Connectivity is important to us. We believe that people should know where their food comes from. For more than a decade, we have committed ourselves to sourcing the highest quality organic produce and putting it into the hands of the people.
We couldn't do this without our amazing Colorado organic farmers that grow amazing fruit and vegetables every year. These farm spotlights are meant to champion those farmers who are helping make Colorado a more healthy, sustainable (and delicious!) place.
MEET FOSSIL CREEK FARMS
Fossil Creek Farms owner Steve Maitland with his farmer and two interns.
Fossil Creek Farms is a certified organic farm growing a wide variety of crops in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Owner Steve Maitland has been farming all of his life, but it was mostly raising livestock and alfalfa hay until they began growing fruits and vegetables in 2008. Maitland said he became interested in growing produce after attending a program Growing Growers in Kansas City. Now, on their 15 acres, they grow more than 40 different crops — from Anaheim peppers to zucchini.
Grower's Organic gets a lot of produce from Fossil Creek Farms, including collard greens, kale, green leaf lettuce, beets, cabbage, japanese eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, tomatillos, poblano peppers, green bell peppers and more. Steve is even able to grow okra— which is really difficult to do in Colorado because it loves hot and humid weather.
"I love that Fossil Creek always asks where their product ends up," our team member Emily said. "They really care about what they do, and want to make sure everything goes to a good home."
We caught up with Steve to talk about organic food, local Colorado tomatoes and what he's looking forward to this summer.
How long have you been working with Grower's Organic? Why do you choose to work with them specifically?
We started with them around 2011. I had a chef I was working with that was buying from them and had great things to say. He put Brian and me in touch and we went from there. I like working with Brian and the team. The good thing about Grower's is that they can buy mostly everything I can grow. A lot of other places will only take what they want, but Grower's can take it all and help us move it.
Why is organic produce so important?
A lot of reasons, but mainly two. Obviously, natural crops are free from pesticide residue— but there’s more to the organic certification than that. It’s about preserving and taking care of the land so it will last.
What do you wish people knew about organic produce?
I wish people wouldn’t worry about produce being "ugly." Bug holes, damage, small pests — that’s part of it. In general, it seems like everyone is looking for a perfect thing. I wish people didn’t worry about that. Good produce isn’t always cosmetically perfect.
What are you most excited about this summer on the farm?
This is busy season. We’re looking to have a good crop of a lot of things. We have really good bell peppers, purple bells, tomatoes - heirloom and more. The sweet corn and watermelon... There's lots to be excited about. And then we'll have butternut, acorn, delicata, spaghetti squash and more soon.