Supplier Spotlight: Evergreen HerbsMay 10, 2022
Have you ever thought about growing your own fresh herbs and vegetables at home? Not only is it fun, easy, and a great activity to do with kids, it could also turn into a business venture! That’s how Evergreen Herbs started for the two Brar brothers, who started their herb company with a small patch of their father’s farm. What started as a team of two on a one-acre farm now employs more than 200 people on 300 acres, and is Canada’s largest grower of fresh herbs and specialty food products.
A family-owned business from the start
Started in Surrey, British Columbia, Evergreen Herbs began in 1970 as a traditional farm, growing onions, carrots, and lettuce. In 1996, Brar brothers Ron and TJ set out to diversify the farm, focusing on fresh herbs in particular. Today, it’s a highly successful, sustainable business leading the way in local farming! Evergreen Herbs employs team members from different racial, ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds, all committed to growing fresh, delicious herbs and vegetables (and more!) for your favourite HelloFresh meals.
The farm’s sustainability practices have deep roots (pun intended), evident in almost every area of their growing practices.
- Building and maintaining healthy soil: Through organic growing methods and replenishing soil with compost, the farm focuses on the idea that healthy soil means healthy produce.
- Rotating and growing a variety of crops: Growing a mix of crops in the same area, rather than separating them out (also known as intercropping) contributes to healthy soil. Bonus: it also improves pest control, always top of mind for produce-based farmers!
- Planting cover crops: Cover crops protect the soil by preventing erosion, replenishing nutrients in the soil, and slowing weed growth. They’ve been a common farming practice since the Roman empire! Common varieties include grasses, turnips, radishes, and legumes.
- Integrated pest management methods: Hosting certain insects, like ladybugs, and even certain types of mosquitos, helps keep pests like aphids and rust flies in check naturally. Bonus: using less pesticides.
- Managing water usage: Water is a key concern for any farmer. At the farm, water is only used during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid water loss through evaporation during peak sunlight hours. The field beds are also covered with plastic liners to retain water during the growing season.
- Streamlining tractor usage: The team streamlines tractor usage to minimize air, water, and climate pollution, reducing the number of times a tractor needs to work every field. Bonus: this decreases the amount of fossil fuels used as well.
What the future holds for Evergreen Herbs
Evergreen Herbs is committed to growing a greener future. Recycling is an important, integrated part of their business, along with reducing their carbon footprint. By continuously improving their recycling habits, Evergreen Herbs is doing their part in keeping our environment clean and preserving our natural resources. This focus on sustainability is also at the forefront of HelloFresh’s operations, and why our supply chain includes over 1,500 suppliers, many of them domestic (like Evergreen Herbs!).
To sample the difference fresh herbs can make to a meal, try a HelloFresh kit featuring fresh herbs and spices, like in our:
Craving Mexican tonight? We’ve packed all the robust flavours of elotes – or, street corn – into a delicious charred corn and pepper side salad, topped with feta and a creamy chive dressing. It’s the perfect companion for garlicky bacon-wrapped chicken! Those chives in the dish are from Evergreen Herbs! Get the recipe here!
And now, we’ll leave you with a super important challenge: do you pronounce it ‘herb’ or ‘erb’?!
Click here to order your next HelloFresh box!