Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Stahlbush Island Farms

We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’ll be sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series. In the heart of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley, Bill and Karla Chambers founded Stahlbush Island Farms as newlyweds with just two crops, sugar beets and pumpkins. Since then, they’ve raised four children on the farm and have expanded to grow dozens of crops — including fruits, vegetables and grains — for their frozen foods, organic canned purees and organic pet food. Recognizing the need for high quality fruits and vegetables, the Chambers’ elected to enter the frozen foods market by picking and processing their produce on site. Their fruits and vegetables are harvested at the very peak of ripeness and flash-frozen within four hours to preserve the just-picked goodness in their frozen offerings. The Chambers’ have a forward-thinking philosophy that applies to more than just their products. The company created environmentally friendly freezer bags and purposely did not patent the technology so that other companies can follow their lead. They also turn agricultural waste into energy with the first biogas plant of its kind in North America. The plant produces enough energy to power the farm and approximately 1,100 homes. Leftover agricultural matter from the biogas plant is then used to fertilize their crops. Vegetables powering vegetables — talk about going full circle! Check out the slideshow and let us know what you think about the Chambers’ innovative farming methods by leaving a comment below.