I absolutely LOVE the entire process of cooking. I enjoy shopping for the perfect ingredients. I enjoy slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, chiffonading – is that even a word? It’s totally therapeutic and way cheaper than a therapist. What I also love is seeing and learning where my food comes from. Luckily I’m able to visit farms and meet farmers on a fairly regular basis thanks to my job.
In June I was LUCKY enough to be invited on a tour to historic Gettysburg, PA with Lucky Leaf. We visited a family owned cherry farm where we got our boots dirty prancing around in the orchards. We noshed on fresh cherries and were awed by the decades old tractor/machine that shook the trees and emptied them of cherries in 12 seconds flat.
After seeing all those cherries harvested we loaded up and headed to the processing plant which was just a few miles away. Did you know that cherries are processed within hours of being picked? How’s that for fresh? We watched them as they were pitted and then canned all in preparation to head to the stores. I was so intrigued with how quickly the whole process took place. It was incredibly efficient and most definitely fresh.
We also saw apples, and peaches. I was fascinated to learn that they put some of the apples to “sleep”. It’s a 3 day process. Not all apples are processed right when they are picked, instead they’re put to sleep. A very COLD sleep. Nitrogen and oxygen is regulated in a super cold environment, and apples are kept there until they are needed in production. Sweet dreams ; )
In addition to paying such close attention to their fruit. Lucky Leaf is also environmentally friendly. They have a huge field of solar panels operating a large portion of their plant. Apples, peaches, cherries – all canned and processed using solar power.
And you knew there would be some taste testing involved. I had no idea that Lucky Leaf had so many fillings to choose from. My favorites? Raspberry and Dark Sweet CHERRY of course ; )
Disclaimer: Lucky Leaf covered my expenses for the trip. Opinions are my own. Always have been. Always will be.