Greenhouse growing goes back three generations beginning in Holland for the Overgaag Family, founders of Pete’s Living Greens. The family’s tradition, now passed on to the employee owners, of greenhouse hydroponic growing allows us to grow your favorite Pete’s Living Greens products with consistent uniformity year-round.
How do we do this?
For most farms, the colder temperatures and shorter winter days marks a shift in crop production. However, for us this is not the case. While our growing cycle is mildly affected by seasonal changes, all of our greens are produced hydroponically in state-of-the-art greenhouses where we control light, pests, temperature, humidity, and nutrients. Hydroponics, “is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.”
Though we may not face some of the same challenges as other growers, we still are mindful of our company’s carbon footprint. One way we’ve accomplished this is by updating our fleet trucks. They are designed to be aerodynamic in order to reduce fuel consumption, which consists of cleaner burning natural gas. Our fleet’s refrigeration units, that keep our greens fresh, are hybrid-electric, releasing less CO2 into our atmosphere.
From growing to delivery, we continue to find ways in which we can become an increasingly sustainable business. And whether it be rain, shine, snow or sleet, we provide excellent and quality products to our consumers while utilizing environmentally-friendly practices.
In 2015, the FMI Foundation launched the family meals movement to help American families achieve the goal of sharing one more family meal each week at home with items from the grocery store.
The family meals movement culminates this September with National Family Meals Month™, and we invite you to join us in celebrating! Tell us or show us with a photo what’s for dinner at your family table on social media (Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) and tag us @PetesLivingGreens and use the hashtag #Familymealsmonth.
This initiative hits close to home for our Vice President of Sales Brian Cook. We’ve asked him along with his family to share why eating together is important to them.
Brian: Since the kids were little we always had dinner together. It was one of the unbroken rules at the house. Everyone was to be home for dinner and if someone was at practice or other extracurricular activity, we waited, at least until they became teenagers. I loved that no one really ever complained either. Since we started the tradition so young they knew what to expect and if it was going to be a late dinner, we would have a snack.
The outcome? We all continue to be really close. Well, as close as we could be. My son, Saige, and daughter, Peyton, are on their own and away. We miss them dearly around the dinner table. I pray that they will keep the tradition when they start their families, which I hope is not too soon.
Dinners changed as the kids grew and frankly, we got older. Our young, very active family was happy with mac and cheese and pasta. But as they got older and didn’t want us hovering at practice, we began making more in-depth meals such as enchilada casserole, tacos and other comfort food since we had more time. Now, we enjoy a healthy eating lifestyle and have stayed very active together: walking and hiking together regularly. Dinner comes in the form of increased fruits and vegetables with smaller portions of protein. I threw a fit at first but feel much better since we’ve move to this route.
I love having dinner with the family because it is the one time things are still and many laughs are had. I asked the family their reasons for enjoying dinner and have shared those with you below. Wishing you all the very best and a great dinner….TOGETHER.
Jeanette (Mom) – I love to eat dinner with the family so we can stay connected.
Alynna (Daughter, 20) – Food and family are very important to me (she’s a chef) and it’s cool that they can come together.
Peyton (Daughter, 19) – I enjoyed talking about what’s happening in everyone’s life while enjoying a good meal.
Savannah (Daughter, 16) – Feels that eating together makes food taste that much better. 😉
The Cook Family can’t wait to try our new Cauliflower Tabbouleh Lettuce Cups During Family Meals Month!
Not only are they tasty and add satisfying texture, our Living Greens include a number of health benefits. Romaine lettuce has more vitamin A than a carrot, and is a rich source of vitamin K (a key role in helping blood clot). Butter lettuce also contains significant amounts of Vitamin K and folate. While adding watercress to your diet can help improve your skin. In a study reported by the Daily Mail, “10 out of 11 female volunteers experienced visible improvements to their skin after just four weeks of adding one bag of watercress a day to their diet.”
To receive green’s maximum health benefits while testing your culinary creativity, try a few of our favorite non-traditional recipes.
Food 52’s Squid with Watercress Salsa Verde. Fresh sauted squid is a healthier alternative than its breaded and fried calamari counterpart. Not to mention, superfood watercress boosts the dish’s nutritional value.
You’ve probably heard eating your greens, like our Living greens, is good for your waistband, but did you know they provide a number of health benefits? According to the USDA, “Because of their high content of antioxidants, green leafy vegetables may be one of the best cancer-preventing foods… [And] these same antioxidants have also been proven to decrease the risk of heart disease.”
Here at Hollandia Produce, our Living greens not only provide essential vitamins and antioxidants but they’re rooted in freshness and alive with flavor. Need more convincing?
Here are eight reasons to eat our Living greens.
They have ample amounts of vitamins and minerals. Watercress and Upland Cress have as much vitamin C as an orange and more calcium than milk. Romaine Lettuce has more vitamin A than a carrot, and Butter Lettuce contains significant amounts of Vitamin K.
Watercress helps the body recover from exercise-related oxidative stress. A study found that subjects who consumed watercress daily before working out, experienced less DNA damage than their non-consuming watercress counterparts.
They’re a great low-carb option. Use Living Butter Lettuce in place of sandwich bread, taco shells and wraps.
Cress protects your eyes and skin. In addition to its vitamin A and C power, Watercress and Upland Cress contain lutein — an antioxidant found most notably in dark green leafy vegetables that supports eye health and vision.
Our Hydroponic growing system uses less water than conventional farming. It recycles water while limiting water loss due to evaporation. Moreover, our method produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).
They’re versatile! Add them to a diverse array of dishes, including trendy Acai bowls, grain bowls, juices and more.
They’re the freshest greens you can buy. Living Baby Romaine, Butter Lettuce, Watercress and Upland Cress are sold with their roots attached to preserve maximum freshness.
What would Fourth of July be without hot dogs grilled on the barbecue, your aunt’s famous cherry pie and creamy potato salad? Though these ubiquitous summer dishes are tasty, it doesn’t hurt to add fruits and veggies to your spread.
A red, white and blue salad made with Pete’s Living Greens Red Butter Lettuce will be a colorful tasty addition—not to mention it will boost your vitamin and mineral intake for the day. Did you know? “Red-leaf varieties of butter lettuce [like ours] feature leaves that are similar to green-leaf varieties but have distinctive edges, swirls or speckles of red on the foliage,” says the SF Gate.
Butter Lettuces have the softest leaves among all lettuce varieties and are tender with cup shaped leaves that create a loosely formed head. They often resemble a flowering rose. Red Butter Lettuce is rich in calcium and a good source of iron, vitamins A and C.
Pick up Pete’s Living Greens R Red Butter Lettuce in your local grocer’s fresh produce section and get cookin’!
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:
Charlene 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.
Charles 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.”
Anne 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.
In celebration of National Salad Month, we’re throwing it back to our first place salad category winner Josee Lanzi’s Deconstructed Salmon Sushi Roll Salad.
This salad may look completely different from the basic greens with salted vinegar and oil that ancient Romans and Greeks once enjoyed. Yet we’re pleased to report that it adheres to Merriam-Webster’s definition of salad: a mixture of small pieces of raw or cooked food (such as pasta, meat, fruit, eggs, or vegetables) combined usually with a dressing and served cold.
Flex your creative culinary muscle with this one-of-a-kind salad recipe made with our Living Butter Lettuce!
Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo isn’t Mexico’s Independence Day nor is it National Margarita Day. It actually commemorates the infamous Battle of Puebla where the Mexican army defeated the French in 1862.
An intrinsic part of many people’s Cinco de Mayo celebrations is traditional Mexican food. Yet, the taco that many Americans have grown to adore — ground beef, iceberg lettuce and cheddar cheese stuffed into a hard shell — isn’t authentic Mexican fare at all.
The first iteration of the taco is thought to have been invented by Mexican miners in the eighteenth century. Many traditional tacos, which are still made today, are prepared with soft white corn tortillas and can be filled with spit-roasted meats, fish, or even exotic protein like grasshoppers, reports Serious Eats. These tacos are often small and easy to eat on-the-go, hence the name “street taco.”
This week in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we’re featuring a twist on the classic street taco by substituting corn tortillas with our living butter lettuce. This variation is both Paleo-friendly and gluten free.
This week is Every Kid Healthy Week, promoting sound nutrition, regular physical activity and health-awareness programs in schools. The initiative comes at a critical time. Today, nearly 40% of children’s diets come from added sugars and unhealthy fats. And only 21% of youth age 6-19 eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day, according to the Prevention Institute.
In honor of Every Kid Healthy Week, we’ve asked Jessica Beacom, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Co-Founder of The Real Food Dietitians, to share her tips on healthy eating habits for kids and families.
Pete’s Living Greens: As a dietitian, what is the biggest challenge to get kids to eat healthy?
Jessica Beacom: In households where there is access to less healthy snack and meal options in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables, the former will almost always win which is frustrating for parents who want their kids to eat healthy. Gradually removing the processed and packaged foods from the home (and not bringing them back in with the next shopping trip) decreases the number of choices available for snacking so that healthier foods can take the main stage.
PLG: Most families are constantly on-the-go. What are some easy ways parents can continue to offer healthy options despite busy schedules?
JB: Taking time each week to wash, chop and package vegetables, fruits and salads in containers that can be easily tossed into purses, backpacks or coolers for on-the-go snacking makes healthy eating on-the-go so much easier. Adding small packages of nuts, jerky, single-serve nut or seed butter, dried coconut flakes, deli meat and organic cheese or yogurt for protein and healthy fats is easy to do and can save you from meltdowns and decreases the temptation to turn to fast food meals or less healthful pre-packaged snacks.
PLG:What is your advice to parents who have picky eaters?
JB: Don’t force anything. Implementing a “No, thank you” bite policy is key because it means your kids need to try everything at least once. If they don’t like it, don’t sweat it. Don’t bat an eye and don’t make a fuss about it. Often this is what kids want from us…a reaction. A hungry kid will eventually find something they like and eat it up. And it’s okay if they eat just broccoli at dinner because over the course of the week their food choices will balance out. Another benefit of the “No, thank you” bite is that you can prepare foods you like (but know your kids won’t be crazy about) provided you also offer something that you know they’ll like better (provided they’re still great choices). This is a great way to introduce your kids to more exotic meals like curry, stir fry, chili, new vegetables, salads, etc.
Here are a few family-friendly Real Food Dietitans recipes picked especially for our Pete’s Living Greens followers by Jessica. They even include one of our favorite ingredients: butter lettuce!
Did you know Earth Day, the largest secular observance in the world, began a stone’s throw away in Santa Barbara? In 1969 , the largest oil spill the country had ever seen transpired off the coast of the city, resulting in the loss of thousands of birds and marine life. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, emboldened by the community’s outrage of the spill and witnessing its devastating aftermath, Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin wanted to rally a collective consciousness about the environment. This prompted him to create an annual Earth Day (April 22) in 1970.
Since then, Santa Barbara area citizens and people around the world commemorate the day in a number of ways, including consuming less meat, cutting down on disposable plastic and composting. Many individuals and businesses, like ours, don’t only observe on Earth Day, but practice sustainability year round.
At Hollandia Produce we take environmental issues seriously. Our hydroponic growing technique recycles water while also limiting water loss due to evaporation. Hollandia Produce produces nearly four times the yield per acre while using up to 84% less water than if our lettuce were field-grown (exact figures depend upon the region, soil structure, time of year and irrigation method used).
In addition to being water conscious, we utilize packaging that is both recycled and recyclable. Our Squircle® clamshells put your empty plastic water bottles to good use by being comprised of nearly 70% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) water bottles. And we’ve reduced the amount of plastic needed to manufacture these clamshells by 15% in recent years.