Thank you Deb and Stan Latta for your dedication to volunteering for Friends & Farmers!
I sat down with Deb at The Meetinghouse to learn more about her role with the OLM
How did you get involved with Friends & Farmers?
Deb: I was with the State College School District and the CDT ran an article about F & F back when it was first starting and I had no idea we could order online so I pulled up the website that was listed in the article so I began ordering with my husband. I said to him when we retire I think I would like to volunteer for this organization. I love the products, I love the farming community and helping out and I’m a people person. So I decided it would be a nice fit for when we retire.
I started first and kept ordering and later on they needed drivers so Stan joined and we’ve been doing it every Tuesday since.
Why do you love F & F products?
Deb: For me this is what I love the most. I love that I can sit down at my computer and I can look at a lot of different farms and products. I don’t have to drive to Bellefonte for my soap or to Pleasant Gap for my pasta but even sitting in my p.j’s I’m able to put together a really nice order and not have to go to the grocery store. So I like the convenience, a one-stop shop is what I really like.
What are some of your favorite products?
Deb: Belle Naturals! I love the soap, I think I have bought every single bar that she makes. They’re just absolutely wonderful especially in this winter weather.
I love Clover Creek Cheeses they really came in handy over the Holiday season my company really raved about them.
I really like the micro-greens because that’s not something I can find in any kind of a store. We have a couple different suppliers for micro-greens and they’re just wonderful added to salads.
It depends on the season and if I’m doing a lot of entertaining. I’ll buy some things from Tait Farm like their mustards or their jams.
I like all of The Pipers Peck salsas except the ones that are really super hot!
I’ll buy a lot of greens, carrots, and radishes that kind of thing. I love Jade Family Farm because not only do I know the family so I feel this kinship but they are truly one of the suppliers that are totally organic by definition absolutely organic. I love their products and I can really tell the difference when I get their products verses something I’d buy at the grocery store.
Friends and Farmers has then opened the door for me to go to Farmers markets. I go to the Boalsburg Market and the Indoor Market during winter and that is really new for me. So now I’m going every week. It has really opened my eyes to this entire world I never knew existed.
Before I was just going to the grocery store and I couldn’t figure out why I was throwing away so much. The lettuce never lasted, I tried different types of lettuce and my radishes were always getting yucky. I eat a lot of salads. Friends & Farmers produce is so different it’s so fresh and it’s not any more expensive. That was the big fallacy for me the big “ah-ha” when I see what I’m getting and the amount I’m getting verses what I used to buy. I can have this organic lettuce in my fridge for three weeks! You have to treat it kindly but it will last.
Another favorite is Fasta Pasta. My favorite is the Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli. It is the best and you can’t get it anywhere else. I love that it comes frozen and I will tell you Stan and I usually eat the whole pack!
Tell me more about Stan’s role with Friends & Farmers.
Stan has really embraced volunteering much more than I thought. He looks forward to getting all the deliveries and since he knows the State College area so well he divides up all the deliveries that we have. Say there are two drivers he’ll be the one that says, “Okay these seven go here and these six go with this person.” So he enjoys that and then he competes with himself to see how fast he can do all the deliveries. He does them very nicely and he really likes the challenge. He has met so many people that order every week and some people that he has known! They’ll say, “Stan I didn’t know you were delivering with Friends & Farmers.” So he’s reconnected! I think he enjoys making people feel good. “Here’s your delivery, is there anything else I can do?” He likes going over and beyond. He’ll drop it off and if he doesn’t see a cooler he always calls the person and makes sure that everything is taken care of so when he gets home he can feel really good that he has done a good job. He really enjoys from start to finish the whole process.
Deb’s Tips for Keeping Lettuce fresh in your refrigerator: I keep it in the exact bag I buy it in and keep it open and I wash and tear as I use it and it stays really well. I also don’t put it in the bottom of my refrigerator I put it in the middle of the crispers. If it gets too cold it doesn’t keep well.