 percent landfill gas collection efficiency, and to comply with this mandate, landfills are partnering with greenhouses.

One of these landfills, Vancouver Landfill, has formed a relationship with Village Farms International, designers and operators of greenhouses in North America that also sell produce. Vancouver Landfill sells about 55 percent of its gas to Village Farms, which uses it to heat one of its greenhouses while generating electricity for Canadian electric utility BC Hydro.

Heating is among these plant growers’ highest expenses, and they require a lot of energy for a relatively small footprint. Further, they typically prioritize reducing their carbon footprint, so a cheaper, cleaner alternative to natural gas appeals to them.
These projects aren’t considered big moneymakers for landfills, but they benefit too.

“We receive $300,000 a year from this project, which is not much considering our capital costs for gas collection,” says Lynn Belanger, manager of transfer and landfill operations for the city of Vancouver in British Columbia. “But we are beneficially using gas that would otherwise be flared. The greenhouse had a need and was close by, making it economically viable for both them and us.”

With this project, the city of Vancouver is projected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 19,000-metric tons a year, according to a recent study , and Village Farms creates about 7.2 mw of electricity for the grid, while finding a use for waste heat generated during the conversion to grow its plants.

Co-location of the landfill and greenhouse is key to conserving energy and minimizing materials required to make pipeline. But there are other considerations, as well as challenges.

“Generally, greenhouses grow plants year-round. And growing in cold weather is typically the greenhouses’ biggest battle because it requires a lot of heat without interruptions,” says Curt Publow, environmental compliance manager for South Side Landfill in Indianapolis, which houses Crossroads Greenhouse, a 6.5-acre operation using the facility’s landfill gas for heat.

Maintaining these projects is a full-time job, says Timm Muth, director of Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro, N.C., which started with a landfill gas project to heat art studios at the energy park at the landfill and to power the studios’ equipment.

“We built a greenhouse adjacent to the landfill and heated it for three years with no technical problems,” says Muth. “But as we expanded the art studio, it became impossible to run both operations. When the boiler came on to heat the greenhouse, it would cause a gas pressure drop that impacted the studio. And when the greenhouse boiler shut off, the pressure was too high, which caused the gas system to shut down.”
There are also other landfill gas/greenhouse projects around the U.S., such as the ones involving Rutgers EcoComplex in Burlington, N.J.; Five Oaks Landfill in Taylorsville, Ill.; Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority in Troy, Pa.; and Springfield Sanitary Landfill in Greene County, Miss.

Success of these projects is dependent on having a greenhouse manager and an expert to manage the landfill gas system working as partners to ensure supply and flow continues in a way that works for both the landfill and greenhouse.

“If we are doing maintenance on the gas collection side, we work closely with the greenhouse,” says Belanger. “Should our work impact the greenhouse’s flow, we would coordinate so the greenhouse can do maintenance at the same time to minimize down time.”

Still, there may be short periods where gas is not available, so having a backup fuel source is critical, says Dave Specca, assistant director for controlled environment agriculture and bioenergy at Rutgers EcoComplex Clean Energy Innovation Center. The EcoComplex uses landfill gas to heat a greenhouse adjacent to the landfill in a business incubator for greenhouse startups.

“The key to making it work for both the landfill/municipality and the greenhouse is a well-written, long-term contract where both the greenhouse and the landfill can recover their investment,” says Specca. “A reliable supply of landfill gas is equally important. Ideally, it should be available 85 to 95 percent of the time.”

Southside Landfill has limited options for use of landfill gas, says Publow. Not only does the greenhouse project provide an alternative to flaring some of it and a small income, it has boosted the public image of both the disposal site and the greenhouse.

Collectively, Publow says, the partners are seeing that this renewable, existing energy source is put to beneficial use. And it’s done locally to cut emissions and grow plants in the community.

Click here to download a .pdf version of this article

Events

News

Village Farms Wins Produce Business Innovation Award

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Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ tomato received the first annual Produce Business Innovation Award at the New York Produce Show last week. This blissfully bright™ orange tomato caught the eye of the judges and is catching the eye of consumers as something the tomato category hasn’t seen yet.

Everyone at Village Farms has had a major part in bringing this innovative variety to market. Thanks to the expertise of our growers, operations, finance, sales, transportation and marketing Lorabella Blossom™ is exceeding expectations and bringing consumers a flavor profile unlike any other. The unique citrus floral essence makes it an exceptional snacking tomato that is extremely versatile, making it great for grilling, roasting and sautéing as well.

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According to Michael DeGiglio, President and CEO of Village Farms, “The Village Farms team has always been known for going above and beyond to deliver the absolute best flavor in the industry.  This award just goes to show that we’ve done it again with Lorabella Blossom™. We are honored to receive this award as it truly takes a village to consistently bring innovative products like this one to life.  This variety and its name hold a special place in my heart”

In early October, Produce Business evaluated more than 45 new innovative products, following a 10-point-scale criteria grid with a concentration on three P’s for innovation: Product (intrinsic properties of the fruit or vegetable itself), Packaging (unique attributes that not only improve shelf-life but add to the marketability of the item) and Processing (added value by making the product more convenient or augmenting with more components to complete a flavor profile or meal). Based on that criteria Village Farms was chosen as one of ten honorees to be recognized as a winner of the inaugural Innovation Award from Produce Business Magazine at the New York Produce Show.

Download the press release here

Events

Entertaining Made Easy

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by Diana Pittet

The winter holidays are the season of festive abundance. When else in the year are there so many parties and gatherings? And so much food? At some point it will be your turn to host. That is not the time to unwrap a few nondescript cheeses and plonk them down on a plate with a bunch of tired grapes. That is the time to impress.

A colorful, abundant cheeseboard does the trick nicely. The star of your culinary show is the visually appetizing spread of pert and tasty Village Farms tomatoes, paired with cheeses and an assortment of complementary nibbles. For both drama and ease, everything can be artfully arranged on a single platter. Not only does this look stunning but it makes after-party clean-up that much easier.

Bite-size tomatoes are perfect for creating a memorable cheeseboard. Coming in cheery hues, like miniature Christmas tree ornaments, Village Farms’ selections embody the merriment of the season. The tomatoes are also practical, playing double duty in a way that grapes can’t: being both sweet and savory. Cheeses favor these contrasting flavor profiles, and so will your guests, who will happily gather around your personalized cheeseboard. Pro tip: make sure everything is out of the fridge at least an hour before guests arrive, as the full flavors come through at room temperature.

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Here are some tips for creating such a platter:

Tomatoes
As the host, you are charged with the task of having a little something for everyone. As such, put out a variety of Village Farms tomatoes for maximum visual appeal and sensory delight. Sure winners include golden-hued Lorabella Blossom™; pop-them-in-your-mouth Lip Smackn’ Grapes®; and the very distinguished Cabernet Estate Reserve®. Whichever varieties you select, make sure they can be eaten in one bite. You may have to halve or quarter the bigger ones, such as the Sinfully Sweet Campari®. If the tomatoes are rolling off your platter, you can put them into small bowls, separated or together.

Cheeses
Just as you have an assortment of tomatoes, do the same for your cheeses, but offer no more than three or four types–perhaps a soft, hard, and a blue cheese. There is the risk of too many options. To facilitate ease for your guests and to prevent your carefully assembled cheese platter from looking like a crime scene at the end of the night, pre-cut your cheeses into individual servings of thin triangles or batons. Soft cheeses can be kept whole since they cut with ease. A sumptuous triple cream would be delightful with the citrusy Lorabella Blossom™ and a glass of bubbly. The sweet Lip Smackn’ Grapes®, or the Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®, can be balanced by the saline pop of a blue cheese, washed down with a malty beer.  Savory meets savory in the pairing of the Cabernet Estate Reserve® and a firm sheep’s milk cheese such as Manchego, sipped with a spicy red wine. The Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes would be delicious in this combination as well.

Crackers
Fan out crackers on your platter, next to the cheeses. Simple ones are preferable, so that they don’t compete with the other flavors, but flatbreads with dried fruits and nuts look special and can work nicely.  Slices of baguettes do too. For those who prefer not to eat carbohydrates, make “crackers” with sliced rounds of Luscious Seedless Long English® cucumbers–a perfect vehicle for transporting a hunk of cheese to mouth.

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Nibbles

Fill in the empty spaces of your cheeseboard with a variety of nibbles and condiments. Here are some suggestions.

Nuts
Rich marcona almonds or festively green pistachios crunch pleasurably with the zippy tomatoes.

Olives
A medley of green and black olives are in keeping with the assortment of tomatoes. Or be a little different and put out a jar of tapenade which can serve as a savory dip for the tomatoes and cucumbers or a spread for the crackers.

Pickled Vegetables
As a counterpoint to all the richness, include some pickled vegetables–cornichons, malt vinegar onions, okra, whatever you fancy. They help refresh the palate and keep guests coming back for more.

Spice Blend or Salt
Dukkah is a dry spice blend from Egypt that can be poured into a small bowl on the platter, along with one of olive oil. Show your guests how to quickly dip a tomato into the oil and then into the dukkah for a memborale bite. To keep it simple, you can have a bowl of flakey sea salt instead.

Whatever you put out and however you creatively arrange it on your platter, it will be a holiday knockout.

Diana Pittet is an adjunct professor at New York University in the Department of Food Studies and Nutrition. She also works as a cheesemonger at the Cheese Cave in Red Bank, N.J., and owns Night Owl Hospitality, a cocktail-catering company in Asbury Park, N.J.

A Fun Family Holiday

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by Produce for Kids

When we think of the holiday season, our minds go straight to thoughts of freshly baked cookies, lights on every house, gifts, holiday music and festivities. This year, we want you to add tomatoes to your holiday plans! With their beautiful red color, tomatoes are perfect for adding flair to holiday recipes.

We’ve come up with some simple ways to have fun (and stay healthy) this holiday season. There’s something for everyone in this holiday series of recipes featuring the Garden Fresh Flavor® of Village Farms® tomatoes. Kids will enjoy trimming their tree with tomatoes with our spin on mini pizzas and they’ll light the way to a healthy meal as they place a tomato for Rudolph’s nose on a delicious tomato grilled cheese.

Adults strapped for time will love the surprisingly simple and delectable twist on savory finger foods. With only a few ingredients each there’s no need to check your grocery list twice! Known for being packed with vitamins C and K and lycopene tomatoes are a great way to support brain health. So relax and allow yourself the treat of extra family time this season.

Scroll all the way down to find out how you can enter to win a variety pack of Village Farms tomatoes delivered right to your doorstep!

Mini Christmas Tree Pizzas with Maverick Mix® Tomatoes
Move over Christmas cookies, let kids get creative for the holiday season with these fun pizzas. Plus, sneak more veggies into your kid’s diet. Maverick Mix® tomatoes pose as colorful lights/ornaments for decorating. Cue the classic holiday music!


Rudolph Grilled Cheese with Heavenly Villagio Marzano® Tomatoes
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer had a very shiny nose…and it’s a bright red tomato! The sweetness of the Heavenly Villagio Marzano® tomatoes dances like sugar plum fairies inside this Rudolph grilled cheese, paired with a homemade tomato soup, for a comforting and festive meal to eat while watching the classic movie.

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Tomato, Feta & Pesto Puff Pastry with Sinfully Sweet Campari® and Fresh Basil
Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes pair with pesto, basil and feta cheese to create this combination of red, white and green, bringing a colorful spin to any holiday party. Puff pastry is simple to use and the result is an elegant dish with little effort. Ugly Christmas sweaters optional.

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Tomato, Goat Cheese & Caramelized Onion Mini Quiche with Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes
Be careful! Once you present these mini quiches featuring Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes to holiday guests, they’ll disappear fast. The sweet, earthiness of the tomatoes paired with flavorful caramelized onions and the creaminess of goat cheese is an unbeatable combination.

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Okay, now that you’re nice and hungry let’s talk about that chance to win! We’re partnering with Village Farms to give you TWO chances to win some really great prizes:
Chance #1 – Fill out the form below!
Chance #2 – Join us on Instagram December 20 – 22 for an Instagram giveaway. Be sure to follow Produce for Kids and Village Farms on Instagram for all the details.

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Produce for Kids

News

Sustainability

For the Good of the Earth

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As seen in the December issue of BOSS Magazine

The bright red cherry tomato bursts with a pop as you sink your teeth into it, and for a few delightful seconds it’s still summertime—even though it’s winter. You take another bite to make sure you’re not imagining that freshness, and sure enough, it’s just as bright, tart, and sweet as the first. The taste takes you back to your childhood, when you’d steal tomatoes from a neighbor’s garden, helping yourself to another, and another…

As summer fades and the air grows colder you’ve become accustomed to the average pinkish-orange globes posing as tomatoes that start filling the shelves of the produce department. Thankfully, Village Farms has no interest in growing average produce, and their environmentally friendly growing methods allow for fresh, high quality produce year-round. In fact, nothing that the North American based company does is anywhere near average and that’s not just great for veggie lovers—it’s great for the planet, too.

As the premier greenhouse grower of tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other crops in North America, Village Farms’ dedication to sustainability, technology, and innovation shows with every pristine vegetable picked. Launched in Pennsylvania in 1988, Village Farms has grown from a single 10-acre greenhouse operation to a vertically-integrated agricultural enterprise.

“On day one it wasn’t the plan,” admitted Mike DeGiglio, Village Farms’ President and CEO. “Our first crop was half peppers, half tomatoes, and our focus was on being a grower.”

When that first crop was rejected by a surly Northeastern produce broker for being “no good,” DeGiglio ignored the slight.
“We hired a sales guy the next day and never looked back.”

New Day, New Business Model
When the company began, all of the disciplines in traditional produce companies were separate.

“The grower is the grower, who went to a labor manager to pick the crop, then to a processor who graded and sorted it. Then that’s sent to a trucking company, then to a broker. That broker would send it to a retailer,” DeGiglio recounted. “We asked ourselves, ‘why can’t we do all of it?’” The answer was, “We can.” and today, Village Farms is an end-to-end operation.

“Today we have 270 skus and 35 tomato varieties,” he noted. “We slowly added more salespeople, distribution centers, and transportation. We became a vertically integrated producer. We have our own engineering, even though there are plenty of companies that build greenhouses.”

The company built a sophisticated greenhouse in West Texas, in part of the Chihuahuan Desert.  “It’s not quite a biosphere but pretty close. It’s 110 degrees all summer and only 20 degrees in winter,” he chuckled, a trace of awe in his voice. “Nothing grows there but tumbleweeds and lizards. We’re like an oasis—it blows people away.”

Today, the company owns and operates seven facilities in British Columbia and Texas, and provides operational and technical support and logistics services for more than an additional 150 acres of greenhouse production throughout Canada and Mexico.

The Greenhouse Difference
Greenhouse growing is far superior to conventional land farming, producing better crops with markedly less waste and dramatically less environmental impact.

“It’s a combination of food safety, quality of the product, shelf life of the product, and taste—it’s consistent, available 365 days a year, and not just seasonal,” DeGiglio explained.

Indoor growing is the premier method of sustainable production and allows Village farms to use integrated pest management as biological control, meaning they release good bugs to combat bad bugs instead of using chemical pesticides. “Of all agricultural products, proteins like beef and chicken, row crops, and fruits and vegetables, I think greenhouse growing, is by far the most sustainable type of agriculture there is, even over organic growing methods,” he said.

“When you are in a controlled environment greenhouse, utilizing the same resources an outdoor farmer would use like sunlight and water, you can do it in an environment that is much more efficient and productive,” he added.

These carefully monitored environments offer protection against elements typical farmers have no control over, like wind, rain, and extreme heat and cold.

“We can produce output that has 30 times more yield per acre than crops grown on farmland. A 100-acre greenhouse produces the equivalent of 3,000-acre farm. And you can locate a greenhouse close to anywhere depending on the technology you use.”

Earth First
Village Farms’ approach to sustainability abides by a commitment to leave the earth’s resources for future generations. “The way Village Farms fits that definition of sustainability is: one, we don’t use soil, so it takes a lot less land for the same amount of crops. Two, we don’t take any nutrients out of the soil. Three, we don’t leachate any of our solutions into the ground,” DeGiglio enumerated.

“It took 500,000 years for the first one billion human beings to be on the planet. There are now seven-plus billion of us. The demographics say that by 2050, there will be a 30 percent increase of the population of the planet. That’s 2.5 billion people. Whether that number is up or down by twenty percent doesn’t matter,” he posited. “How is agriculture going to feed that amount of people with the same amount of water? It has to come from efficiency and sustainability.”

The company chose growing regions in British Columbia and Texas based on the climate conditions most favorable to producing consistently superior quality crops. “You can’t move your farm to take advantage of a better climate,” he mused. “In Texas, we grow at the southernmost latitude a the highest elevation in the U.S. We are at a 5,000-foot elevation. We do that because of the warm days and cool nights.”
Natural gas is used to heat the greenhouse at night.

“The boilers designed for greenhouses over the past three decades are so efficient and clean, the carbon dioxide (CO2) that’s released is food grade. We capture all of it, and pump it into the greenhouse,” he revealed. “As you remember from ninth grade biology, plants take in CO2 and make oxygen. Not only do we not extract the CO2 into the atmosphere, we convert it into oxygen. That can’t be done outside.”

Village Farms produces only non-GMO crops, grown in an organic medium made of coconut husks. Crops are vine ripened and hand-picked at the exact right moment for the absolute best taste.

“A lot of field growers pick tomatoes when they’re green,” he said. “If a tomato doesn’t get to a certain level of maturity the ripening process never occurs. So they spray an ethylene gas on it so it turns an orangey pink. Bananas are shipped green, and when they’re ready to ship to the store they spray them with ethylene. Vine ripened taste is much better.”

The company’s agricultural engineers are working on extending product shelf life. “There’s all kinds of good things happening that drives a better tasting, safer product, and people can trust that brand,” he added.

Committing to the Cannabis Crop
Canada approved the use of medical marijuana in 2001, and pending legislation is expected to legalize it for recreational use in mid 2018. Village Farms recently entered into a partnership with Emerald Health Therapeutics, a bio-pharma company focused on the use of cannabinoids to treat disease.

“We are currently in the process of converting our smallest greenhouse footprint of 1.1 million square feet to cannabis in British Columbia. It’s a very new crop, and a lot of the early folks that got into it weren’t farmers, they were just folks who saw an opportunity. We thought our ability to grow any crop was a good fit,” he stated.

“We’ve done modeling, we talked to Health Canada, and we saw a great opportunity in conversions of our Canadian high-tech greenhouses as a lower cost model rather than building new ones because we feel that it will eventually become commoditized out, and when it does, in the end it’s the low-cost producer that survives. That’s always a prudent thing in agriculture.”

While practicality is at the heart of everything Village Farms does as a business, the people of Village Farms are really what makes the difference and our planet—and palates—are much better for it.

Click here to downlod a .pdf version of this article

News

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Donates Time on #GivingTuesday

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On November 28 a team from Village Farms and Produce for Kids celebrated #GivingTuesday by volunteering their time at Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Fla. #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

“Being able to give back to our community alongside friends from the produce industry is so rewarding,” said Helen Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing and Communications. “We are so grateful for the ability to do our part in assisting in the fight against hunger.”

The teams spent the morning sorting produce that would go on to make more than 4,000 meals. Second Harvest Food Bank provides an especially important service in the Orlando area because 1 in 6 Central Floridians are food insecure and 1 in 4 kids in the area are at risk of going to bed hungry. Second Harvest supplies more than 550 local nonprofit feeding programs to help combat those statistics.

#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and has gained traction over the last six years amongst the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

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Social Responsibility

Generation Next: It takes a Village to be successful, says Krysten DeGiglio

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As seen in the November 27, 2017 issue of The Produce News
by Maggie Giuffrida
krystendegiglio
Growing up, Krysten DeGiglio was admittedly not a huge fan of tomatoes, but oh, how the times have changed now that the 30-year-old Holmdel, NJ, resident works as a regional sales manager for Village Farms — the oldest greenhouse grower in the United States, specializing in exclusive varieties of tomatoes, as well as cucumbers and peppers.

“I pop a Cherry No. 9 tomato like candy!” DeGiglio laughed. “The Heavenly Villagio Marzano is also one of my favorites. Although it’s great to snack on, I absolutely love to cook with it — and it is so versatile. If I’m trying to impress someone in the kitchen, it’s always my staple ingredient.”

A graduate of Fairfield University in Connecticut, DeGiglio earned her bachelor’s and master’s of business administration degrees in accounting. While in college, DeGiglio studied abroad in Florence, Italy, for one semester.

“This experience sparked my interested to learn about different cultures and travel,” she said.

After graduation, DeGiglio worked for Ernst & Young for four-and-a-half years, and then did a short stint with a pharmaceutical company before discovering her true passion for the produce industry.

“I was invited to attend the PMA Fresh Summit show in 2013,” DeGiglio told The Produce News. “It was the first time I was really exposed to the produce industry and I fell in love with it. Since then, I thought this is where my passion lies, this would make for a fulfilling career.”

But there wasn’t an immediate “in” for DeGiglio, despite the fact that her father, Michael DeGiglio, is co-founder and chief executive officer at Village Farms.

“Truly being a public company, there are no family ties here,” DeGiglio noted.

So she waited patiently, and in August of 2015, DeGiglio got a call from her father about an opening in the Village Farms sales department.

“There was a need to hire a Northeast sales manager,” she recalled. “Village Farms entered into an exclusive distribution agreement with Great Northern Hydroponics, a greenhouse grower with 70 acres of production capacity in Leamington, Ontario. This provided an opportunity to extend the company’s entire product line into the Northeast to new and existing customers, and gave Village Farms incentive to hire a millennial with a go-getter mentality.”

And just like that, DeGiglio knew she was the right person for the role. She interviewed with Bret Wiley, senior vice president of sales for the company, and a couple months later, DeGiglio was working her dream job.

“I will always remember what Bret told me before I joined the company,” she said. “He informed me that produce is one of the most challenging industries to work in and that I was going to need tough skin. Looking back over the last two years, I would have to say he was right.”

But those challenges haven’t come without their rewards.

“The most rewarding part for me is working for a company that I’m proud to represent. Village Farms is good for people and the planet,” she said. “I feel fortunate to be part of a team of experienced professionals. Many of my colleagues have worked in produce their entire careers. The knowledge they share is not something you can learn from a book — it’s invaluable.”

One of her greatest mentors, she noted, is her father, who without his help and guidance “this wouldn’t be possible.”

“I’ve never met someone who works so hard,” DeGiglio said. “He never gives up, he never stops, and he always follows through. Personally, I feel extremely fortunate to work for the company at the same time as my father. I get to observe what a great leader, friend, confidant and CEO he is to all at Village Farms.”

And being a part of that Village Farms family is something DeGiglio certainly does not take for granted either.

“Even though a lot of us work remotely, when we come together it truly feels like we’re a family, and that’s really unique,” she said. “It makes me want to keep working harder and harder.”

As far as obstacles she faces in her role as a sales manager, DeGiglio said those mostly revolve around fluctuating supply and demand, which can be difficult at times, but working with her team to identify and solve problems that arise is an essential part of the job.

“My position relies on all the other facets of this business, from production to transportation to marketing to sales. It’s a very integrated network, which is what I love so much about it,” she noted.

That sense of teamwork and camaraderie among her coworkers and clients is something DeGiglio plans to continue honing in on in the New Year.

“My goal is to take my relationships to the next level,” she said. “I want to become more of a consumer-focused specialist and help to integrate sales and marketing internally and externally, which in return will escalate the partnerships that we have.”

After all, it does take a Village.

 

Events

Vote for Lorabella Blossom™

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Village Farms’ Lorabella Blossom™ tomato has been selected as a finalist for the Inaugural Produce Business Innovation Award. This brand new award is based in part on an item’s ability to disrupt the marketplace and Village Farms’ newest exclusive variety is expected to do just that. This sunny orange tomato boasts a blissfully bright™ citrus essence, something the tomato category hasn’t seen yet. This unique tomato and its name have a special significance for our founder and CEO Michael DeGiglio, “I hold this variety close to my heart and I know you’ll find it just as sunny and delightful as I do.”

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Discovered tucked away along the sundrenched beaches amidst the sparkling seas of Italy’s Amalfi Coast this tomato has an untraditional tomato flavor reminiscent of old world sensibilities. It is in an exceptional snacking tomato that is extremely versatile, making it great for grilling, roasting and sautéing and is part of Village Farms’ San Marzano family of products . It’s also packed with a special type of lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that helps build strong bones and encourages a healthy heart. These tomatoes are also a good source of potassium and vitamins A and C.

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Selected as one of 10 finalists by the judges at Produce Business the winner of the first ever Produce Business Innovation Award will be determined by a public voting contest which is happening now. The winner of the popular vote will be announced at the New York Produce Show being held December 11-14 where Village Farms will be attending (booth #244).

Voting is open until 5 p.m. PST on November 27, so please go vote for Lorabella Blossom™!

Produce

We are Better for the Story

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Village Farms searches the world over to hand pick tomatoes that have the most exquisite flavor. Each one has an intriguing past and an even more captivating story. Take a peek over the walls and see our exclusive varieties, straight from the secret gardens!

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Heavenly Villagio Marzano®
An Authentic Mini San Marzano variety exclusive to Village Farms. The Heavenly Villagio Marzano® is a true Mini San Marzano whose genetics originated in a small town of the same name near Naples, Italy. The San Marzano was first grown in the rich volcanic soils shadowed by Mount Vesuvius 240 years ago. Today, this mini version is grown exclusively by Village Farms.

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Cabernet Estate Reserve®
The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ hails from the middle of the Mediterranean region. The rich dark color is distinctive. The Cabernet Estate Reserve™ provides an unforgettable eating experience with each mouthwatering bite. The flavor profile is especially sweet.

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Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®
The Cherry No. 9 hails from southern France. Outside the walled city of Avignon in France, within the fragrant region of Provence, we absolutely fell in love again with tomatoes when first trying this variety… you will too!

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Lorabella Blossom®
Tucked away along the sundrenched beaches amidst the sparkling seas of Italy’s Amalfi Coast we discovered an exciting orange tomato. One crisp bite of the refreshingly vibrant Lorabella Blossom™ will surely intrigue you. With an untraditional tomato flavor reminiscent of old world sensibilities, this tomato blooms with a unique citrus floral essence. Creating a lingering pleasure on the palate growing more alluring with each bite sure to be a memorable taste experience. Lorabella Blossom™ is exclusive to Village Farms ‘San Marzano Family’ of products.

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Sinfully Sweet Campari®
Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes are reminiscent of the flavorful tomatoes grown in backyard gardens across the globe. When first introduced to tomato lovers this variety broke the mold, offering a more compact alternative to TOVs or beefsteak varieties. Their perfectly proportioned old world flavor and juicy sweetness set a new precedent for overall tomato quality, one that we are happy to uphold today. Give in to delicious temptation – it’s only natural.

Village Farms is the North American leader of branded, finest quality, hydroponic greenhouse grown produce. Our great tasting fresh vine ripened tomato, bell pepper, and cucumber varieties are handpicked at the peak of flavor. At Village Farms we exceed customer expectations through our unparalleled consistency and commitment to quality, food safety, and environmentally sustainable growing principles.

Turn the Holidays Upside Down

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by A Couple Cooks

It’s that time of year again, to gather and hold our loved ones dear. This Thanksgiving is even more special for Alex and me since we’ve got a new loved one to introduce to the holiday traditions: Eating breakfast to the sound of the NYC parade. The smell of slicing fresh celery for stuffing. A long table with white linen and the glasses only used for company. Now that our son Larson is part of the family, we’re hoping to mix up some of those traditions and create our own. Instead of a heavy traditional meal, we’re focusing on Thanksgiving recipes that are colorful, creative, delicious, and nourishing.

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Perhaps you’re wondering about this recipe with fresh tomatoes in mid-November? Tomatoes are long gone by this time in Indiana, and I’ve already started dreaming about flipflops and a fresh summer Caprese salad. Typically, I wouldn’t be caught dead eating a fresh tomato this time of year. However, some new growing practices can extend the season of tomatoes while treading gently on the Earth. Alex and I support local growers as much as possible. At the same time we realize that to feed our world, we need diversity in food growing practices. We need sustainable, green-conscious companies all over the globe.

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The tomatoes we used here are grown by Village Farms, who uses hydroponics in a greenhouse (growing in water), allowing the season to be extended. To us, Village Farms’ sustainable growing practices make their tomatoes a viable option for opting for fresh tomatoes in November. These growing methods result in ripe, juicy flavorful tomatoes–not the tasteless and mealy variety that is typically available in the fall and winter months. Village Farms’ growing methods use:

  • 86% less water compared to the average tomato grown outdoors.
  • 97% less land to grow the same amount of tomatoes grown outdoors.
  • Beneficial insects to control pests and stimulate healthy plant growth, instead of harmful chemicals

This cornbread recipe is a new one we’ve developed especially for Village Farms’ Sinfully Sweet Campari® tomatoes. The campari tomatoes are cocktail-sized, basically a large cherry tomato. Here we’ve used them in an upside down cornbread, where the cornbread is baked with sliced tomatoes on the bottom. It’s then inverted after baking to show a lovely tomato design. For our concept, we’ve added fresh sage leaves as another detail and flavor component. And at the end, we decided to top the cornbread with grated Parmesan cheese and broil it until crispy. (It was Alex’s idea, really: genius!) The colors are stunning, and it’s received rave reviews from all friends we’ve served it to. We hope you enjoy it this Thanksgiving season or anytime–and make sure to look for Village Farms tomatoes at your local grocery, they’re an extra special treat!

Get the Recipe: Crispy Tomato Sage Upside Down Cornbread

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This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on A Couple Cooks.

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News

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Director Roberta Cook named One of Produce Grower’s 10 People Who Are Influencing the Produce Industry

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As seen in the October 2017 issue of Produce Grower
by Neil Moran

Dr. Roberta Cook
Director, Village Farms
A longtime academic economist now advises an industry-leading grower

roberta_cook-sizedAfter 31 years working at University of California, Davis, Dr. Roberta Cook remains as passionate about the produce industry as when she was still a graduate student at Michigan State University.

“In my career at UC Davis, I was tasked with looking at all the key supply and demand trends affecting markets for fresh produce in California,” says Cook, who held the position of extension economist in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics. She is now on the board of directors at Village Farms and Ocean Mist Farms.

Her research and consultations have allowed her to gain key insights into the trends affecting the product industry – information that should be valuable to both growers and retailers. Cook says consumers became very value-conscious during the recession and haven’t reverted to earlier buying practices, making competitive pricing even more important for retailers, which puts pressure on suppliers.

One of the biggest trends she sees affecting the industry, which will most likely continue for years to come is “channel blurring,” or the advent of more and more types of competing retail outlets for fresh produce, beyond the conventional supermarket of old.

“From Walmart Supercenters to club stores, dollar stores, convenience stores, drug stores, online sales and limited assortment stores, such as Aldi and Trader Joe’s, the proliferation of store formats is still expanding.” Cooks says.

 

Stay Smooth with a Luscious Cucumber Scrub

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Cucumbers are packed with nutrients and hydration, which makes them a favorite ingredient in smoothies and salads to nourish you from the inside out but did you know that they’re also great for your skin?

Inspired to break the meal recipe mold and find some untraditional uses for our fresh produce we teamed up with Kristina LaRue, RD from Love & Zest to bring you this super simple and highly effective natural cucumber mint scrub.

It smells divine and packs some serious health benefits for your skin. Village Farms Luscious Seedless Long English® Cucumbers are 96% water, giving them a cooling quality and making them a wonderful way to help soothe and hydrate the skin. Plus, pureeing them along with their peel unlocks silica from which helps to firm and plump tired skin.

In addition to its hydrating water content these cucumbers are packed with vitamins A, C, and K which are antioxidants that are easily absorbed by your skin so they work hard to fight dark spots freckles. Cucumbers are also a source of several compounds that fight inflammation and aging.

The sugar in this particular scrub acts as a sweet way to exfoliate dry, rough patches like knees, elbows, or heels to leave your skin polished and soft. The coconut oil helps lock in moisture for intense hydration that lasts all day.

This is the perfect recipe to keep your skin soft and supple throughout the looming winter season. As the holidays approach this scrub is a great and affordable homemade gift for neighbors, friends, and co-workers as well!

Click here to see the full recipe!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms by Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

Keep Things Fresh This Fall

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by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

I’m loving all the fall flavors in these vegetarian Harvest Grain Bowl. Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes, quinoa, arugula, tomatoes, apples, roasted sweet potatoes, dried tart cherries and pumpkin seeds tossed together with an apple cider vinaigrette. Eating a hearty vegetarian meal like this grain bowl feels so nourishing, especially this time of year when food tends to be heavier comfort food. There’s something about enjoying the fall flavors in a healthy way, that’s super comforting to me.

The refined earthy flavors of the Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes are reminiscent of a fine wine and make this the perfect addition to your fresh fall dishes. You may be thinking fresh tomatoes are only good as a summer snack…well, thanks to Village Farms sustainable growing practices you can enjoy tomatoes all year-round! And thankfully so, because the deeper richer pigments in produce are often higher in nutrients. The crimson brown color in the Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes contributes beneficial flavonoids that helps with improving blood flow and proper brain function. And they are also packed with potassium!

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This vegetarian Harvest Grain Bowl is so simple to prepare, especially if you like meal prep! Make up a batch of quinoa and roasted sweet potatoes in advance to save time in the kitchen. This also helps with healthy eating because you’ll have a meal at the ready when you’re hungry. Another quick tip for effortless quinoa prepping: buy it frozen or boil in the bag! So EASY.

Oh and can we just talk about this apple cider vinaigrette for a hot minute? I just love a good dressing and this one is made with apple butter so its apple flavor game is strong! Tangy and creamy, so yum! Prepare the apple cider vinaigrette in advance and store in a mason jar for quick convenience. I often make dressings straight in the mason jar too– add all ingredients, cap it and give it a good shake.

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As we move into the fall months it becomes increasingly tempting to go for the comfort foods high in refined sugars and starch. But this fresh take on fall favorites will satisfy your cravings and energize you from the inside out. I hope you enjoy this vegetarian Harvest Grain Bowl as much as we do!

Click here to see the full recipe!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

News

Produce

Village Farms Introducing Lorabella Blossom Tomato

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As seen on The Produce News on September 28, 2017

by Keith Loria

As the fall season gets under way, the staff at Village Farms is excited about some great things happening in the months ahead, including gearing up for PMA Fresh Summit 2017 in New Orleans (booth No. 453), where it plans to feature its newest tomato variety, Lorabella Blossom.

“This is what we are calling a ‘blissfully bright’ tomato that we are introducing as part of our authentic San Marzano family of products,” said Helen L. Aquino, director of brand marketing and communication for the Heathrow, FL-based company. “It has the same shape and mouth appeal as our signature Heavenly Villagio Marzano, an authentic mini San Marzano variety.”

lorabella-blossom-package-photo-for-webThe Heavenly Villagio Marzano is the only authentic mini San Marzano tomato sold in North America that hails from the mother genetics of the San Marzano tomato originally grown in Italy and known the world over for its amazing flavor and sauce making qualities, according to the company.

“Not to be outdone, Lorabella Blossom is a cousin to this variety and maintains similar old world sensibilities in a unique flavor profile but with a twist all its own,” Aquino said. “Its vibrant bright orange color is so attractive and an unexpected color disruptor on shelf consumers will love seeing. We are calling it Lorabella Blossom because the flavor actually blooms in your mouth with a unique citrus floral essence. The fragrant floral notes and citrus essence are complimented by smooth earthy undertones to form a balanced harmony in flavor.”

She added that the product is versatile as well, allowing for easy snacking due to its one-bite size, or can be roasted in a chunky sauce or grilled on kebabs. And it also makes a refreshingly zesty salsa.

“We will be sampling it during Fresh Summit in a number of dishes for visitors to the booth to try,” Aquino said. “Village Farms’ brand ambassador, Kristina LaRue will be creating fun and surprising dishes during PMA with Lorabella Blossom, as well as our other exclusive specialty varieties.”

LaRue is a registered dietitian and will be on hand to give demonstrations throughout the show in Village Farms’ booth while sharing her take on fun healthy simple to prepare yet great tasting ideas for all of its products.

Village Farms is offering Lorabella Blossom in 10-ounce clamshells in limited volumes but will be gearing up into 2018 given the overwhelming interest by its customers.

Doug Kling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Village Farms, said there are plenty of new initiatives going on around the company geared toward stronger engagement with consumers regarding more targeted initiatives via social media, stronger localized support programs and new exclusive varieties.

“These programs are all targeted on meeting new demands for flavor, sustainability, and socially responsible activities, demanded and expected by millennials, Gen X, baby boomers and the broad range of consumers our industry covers including our retail partners,” he said. “In addition, we continue to expand our growing areas working with agro professionals at Village Farms with combined experiences of over 100 years in the greenhouse industry, focused on enhancing yields, and flavor in the most sustainable manner possible while providing state-of-the-art efficient methods of farming and driving positive outcomes for us and all our partners.”

Recently Village Farms was recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in British Columbia for 2017. The list is compiled by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal that ranks companies based on outstanding growth over the last five years and is intended to provide a representative sample of companies in the province whose entrepreneurial direction and focus are gaining highest traction through new opportunities being seeded.

News

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Employees Offer Irma Relief to Second Harvest Food Bank

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In an effort to provide support post Hurricane Irma Village Farms employees volunteered their time at the local Second Harvest Food Bank in Orlando, Florida. Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida distributes tens of millions of meals per year through 550 local nonprofit feeding programs geared toward the most vulnerable people such as seniors and children. In addition, the Food Bank provides a vital emergency food supply for the community in time of need. Village Farms employees spent the morning sorting food donations slated for disaster victims residing in six counties in central Florida.

“Village Farms takes the business of growing food for people very seriously so having the opportunity to give back to our local Food Bank who makes it a business of feeding people in need was a real pleasure”, said Helen L. Aquino, Director Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms. “Our time spent here today really felt great and something we wish to partake in again very soon”.

For more information visit about Village Farms please visit our website at www.villagefarmsfresh.com.

About Village Farms
Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America. The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses. The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada. Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet. Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

Raise a Toast to Fall

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by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

It’s officially Fall, but depending on where you live it may not feel like it yet. (Thanks, Florida!) Here in FL, the weather we can count on is SUN AND HEAT. We will get an occasional “cold front” that will blow in during the fall/winter months and may last a few days, but the sun and warm temps are part of Florida living. So to truly feel the change of seasons we take little weekend vacations.

So today, I’m bringing you some savory toast combos to add veggies to breakfast… and you may think that these toast combos are stuck between the seasons, like we are here in Florida.

The savory comfort food aspects of cheese and herbs beg to be part of fall but the sweet citrus flavor of Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ tomatoes might make you think that summer is never going to end. These toasts are simple to prepare and delicious any time of day, but I think they are an awesome start to the day because VEGGIES for breakfast = major WIN!

We likely all need more veg in our lives. It’s recommended that we eat 3 cups of vegetables per day but for protective benefits and longevity this 3 cups of veg should be a minimum. So I try to start my day off with a cup by adding greens to my morning smoothie or topping my toast or breakfast bowl with tomatoes!

Village Farms Lorabella Blossom tomatoes are unique in nutrition because they are ORANGE! Orange tomatoes are rich in beta carotene and contain a special type of antioxidant lycopene that is thought to be better absorbed by the body. These tomatoes are also a great source of potassium and Vitamins A and C.

4 Savory Toast Combos to Add Veggies to Breakfast

Cinnamon raisin bread, ricotta cheese, Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ Tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, raisins, honey, freshly cracked pepper

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I’m pretty obsessed with this toast combo– sweet and savory with a dose of protein is so my style. It may be surprising to note but ricotta cheese is super high in protein, a ½ cup contains 14 grams of protein. The citrusy flavors of Lorabella Blossom tomatoes pairs well with savory ricotta cheese and the sweet notes of raisins and honey.

Sourdough bread, apple butter, arugula, Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ Tomatoes, poached egg, crumbled bacon, freshly cracked pepper

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Okay– so this combo is tied for my favvvvv breakfast toast because APPLE BUTTER, and BACON, and POACHED EGGS. I love the texture and spiciness that arugula adds as well as the fresh taste you get from a burst of tomatoes in every bite.

Hearty seed bread, smashed avocado, Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes, Village Farms Long English Cucumber, kalamata olives, feta cheese, red pepper flakes

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If you love AVOCADO and Greek food this toast is for you. I’m not normally an olive person but you gotta add them to this toast combo. It’s loaded with veg and it super savory. Feta cheese with spicy red pepper flakes FTW.

Whole grain bread, smashed burrata, Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® Tomatoes, fresh basil, balsamic reduction, freshly cracked pepper

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This classic has been elevated with smashed burrata, a creamy type of mozzarella cheese. Ya’ll have to try this combo! I can’t get over the FLAVA of creamy burrata, savory tomatoes and the fresh taste of basil with tangy balsamic drizzle. Ohh my.

So raise a toast to fall with these savory breakfast toast recipes and get a healthy dose of veggies for breakfast.

Click here to see all four recipes!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

News

Village Farms Recognized by Business In Vancouver as Fastest Growing Company

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Business in Vancouver has recognized Village Farms as one of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia for 2017.  The list is compiled by Business in Vancouver, a weekly business news journal who ranks companies based on outstanding growth over the last five years. Business in Vancouver’s annual list of the fastest growing companies in British Columbia includes a wide range of entrepreneurs across many business sectors.  The list is intended to provide a representative sample of companies in the province whose entrepreneurial direction and focus are gaining highest traction through new opportunities being seeded.

About Village Farms

Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America.  The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses.  The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada.  Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet.  Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

News

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Donates to Relief Efforts for Victims of Hurricane Harvey

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A vast expanse of 600 miles separates Village Farms’ greenhouse in Marfa, Texas from Houston but the distance to the heart is much closer.  Bright and early this morning a Village Farms tractor trailer hit the road to bridge the span of this great distance loaded with fresh produce for the Houston Food Bank.  Village Farms’ employees pitched in yesterday, Labor Day, a national holiday, to help pack the ten thousand plus pounds of fresh tomatoes slated for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

“Texas is a big state and many of us here at Village Farms have loved ones in Houston and the surrounding East Texas areas impacted by this storm, our hearts go out to them and so this is the least we can do to show we care”, said Jan Korteland, Regional Facility Manager of Village Farms in West Texas.

Village Farms is the largest greenhouse grower of locally grown fresh produce in Texas.  Village Farms’ hand-picked vine ripened sustainably grown greenhouse tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are sold in major retailers all over the state.  Village Farms is hoping its donation to the Houston Food Bank will help keep Texas strong.

About Village Farms

Village Farms is one of the largest producers, marketers, and distributors of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown fruits and vegetables in North America.  The food our farmers grow, along with other greenhouse farmers under exclusive arrangements are all grown in environmentally friendly, soil-less, glass greenhouses.  The Village Farms® brand of fruits and vegetables is marketed and distributed primarily to local retail grocers and dedicated fresh food distributors throughout the United States and Canada.  Since its inception, Village Farms has been guided by sustainability principles that enable us to grow food 365 days a year that not only feeds the growing population but is healthier for people and the planet.  Village Farms is Good for the Earth® and good for you.

See press release here.

 

Launch Into Your Lunchbox

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by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

My nearly 22 month old baby boy starts school today! This is a big milestone (and tear jerker) as a first time parent. I’m so excited about this school year and the fun that little man is going to have…class parties, art, science experiments, and lots of play (can we all go back to preschool?)… but if I’m honest, I’m a little nervous about some stuff too.

Will he throw temper tantrums at school like he does at home? Will he adapt to drinking from a cup instead of his sippy cup that he carries everywhere? Will he last until snack time at 11 a.m. without a hunger strike? My kid gets fed whenever he’s hungry which is often at 10 a.m. Guess I’m going to have to encourage a good snack and hydration in the car ride on the way to school.

Ahhh, so many things to worry about!

He will be attending class for 3 hours two days a week, but we have the option of keeping him there two more hours for “lunch bunch”. And as a working mom, I’m sure we will be utilizing those bonus hours. So I guess that means we are entering the lunch box scene! Parents are up against a lot when it comes to their children choosing healthier foods. Between advertising, availability in school cafeterias, and the general influence of peers, parents have a lot to attempt to stand against. Luckily, there are many tips, tricks, and creative ideas to help with packing healthier options for our children, starting with the produce we choose. Village Farms assortment of fresh and delicious tomatoes and cucumbers have made things a little easier in the search for lunchbox inspiration. Here are some tips and tricks along with three out of this world lunchbox pairings.

Balance new healthy foods with their favorites – One trick I learned pretty early on when attempting to get my little one to try new fruits and vegetables over the sweet and salty processed snacks, was to pair the healthier or more challenging options alongside some of his favorite foods (enter mini chocolate chip cookies and salty crackers). If you’re trying to get your kids to enjoy the healthier options, keep offering the ones they love but in a smaller portion alongside larger portions of the healthier option. Balance is key.

Scrumptious Mini® Cucumber Roll Ups

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Have some fun – Fun doesn’t only have to pertain to your kid’s lunch box design; it can also include their food. Just like adults, kids eat with their eyes so something as simple as switching up the shapes of food might make it more appealing to them. Also, color can be enticing. When you and I eat a sandwich with lettuce and tomato, we know the lettuce is green and the tomato is red, but if we display that for children the colors can draw them in. For instance, these cucumber pinwheels showcase the bright green cucumber swirled throughout – definitely more interesting and appealing to inquiring minds.

Heavenly Villagio Marzano® – BLT Kabobs

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Add a dip – Another trick to try to increase children’s healthier food choices and persuade them to lean more towards fruits and vegetables would be to add a dip of some kind. Try a veggie dip or a hummus (I added a little bit of hummus to go with the carrot and cucumber sticks). Children enjoy dipping and honestly, I don’t know many adults who don’t also enjoy dipping. In fact, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, dipping increases children’s vegetable consumption by as much as 80%!

Maverick Mix® – Ham & Cheese Pinwheels

Just keep swimming! Perseverance is important! Don’t get completely discouraged and throw in the towel too early if your little ones return home with some of the healthier items still inside their lunchboxes. It’s all about exposure and even if they don’t eat their fruits and veggies every single time, the more their taste buds mature, the more likely they will be to develop a taste and liking for them. So, keep offering these healthy choices. It’s not in vain, I promise.

After weeks and weeks of assembling lunches it’s easy to understand that a creative roadblock might hit. I’ve prepared several ideas for lunches that are quick to assemble, nutritionally balanced, and incorporate kid favorites alongside foods that may be new to them.

Click here to see all three recipes!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

Events

Dive into health with Cucumbers

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Let cucumbers fuel you this summer 


The cucumber may just be one of the most underappreciated vegetables in the produce department. Lying in the shadow of kale and avocado lately the unassuming cucumber actually has a lot to offer when it comes to health and hydration.

At Village farms we think it’s time to start giving credit where credit is due. Our Luscious Seedless Long English® and Scrumptious Mini® Cucumbers are loaded with essential nutrients and we’re here to help you make a splash with inspiration on how to feature cucumbers on your summer menu.

Crisp Cucumber Melon Salad 

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Did you know that cucumbers contain multiple B vitamins, including vitamin B1, vitamin B5, and vitamin B7 (biotin)? B vitamins are known to help ease feelings of anxiety and buffer some of the damaging effects of stress. Seriously, who couldn’t use a little help with that?

Cucumbers are rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber. In fact cucumbers are 95% water, making them are a great way to stay hydrated as well. Adding cucumbers to your smoothies or salads can help you meet the ideal of amount of fiber your body needs.

Refreshing Cucumber Smoothie

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Vitamins K and C are also found in cucumbers, these help to promote a healthy heart and skin. These attributes and more are why you should make cucumbers part of your daily routine this summer (and always).

Not sure how to incorporate more cucumbers? Check out this fantastic line-up of cucumber recipes:

Cucumber Margarita
Cucumber Mint Popsicle
Tuna-stuffed Mini Cucumber Canoes
Cucumber Crudite with Roasted Campari Tomato Hummus
Tzatziki 
Cucumber, Mint, & Apple Smoothie

 

 

 

 

Serve a Slice of Sunshine

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by Lindsay Freedman, The Toasted Pine Nut

When I think of summer food and treats one of the first things that pop into my head are tomatoes. Growing up in Jersey, summer was the signal that the most delicious tomatoes are about to descend upon us. Thanks to Village Farms we don’t have to wait for the typical tomato season anymore. Their delicious tomatoes are available year-round thanks to their sustainable growing practices.

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Whether you’re slicing them for sandwiches, or throwing them in salads, there’s nothing quite like those juicy and sweet little bursts of yumminess. Even my kids pop them as snacks which always makes me smile.

Since summer is upon us, I thought making a fun tomato tart would be perfect for any family brunch or backyard barbeque! You can even make these into little tarts or play around with different shapes and sizes!

Recipe: Lorabella Blossom™ Fresh Summer Tomato Tart

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I’m pretty psyched because Village Farms came out with a new tomato variety that I knew would make this tart even more sweet and special. Their Lorabella Blossom™ tomatoes are so perfectly sized and sweet. I’m telling you guys, these tomatoes are like dessert!

They are my favorite tomatoes yet! I always go for grape tomatoes because of their size and sweetness, and I love the Lorabella Blossom™ color and flavor! Something that makes them extra special is that they actually aren’t a grape tomato, but rather a cousin to the mini San Marzano tomato. San Marzano tomatoes are known the world over for their superior flavor and cooking quality.

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There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the vibrant color of these little morsels. These orange tomatoes are known to contain a special type of lycopene that is more easily absorbed by the body. So let’s make a deliciously sweet summery tomato tart!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on The Toasted Pine Nut

Step Up Your Grill Game

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Ahhh, The Fourth of July, a time when America celebrates its independence from the British Empire, and this year a time for you to break away from the same old grilling habits. Sure, they say there’s nothing more American than hamburgers and hot dogs but isn’t the most American thing of all the right to reinvent yourself? Wow your block party with grilled tomatoes this year, yes – we said tomatoes.

Our exclusive tomato varieties are good for so much more than salads and sandwiches. Did you know that their flavor actually develops more when cooked?

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A definite party pleaser and an easy and quick way to make sure everyone gets what they want is by setting up a build-your-own shish kabob bar. The possibilities are endless and your guests won’t know what was more fun, building them or eating them. This is a great way to accommodate any vegetarians as well. Mix and match the exceptional flavors of Village Farms Heavenly Villagio Marzano®, Cabernet Estate Reserve®, Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again®, Lorabella Blossom®, and Maverick Mix® tomatoes for a beautiful presentation and a winning flavor combination every time.

Get the Recipe Here

This year the fireworks won’t just be in the sky but on your taste buds too!

For more great ideas on how to grill and roast tomatoes check out this video:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Your Summer Pop

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by Kristina LaRue, RD, Love & Zest

Are you ready for this?

If you’re looking for more YUMMY ways to sneak in a little extra veg into your (or the fam’s) diet, look no further than making a batch (or all 4) of these savory fruit and veggie popsicles.

These whole food fruit and veggie pops will blow your mind because they are made with tomatoes and cucumbers from Village Farms! These veggies add a wonderful savory element to the pops and the fruit keeps them on the sweet side of life.

And we can’t forget about the nutrition boost that tomatoes and cucumbers add to these popsicles. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, vitamin C, and folate. Deep red tomatoes have long been known for their high concentrations of lycopene, however don’t discount the orange varieties! New research suggests lycopene in beta-carotene rich orange tomatoes may be even better absorbed by the body.

Cucumbers consisting of mostly water, help to rehydrate and replenish electrolytes like potassium. Cucumbers are also a good source of Vitamin K, a nutrient that nourishes the health of the bone; reducing the risk of fractures. Cucumbers also have antioxidant properties, thanks to phytonutrients lignans, flavonoids, and cucurbitacins.

So now you want to add more tomatoes and cucumbers to your diet, right? We’re bringing you savory fruit and veggie popsicles 4 ways so you can have frozen savory popsicle goodness for days. Because that’s just what you need to cool off from the summer heat, or after a good sweat. Popsicles make a tasty way to hydrate too, perfect for the kiddos that can’t seem to drink enough water.

Now for the flavor lineup:

Strawberry Basil Popsicles, a sweet snack made with strawberries, basil, and Village Farms Cherry No. 9 Fall in Love Again® tomatoes
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Peaches n Cream Popsicles, a creamy blend of peaches, coconut milk, honey and Village Farms Lorabella Blossom™ tomatoes.
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Cucumber Melon Popsicles, a refreshing mix of honeydew melon, fresh mint, and Village Farms Scrumptious Mini® cucumbers.
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Blueberry Tea Popsicles, a tangy and caffeinated treat with wild blueberries, brewed tea, lemons, honey and Village Farms Cabernet Estate Reserve® tomatoes.
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We’ve got the bases covered with these savory fruit and veggie pops to fit any taste preference… sweet and earthy, smooth and creamy, cool and fresh, tangy and err caffeinated (or decaf if that’s your style),

Not only are these Savory Fruit and Veggie Popsicles tasty, but they are very easy to create at home, all you need is a blender and popsicle molds (or ice cube trays/ dixie cups + popsicle sticks).

Cheers to more Savory Fruit and Veggie Popsicles! Which flavor do you want to try first?

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Love & Zest. Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD is a board certified sports dietitian located in Orlando, Florida. Kristina is the author of the Love & Zest food and nutrition blog where she shares {mostly} healthy recipes with simple ingredients that are meant for real life.

News

Village Farms to place cannabis crops in Delta greenhouses

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As seen on HortiDaily on June 7villagefarmsemerald

Village Farms is getting into cannabis production. The company made an official announcement of a new joint venture agreement with Emerald Health Therapeutics, which will convert an initial 25 acres of their Ladner, B.C. greenhouse facility into a state of the art glasshouse for the annual production of 75,000 kilograms medical, and if permitted by applicable law, non-therapeutic cannabis for the adult-use market.

Village Farms, currently one of North America’s largest growers of greenhouse produce, says that the launch of the joint venture is a transformational opportunity to grow ‘a substantially more profitable agricultural product’. “Based on our conservative market pricing forecasts and yield projections, conversion of our Canadian greenhouse facilities to cannabis production could generate revenue of 10 to 15 times that of our current Canadian vegetable production with EBITDA margins potentially expanding to more than 50% compared with our current Canadian vegetable margins”, Village Farms CEO Mike DeGiglio said.

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Village Farms CEO Mike DeGiglio speaking in April 2016 at the Indoor Ag-Con.

B.C.-based Emerald Health Therapeutics holds a license to cultivate and sell medical cannabis flower and oils out of its facility located in Victoria. By teaming up with Village Farms, the joint venture aims to become the lowest-cost, highest-quality cannabis producer in Canada, with a targeted production cost of less than 1.00 Canadian dollar per gram.

The transformation of the 25 acres in Ladner is the first step of the new partnership. The potential conversion of all of Village Farms’ Delta, BC greenhouse operations, if the applicable options were exercised, would conservatively be expected to yield approximately 300,000 kg of cannabis annually. Village Farms and Emerald believe this has the potential to fill a substantial portion of the potential Canadian production gap for both medical and non-therapeutic adult-use cannabis.

Village Farms’ move into the cannabis space does not come as a complete surprise. In February last year, CEO Mike DeGiglio already expressed interest in this new ‘cash crop’ during a television interview with thestreet.com. “We will be building greenhouses, expanding our distribution model where we market for our partners who grow and we will also look at alternative crops,” he then said.

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DeGiglio now added that aside from their latest cannabis venture, Village Farms will remain committed to its existing greenhouse produce business and that the company does not expect that the cultivation of cannabis will have a material impact on its existing produce production and distribution business. “We remain steadfastly committed to our existing produce business. We will continue to provide our customers with the premium-quality products they have come to know and expect throughout our 30-year history,” DeGiglio said. “In fact, the favourable economics of cannabis production are expected to provide Village Farms with the financial strength and resources necessary to further expand and solidify our industry-leading position. We fully expect to continue to expand capacity in our produce business to meet customer demand by exploring consolidation opportunities, as we have successfully done in the past, and through organic initiatives at our U.S. operations.”

The Village Farms locations in Ladner are state of the art glasshouses that use specially developed technologies to use methane gas from a local landfill to generate heat and electricity to grow tomato crops.

Click here for Village Farms press release “Village Farms International and Emerald Health form Joint Venture for Large-Scale Greenhouse Cannabis Production”

Nutrition

Produce

Social Responsibility

Village Farms Celebrates Local During BC Greenhouse Veggie Days

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DELTA, BC – Village Farms is celebrating local this week by participating in BC Greenhouse Veggie Days as a member of the BC Greenhouse Growers’ Association. BC Greenhouse Veggie Days was created to promote buying local, fresh, nutritious veggies provided by the greenhouse sector.

The event runs from Friday, May 26 – Saturday, June 3. During that time shoppers will see products stickered with the BC Greenhouse Veggie Days logo and point of sale materials highlighting local produce at 140 participating Real Canadian Superstore, Overwaitea and independent store locations throughout British Columbia, Canada.

The event culminates with in-store visits by greenhouse farmers for most of the day on June 3 at the participating retailers.  Village Farms will also be sampling exclusive varieties of tomatoes and provide giveaways for participants of the event.  “We are excited to be participating in BC Veggie Days again this year.  It is a wonderful program that provides greater awareness of the greenhouse sector and gives consumers the chance to talk to our farmers about Village Farms sustainable growing methods,” said Helen L. Aquino, Director of Brand Marketing & Communication for Village Farms.”

Set the Scene for Summer

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by Zest My Lemon

Memorial Day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

To many it’s also considered the unofficial start of summer. A time to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family when grilling season finally comes back into play. A time when seasonal produce starts growing strong and the farmers markets are far from scarce. There’s nothing like serving up refreshing summer salads filled with fresh flavors alone or as a side dish to complement any BBQ.

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My love for Village Farms tomatoes is real. There are so many different vibrant and delicious types to choose from you just can’t go wrong. With just the right amount of sweet and savory to level out my taste buds they are extremely versatile and filled with many health benefits. They are rich in lycopene and full of other essential nutrients and antioxidants. So really what’s not to love? What even better….you aren’t limited to seasonality. Village Farms grows in sustainable greenhouses so you can have the taste of summer all year-round.

A few tips for choosing tomatoes – I make sure they are firm and deeply colored with a sweet earthy smell. I store them at room temperature for the optimum flavor and lay the larger tomatoes stem side down to keep them fresher longer. I let them ripen so they are slightly soft, juicy and bursting with flavor in my dishes. One of my all-time favorite tomato pairings and a wildly popular meal addition these days is avocado. The sweetness of the tomato mixed with the creaminess of the avocado creates a medley of goodness.

Maverick Mix® Tomacado Summer Salad

Village Farms Maverick Mix® tomatoes are just right for this recipe because they contain a mix of 4 to 6 exclusive varieties each with a distinct shape and flavor and they create a beautiful and colorful presentation. They are hand-picked at the peak of flavor so each one is simply perfect.

This Grilled Corn, Tomato & Avocado salad with hemp seeds screams everything summer and is filled with refreshing flavors. The smokiness of the grilled corn, the citrusy burst of the lime, the fresh cool flavor of the cilantro and the nuttiness of the hemp seeds combined with the sweet tomato and creaminess of the avocado create a luscious burst of mouthwatering goodness. So grab a bowl and head to the pool – summer has officially arrived!

This post and recipe were created exclusively for Village Farms and originally appeared on Zest My Lemon.

Nutrition

Fiesta Like There’s No Mañana

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by Diana Pittet

Cinco de Mayo is not what you think it is.

The Fifth of May does not mark Mexican independence from Spanish control. That’s Diecisés de Septiembre, or the Sixteenth of September. Nor is the day celebrated throughout Mexico. Only the State of Puebla considers it a holiday.

So what exactly is Cinco de Mayo?

On May 5, 1862 (52 years after September 16, 1810), the Mexican Army did the extraordinary. Numbering only 2,000, Mexican troops defeated the French–6,000 men strong—at the Battle of Puebla.  Under the leadership of Napoleon III, the French army was strategizing the occupation of Mexico to establish a Latin empire there. Although Mexico’s victory at Puebla did not stop its eventual occupation by the French in 1863, it did foster a sense of national unity, strength, and patriotism. This is the reason it is celebrated every year in Puebla.

North of the border and elsewhere in the world, Cinco de Mayo has transformed into a celebration of Mexican culture, cuisine, and drink. Nothing wrong with that! What better way to commemorate this than with two Mexican classics–salsa and tequila. These two recipes center around Village Farms produce, and rightly so. Village Farm tomatoes and cucumbers capture the vibrant, in-season flavors of Mexico’s extraordinary cuisine.

Recipe: Sinfully Sweet Campari® Fresh Tomato Salsa

Recipe: Luscious Long English® Cucumber Margarita

Special thanks to Diana Pittet who is a Cheesemonger at The Cheese Cave, Little Silver, N.J. Diana also serves as Vice Chair, NYWCA Renewing Members, Co-Founder of the Night Owl Hospitality & AP Whisky Club, and a Writer, Consultant & Tour Guide for Food & Drink.

Sustainability