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.

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13 comments

Comments

LORI STANEK says …

I DO ALOT OF BAKING. I USE ALOT OF CANNED PUMPKIN THIS TIME OF YEAR FOR BAKING ESPECIALLY,SO ONE DAY I WAS IN WHOLE FOODS AND I SEEN YOUR PUMPKIN IN A CAN AND I THOUGHT I'D GIVE IT A "WHIRL"! "WOW", TO MY SURPRISE I MADE PUMPKIN BREAD WITH IT, AND NEEDLESS TO SAY ALL FIVE LOAVES WERE GONE IN ONE DAY! IT MADE IT MUCH MOISTER THAN THE LIBBY'S BRAND THAT I PREVIOUSLY WAS USING!!!! I'VE TOLD ALL MY FRIENDS, FAMILY AND AQUAINTENCES ABOUT HOW WONDERFUL YOUR PRODUCT IS AND THEY'VE TASTED IT TO! I JUST WISH IT CAME IN BIGGER CANS!!!

Emily says …

What a wonderful farm with great family values and delicious products! I love knowing where my food comes from and that the values of the farmers that grow and process it share mine:) Thanks Whole Foods!

Natalie says …

This is so great! Why aren't other farms following their example? They are growing and producing quality food, generating power from the waste material, and the whole operation is earth-friendly. Success and eco-responsibility can go hand-in-hand. Thanks for posting this story!

Kathleen says …

My husband and I visited the state of Oregon several years ago and were amazed by the beauty of so many areas there. It's so uplifting to read about companies like Stahlbush Island Farms who are so innovative in ways to protect the environment. This proves the technology is there--why aren't large companies doing this too? Whole Foods finds the best companies. Keep the stories coming. I love them!

Anne says …

I know I LOVE the frozen fruit selections of Stahlbush....especially the blueberries!!! I can't get enough of them.

debbie says …

Impressive!

Terri says …

Wow, Wish every company in the world did this! Great story!! Thanks Whole Foods!

Robyn Faber says …

This ia sustainable agriculture at it's finest....would that all our foods could be obtained from such wholesome farms!

Marisol says …

Wow, how impressive, and thanks to the Chamber family for doing the right thing in being sustainable farmers and thanks to Whole Foods for supporting good companies and telling us about people like the Chambers.

Sandy says …

Just bought two cans for brownies and bread. YUM!

Becky says …

I just found this pumpkin puree in my local food store and will gladly be switching to Stahlbush Island Farms for my pumpkin pie recipe. It's up to the one's who care to support these farms so we can help them grow, flourish and hopefully change the ideas of many more!

kaye ponton says …

There is something wrong with your site. I cannot move my screen to read all about you-using a smart phone. Hope you can fix it. I just purchased my first blueberries and they are delish! Thanks, k

Marge Fehrenbacher says …

I purchased you frozen Red Beans& Rice . Love them. going back for more . I'm always looking for low sodium foods. Marge