Hollandia Produce Continues to #KeepSavingCA


Though our state of California has made significant water conservation progress since Governor Jerry Brown issued the 25% water conservation mandate, it’s still important for Californians to keep saving our water

As we head into the hot summer months, we’d like to revisit a few tips our employees shared last year on how they conserve water at home.

Hollandia Produce Employees’ Water Saving Tips:

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 8.59.35 AMCharlene Rodriguez has gone to the extent of removing all of the grass from her family’s backyard and replaced it with a more water conscious choice – gravel. Her backyard transformation is a perfect example of how Charlene and her family have committed to such state campaigns like, #KeepSavingCA and “gold is the new green” campaign.


Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 8.59.58 AMCharles Hemphill said: “I installed rotor sprinklers on my back hill for ground cover and drip system for all of my trees. I was able to reduce my water usage on my lawn by 30% by mowing at the highest setting on my lawn mower. Higher grass provides more shading at the base and helps promote more soil absorption. Cutting grass too short in the heat of summer causes grass shock due to lack of water and it may brown it out in areas. Early morning watering at 5:30am also helps in allowing more water to get deeper into the soil and cutting down on evaporation from the sun and wind.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 9.06.14 AMAnne Fortuna pitched in by recycling the water from her laundry when bleach wasn’t used. She and her husband simply rerouted the water drainage hose from their washer machine and into a collection barrel. The water is then repurposed by watering their backyard plants.




We are continuously inspired by our employees’ commitment to sustainability. At Hollandia Produce, we too are committed to conserving water with every crop. Our hydroponics growing techniques (visual above) help recycle precious water resources, reduce overall water use, limit water loss due to evaporation, and stop soil erosion.

Together, we are not only providing you and your family the freshest lettuce and leafy greens possible, but we are conserving water, one drop at a time.

Veggies are the New Center of the Plate Attraction


A plethora of fresh summer vegetables ranging in colors of yellow, orange and greenThe term “center of the plate” is being tossed around in kitchens and restaurants across the country. Lately, the phrase isn’t referring to flank steak with au jus or roasted chicken. Instead, chefs and amateur cooks have experimented by moving vegetables to the forefront of our meals while shifting meat to a supporting role.

Part of the reason for this change is the increasing interest in reducing one’s carbon footprint. Individuals can take charge by consuming more local produce (about 11% of the greenhouse emissions involved in food production are linked to food transportation) and limiting their meat and poultry intake to a few times per week. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the livestock industry is responsible for 14.5% of greenhouse gases while vegetables have a significantly less impact.

Eggs, Quinoa and Butter Lettuce
Image by: Lidia Haddadian

Want to try veggie-centric meals that are good for the environment yet filling and delicious? While perusing social media channels, you can find “green” recipes that range from elaborate to simple. If you’re in need of a quick weekday dish, combine protein-rich eggs and quinoa on a bed of our Living Butter Lettuce as foodie Lidia Haddadian dreamt up. It’s a great meal that is easy on both your waistband and wallet!

If you’re looking to create not only a tasty dish but also a beautiful one, look no further than to Petit World Citizen’s Cauliflower Steak. Frying or roasting the cruciferous veggie allows its thick stem to become tender and meaty. Add our Living Watercress (a cruciferous cousin) for a flavorful dinner that is chock full of vitamins D and C.

Begin experimenting at home with the plethora of vegetables that are in season this month. The seasonal food guide is a great reference for locating which produce is in season in your own region. Pair your favorites with our versatile Live Gourmet® Living Butter Lettuce or superfood powerhouses Live Gourmet® brand Living Upland Cress and Grower Pete’s Organic brand Living Watercress for a one-of-a-kind herbivorous dish!


Prepare to be Marketed To: Fruits and Vegetables Take Center Stage

Looks like 2015 may have just gotten a whole lot healthier, thanks to a new ad campaign called: FNV, the cool, new way to refer to fruits and vegetables. Here, at Hollandia Produce, we couldn’t be happier. As farmers ourselves and longtime supporters of Produce for Better Health, we’ve been promoting healthy eating and the benefits FNV for years!fnv logo

Boulder, Colorado-based ad agency Victors & Spoils, whose client list includes juggernauts Coca-Cola and General Mills, just put America on notice with their in-your-face “Prepare to be marketed to” campaign video teaser.

green healthy foodThe pro-healthy eating campaign will start primarily on social media networks like Twitter, posting short videos featuring actress Jessica Alba and NFL quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton. Additional videos will be released in coming days starring Curry, New York Giant Victor Cruz, actress Kristen Bell, and others.

Replete with its own fashionable logo, the FNV campaign is the brainchild of Partnership for a Healthier America, that was created in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to get families to eat better and exercise more.

Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest noted that an advertising campaign for fruits and vegetables may be powerful in influencing eating decisions, but that its effectiveness will depend on how much support the campaign receives. What do you think? Will athletes and actors purporting the benefits of FNV be enough? Only time will tell; stay tuned!

In the meantime, feed your curiosity and your body with this delicious superfood salad and this entertaining video clip.




Eat More Leafy Greens for Better Nutrition

Eat Lettuces and Leafy Greens for better nutritionLive Gourmet lettuces and leafy greens not only taste delightful but are healthy too! Live Gourmet lettuces have the roots attached to maintain the crisp and delicious taste to stay fresh for days. We recently read an article on HortiDaily.com that shared, “green leafy vegetables are chock full of phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.”  For better nutrition, go to your local market and pick up some greens and make a delicious salad to fill your appetite.  To learn more about leafy green nutrition, here are more highlights from the article:

  • Many health professionals believe that leafy green vegetables deserve a special focus in the produce world for the volume of nutrients tucked into their low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, low-glycemic index package.live-gourmet-living-upland-cress
  • The article also shared that, “the U.S. Department of Agriculture recognizes the benefits of dark green vegetables on the basis of color, and recommends incorporating at least three cups (cooked, or 6 cups raw) in your diet every week, based on 2,000 calories per day.”
  • Also stated, “greens, such as collard and mustard greens and spinach, are rich sources of vitamins A, C, K and folate — a water-soluble B vitamin that supports cell production, such as for hair, skin and nails, and may protect against diseases.”
  • Many varieties of vegetables supply 20 to 30 percent of your daily recommendation for calcium in a one-cup cooked serving.
  • The article also featured information from DetroitNews.com that shared, “all of these antioxidants and nutrients in leafy green vegetables work together to fend off illness. Consumption of these vegetables is linked to protection against mental decline, and better heart, bone and eye heal­th. At near 25 calories per one-­cup serving (uncooked), adding leafy green vegetables to your daily diet is an excellent way to promote long-term health.”

Summer Salad Time: Strawberry, Goat Cheese, and Toasted Hazelnut Salad

Summer Salad Time Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad
Strawberry Salad Photo by Molly Watson

Today’s salad is filled with color and texture: bright red strawberries, toasted hazelnuts, chunks of crumbled goat cheese – on top of a fresh, crispy head of living Butter Lettuce. Then there’s the homemade dressing that is infused with garlic, honey and other ingredients that make this salad even more eye-appealing. Don’t be surprised if your guests leave impressed.

This recipe will make 6 servings:

1/4 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dijon-style mustard
1 tsp. honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 head Living Butter Lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup strawberries
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled

For the complete preparation instructions, please visit: http://bit.ly/18YSNXj

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Hollandia Produce Supports PMA Foundation for Industry Talent

Roots Matter at Hollandia ProduceHollandia Produce LLC, (yes, that’s us, your grower of Live Gourmet Living Leafy Greens) recently made a multi-year financial commitment to support PMA’s Foundation for Industry Talent to help sustain a vibrant global produce industry through its most valuable resource: PEOPLE.

We pledged to donate to PMA’s F.I.T. for 3 years and it is part of our ongoing community and trade outreach programs. We are pleased to be able to contribute to the growth and development of our industry

Please see PMA’s F.I.T. site for more information about their vision and mission.

Pasta Sauce with Upland Cress

One of our customers, Lynn Ross in California, emailed us her “easy peasy lemon squeezy” pasta sauce recipe that she makes with our Upland Cress.

Yes, she really did say “easy peasy lemon squeezy” when she emailed us!  This is a super-fresh sauce, no cans!

Homemade Pasta Sauce with Scallops and Upland Cress

Here’s what you’ll need:

pasta sauce tomato cress mushroom
Homemade pasta sauce with tomato, garlic, mushroom and cress
  • 4-6 tomatoes (depends on tomato size and how saucy you want your sauce), chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (your preference), sliced
  • Half an onion (optional, not used in this recipe)
  • Living Upland Cress
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Scallops, frozen and thawed or fresh
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Pasta noodles for 4
upland cress pasta sauce
Upland Cress Pasta Sauce

Here’s what to do:
Cook pasta, drain

Heat butter in pan, add mushrooms and garlic
Add olive oil and tomatoes, simmer
Cook scallops
Add scallops and upland cress when almost ready to serve, stir
Add the lemon squeeze.  Crushed red pepper and other spices like basil can be added
Stir in pasta
Add cheese

Lynn, thanks for emailing us your recipe.

How do you cook with Butter Lettuce? Tell us about it!
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Yet Another Way that Live Gourmet is Going Green

If you’ve been following this blog, then you probably already know about how we’ve gone green with our packaging. Now we’ve got something new for our friend the earth to be happy about because what hauls our green packaging around is now green too. Our state of the art trucks are designed to be aerodynamic in order to reduce fuel consumption, and the fuel that is used is not gas, but cleaner burning natural gas.

We’ve also upgraded our trailers as well. The refrigeration units that keep our greens fresh are hybrid-electric, so they also release less CO2 into our atmosphere.

All of this has helped us get the EPA’s official stamp of approval for our trucks. For a sligtly more in-depth look at all of this new tech, check out the video below from AndNowUKnow.com:

Remember, we’re always looking for customer recipes. Send us yours and we’ll send you something too!
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Hollandia Produce Wins PMA Impact Award for Butter Lettuce Packaging

Carpinteria, CA – Hollandia Produce, LLCs, innovative produce squircle clamshell and shipping container won one of the five 2011 PMA Impact Awards for Excellence in Packaging last week in Atlanta, Georgia at the 2011 Produce Marketing Association conference. In its 5th year, the PMA Impact Award is presented to companies recognized for maximizing all opportunities to sell more fresh produce and floral products through innovative packaging. Packaging submissions were awarded points based upon excellence in the following areas: Marketing Design and Messaging, Food Safety, Supply Chain Efficiencies / Functionality, Sustainability / Environmental Impact and Consumer Convenience.

Hollandia Produce’s Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce packaging was released this year.  Hollandia Produce, LLC’s CEO Pete Overgaag said “it’s an honor to be named one of this year’s winners and to receive the recognition from our fellow produce professionals. Our new squircle packaging is the result of years of company-wide investments of time, talent and financial resources to achieve the ultimate package for our Live Gourmet Living Lettuces. Every aspect of our new package was examined to see how we could optimize the new design to insure we met and exceeded all merchandising, physical protection, food safety, sustainability, transportation and packaging criteria”. 

“The new Squircle design is an attractive improvement on the antiquated design of our original package that will help differentiate our Live Gourmet Living Butter Lettuce from all other living lettuce grower shippers” said Director of Marketing Vincent Choate. An eye catching, colorful and communicative label compliments the new design and acts as a tamper evident seal for the new package. Target consumer and frequent user focus group studies suggest the new optimized design achieves the goal of continued brand recognition while attracting first time buyers with its colorful and distinctive design.  

Source reduced, elegantly redesigned and supremely functional. The new Squircle clamshell package meets and exceeds merchandising, physical protection, food safety, sustainability and transportation packaging criteria for the 21st Century. 

Visit http://www.livegourmet.com/promo for information on our new Squircle packaging.

About Hollandia Produce Live Gourmet®
Hollandia Produce LLC. is a multi-faceted agricultural concern specializing in greenhouse-grown vegetables. Hollandia Produce, family owned and operated, is located in Carpinteria, California. In 2011 the company celebrated 41 years in business. As a producer of Live Gourmet® brand butter lettuce, upland cress, and 3-n-1 lettuce, Hollandia Produce provides many of the major supermarket chains in the western states with a year-round supply of premium quality produce. Live Gourmet® family of products are harvested with their roots intact and the lettuces are packaged in a unique see-through clamshell that functions as a mini-greenhouse. As living plants, these products have an exceptional long-lasting freshness that retains flavor and color much longer than comparable varieties in the produce department. Learn more at http://www.livegourmet.com/.

About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing business solutions that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.

We’ve Been Recognized for "Innovative Packaging"

Last month we told you about our new Clam Shell (aka Squircle) packaging. You can check out that post here if you missed it. If you don’t remember, the Squircle design, as well as our new shipping boxes, use less materials and are better for the environment.

The Produce Marketing Association has taken notice of this and named Hollandia Produce (makers of Live Gourmet) one of the finalist for their PMA Impact Excellence in Packaging Award. We’re quite happy about this, and you can be too, because now you know that when you choose Live Gourmet brand produce, you’re helping the environment. That makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside, how about you?

For more information about the award, check out this article over at Fresh Plaza: http://bit.ly/o17b39.

And you can find more information about our Squircle package here: http://bit.ly/nrxA1U.

We’re still looking for great reader submitted recipes! So send us your favorite lettuce-centric recipe and we’ll send you back some goodies!
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