A Day With The Freedom Foods Team

Seven o’clock on the farm finds Ryan already hard at work. The sun is beaming its morning warmth and the dew is still on the grass as he heads out the house to open up the doors of the shop to cool it down before the workers arrive. A few minutes later, coffee in hand, he goes over the day’s work, organizing task lists for each employee, checking email, and doing other office work. An hour later, the shop is full of cheery “good mornings” as the rest of the team arrives, ready to start another hard but rewarding day of work. 

To start off the day, some employees head out to the fields to pick the day’s produce. “It is so gratifying to watch plants bear good food that’s delicious and nutritious,” exclaimed Adrienne, when I asked her why she liked to pick produce. Others, like Erin, prefer to be in the shop, putting the harvested produce in delivery baskets. Working together, all the produce for the day’s delivery is picked, washed, and packaged. “That’s when we feel the most like a team, because we’re all working together to get the produce out to customers,” commented one employee.  

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Together, Ryan and Kim make a great team as they run the farm and lead the employees.

By eleven o’clock, all the produce is loaded into the van and sent off to its delivery destination. With the rush of the morning over, the team regroups and then starts their next tasks. It might be weeding for one, fertilizing for another, or planting for another. For Amber, her task is usually the latter. Amber is unofficially head of planting with the water-wheel transplanter, and she loves it because it makes her feel productive to get so much planted in such a short time. It isn’t all outside work, however—head into the office and you will find Kristin hard at work taking care of Freedom Foods’ marketing. “My favorite part about working at Freedom Foods is getting to do a lot of different jobs in one day,” Kristin says. “I have never liked doing the same thing day in and day out, so this job is a really great fit for me!” 

By 5 o’clock, things are winding down at the farm. Troy, Corey, and Danny, three teenage boys, are assigned one final job of taking inventory of the zucchini and cucumbers. After doing a quick estimate on the number of cucumbers and zucchini that will be ready to pick tomorrow, they head back to the shop with the rest of the employees. All are dirty and sweaty, but satisfied. At the shop, they find that Leandra and Kenzie, whom Ryan affectionately calls his “organizers”, have the shop swept and every tool returned to its place. One by one, the parking lot clears of cars and the shop is once again still… waiting only for the next morning when the bustle starts all over again. 

“I couldn’t do this without my team,” Ryan reflects at the end of the day, and it is true. Every tomato that ends up on a customer’s salad is the result of hours of hard labor and teamwork. Starting with the seed, planted by our trusty greenhouse employee Tara, and ending with the harvest and delivery, each piece of produce has a long history of care done by employees. 

When Ryan talks of his employees, he does so with pride. “They have worked really hard and met all my goals for this year,” he declares. But here at Freedom Foods, employees are more than just laborers who get things done—they’re treated like family, because they deserve it. As Erin put it, “My favorite thing about working at Freedom Foods is all the people, because everyone is like family!”