Terra Organics Is Hiring!

Terra Organics is a growing leader in the local farm-to-table movement, and we are currently hiring!

The following positions are available immediately to qualified candidates.

Terra Organics Human Resources Assistant

The Human Resources assistant supports the administration of the day-to-day communication with and support of employees. The HR assistant carries out responsibilities in some or all of the following areas: employee relations, training and development, benefits, compensation, and employment.

The HR assistant:

  • Prepares and maintains application paperwork
  • Prepares and maintains new hire paperwork
  • Maintains employee contact information records
  • Assists in communicating employee benefits
  • Is available to mediate employee concerns and requests
  • Assists with preparation of payroll
  • Assists at the time of employee termination/resignation
    • Available for employee feedback, communication of concerns
    • Submits and collects exit survey

The HR assistant has partial responsibility for these areas:

  • Recruiting and staffing logistics;
  • Performance management and improvement tracking systems;
  • Employee orientation, development, and training logistics and recordkeeping;
  • Assisting with employee relations;
  • Company employee communication;
  • Compensation and benefits administration and recordkeeping;
  • Employee safety, welfare, wellness, and health reporting; and
  • Maintaining employee files and the HR filing system;

The Human Resources assistant contributes efforts that will provide an employee-oriented, culture that emphasizes empowerment, quality, productivity and standards, goal attainment, and the recruitment and ongoing development of a skillful workforce.

Primary Objectives:

  • Safety of the workforce.
  • Development of a skilled, efficient, creative, and satisfied workforce.
  • Development of the Human Resources department.
  • Development of an employee-oriented culture that emphasizes quality, continuous improvement, and high performance.
  • Personal ongoing development.

 

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Terra Organics AM Shipping/Receiving Lead

The Shipping and Receiving Lead receives, checks, prepares, rotates, and repacks produce and other goods prior to each production shift and performs other warehouse duties as needed.

The Shipping/Receiving Lead:

  • Receives new product; verifies origin, type, quantity, quality and records any errors.
  • Puts away and organizes product using proper rotation and quality control procedures.
  • Builds wholesale orders from inventory and prepares them for delivery.
  • Performs inventory level and quality checks as needed.
  • Shares other miscellaneous warehouse responsibilities as needed.

 

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to regularly lift and carry objects weighing as much as 50 lbs.
  • Must be able to perform repetitive upper body motions such as while stacking cases, weighing or counting items, or transferring items from one container to another.
  • Must be able to stand, walk, bend, and reach repeatedly throughout entire work shift.

Job Requirements:

  • Basic math skills, strong short term memory, and good organizational skills will be essential to excelling in this position.
  • Must be able to work independently and stay on task while managing a dynamic workflow.
  • Must have excellent attention to detail and be proactive; you will often be the first person with the opportunity to see and address problems as they arise.
  • Must be able to communicate problems or concerns to other employees and help identify and implement solutions.
  • Previous warehouse and/or produce experience preferred; you will need to know or learn about produce handling, storage, and spoilage.

 

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Terra Organics Driver

This position is primarily responsible for delivering customer orders in good condition while representing Terra Organics in a positive, professional manner at all times.

All drivers:

  • Deliver product following an assigned route schedule. May collect payments for product delivered.
  • Checks product and paperwork to ensure accuracy of pickup and delivery.
  • Completes required truck inspections and driving/trip documentation. Reports any mechanical problems or accidents (including damaged equipment) to Operations Manager and/or Supervisor. Ensures any equipment used for loading/unloading is returned to appropriate location.
  • Represents Terra Organics in a positive, professional manner at all times. Answers customer questions about Terra Organics products and services, or refers customer to appropriate staff as needed. Follows through on customer requests.

Qualifications:
Position typically requires a High School diploma, or equivalent with a minimum of 2 years of related commercial driving experience. Additional warehouse experience and a knowledge of produce varieties preferred.

Must be able to communicate well both verbally and in writing with all levels of personnel and management. Must have the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships. Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to prioritize and accomplish multiple tasks with limited supervision are required. Basic math skills required.

 

Pay is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Terra Organics is an equal opportunity employer. To apply for one (or more) of these positions, please send a resume, cover letter, and 3 references to jobs@terra-organics.com

New: CB’s Peanut Butter and More!

NEW in the Terra Organics webstore

CB’s Nuts Peanut Butter
Dried Apricots

Green Cabbage


TerraNEWS & INFO
St. Patrick’s Day will be here before you know it. Prepare by ordering some Green Cabbage to accompany your traditional corned beef feast for the holiday, or simply plan to deck out your dinner table in green with Green KaleCollard Greens, and Rainbow Chard!

We love the rich, toasty nuts and seeds we get from CB’s Nuts, a wonderful local company, and now we’re happy to offer their Peanut Butter in our “Honey and Jam” category! Organically grown Valencia peanuts are freshly roasted for the best possible flavor and blended to a splendid happy-medium texture that the folks at CB’s Nuts call “creamunchy” and that Goldilocks would call “just right.” This premium peanut butter is all natural and contains only roasted peanuts, but you won’t find any of the annoying, oily separation that plagues other natural peanut butter brands.

The options are endless: dunk sticks of Celery, combine with Heavenly Honey for a sweet dip for Pink Lady Apple slices, or spread a little on a square of Theo 70% Dark Chocolate. And who doesn’t like a good PB&J? Pair CB’s PB with a Burnt Ridge Nursery preserve like Plum Jam or Apple Butter, spread on your favorite bread from the Essential Baking Company, and elevate the childhood classic to a new gourmet level!

It’s still prime time for citrus fruits. Our TDE Tangerines are easy to peel and have a sweet, well-balanced taste. Blood Oranges, with their deep, garnet-red hue, remain bright and refreshing. (Tip: Blood oranges contain more folate than normal oranges, making them a great choice for pregnant women!) And finally, for those of us who like to keep a pile of citrus around their kitchen for when the urge to snack strikes, there’s our 4 lb bags of navel oranges, sure to ward off scurvy!

Buy organic. Buy local. Invest in your local food economy.

TerraSPECIALS of the Week
Green Cabbage, $3.00/head
Blood Oranges, $4.50/lb
Rio Star and Honeygold Grapefruits, $1.75 each
Tommy Atkin Mangoes, $2.00 each
Snow Peas, $2.25/half lb

Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, New Stiebrs Eggs, and Hazelnut Crunch Bar from Theo Chocolate

NEW in the Terra Organics webstore

Eggs From Stiebrs Farms
Mixed Cherry Tomatoes
Theo Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar

TerraNEWS & INFO

Just another reminder that we are still taking pre-payments for summer 2014! Click here to invest in our farm and be a part of our growing season!

Egg lovers, take note: We’ve just added two new types of eggs from Stiebrs Farms to our web store. Now, in addition to our popular Go-Organic Omega 3 eggs, we’re carrying the regular Go-Organic eggs by the half-dozen, as well as their Cage Free Large Brown Eggs!

We’ve received lots of glowing feedback about our Mixed Cherry Tomatoes. This mini heirloom tomatoes come in a variety of shapes and a pretty palette of green, yellow, and red. They’re going for $3 a pint this week and are so sweet that you might just find yourself snacking on them like candy. Alternately, you could slow-roast them like this to concentrate their bright, juicy flavor!

The latest luxury to pop up under the “Snacks and Treats” category is the Hazelnut Crunch Milk Chocolate Bar from Theo Chocolate. The bar starts out with a base of 45% cacao milk chocolate and incorporates a toothsome hazelnut brittle with just a kiss of salt. You will love the sweet crunch and pure milk chocolate! If you haven’t checked out our others sweets from Theo Chocolate, make sure you do. We carry their standard bars,45% Milk Chocolate and 70% Dark, as well as 70% Dark in GingerRaspberry, and Salted Almond. Treat yourself!

Enjoy this lovely preview of spring weather while it lasts!

Buy organic. Buy local. Invest in your local food economy.

TerraSPECIALS of the Week

Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, $3.00/pint
English Peas, $4.25/lb
Honeygold Grapefruit, $1.50 each
Minneola Tangelos, $1.00 each

 

Gold Nugget Mandarins, Grapefruits, and English Peas

New in the Terra Organics Webstore:
Gold Nugget Mandarins
Blood Oranges
Asian Pears
English Peas
Kumquats

TerraNEWS & INFO

Reminder: We are still taking pre-payments for 2014! Pay the amount of your choice now to support the costs of our summer growing season, and get 105% of your money back on June 1st. Click here to invest now! We appreciate your help!

If you’re wondering what’s in season right now, grapefruits really come into their own this time of year. With a boost of vitamin C and a burst of invigorating flavor, they’re just the thing to round out your morning breakfasts. We have two varieties right now: Honeygold, which has sweet, golden-yellow flesh, and Rio Stars, which boast pretty pink color and pleasingly tart taste. Try this simple trick for segmenting your grapefruits, and enjoy them plain or over greens for a refreshing salad!

The latest and greatest orange variety in our web store is our Gold Nugget Mandarins, a seedless, easy-peeling type. Their name comes from their bumpy, dimpled rind, which lends them a nugget-like appearance. Pop them into lunch boxes for a sweet surprise!

Spring is just around the corner. One of the great heralds of springtime is the arrival of fresh, sweet peas. This week, we have English Peas. What sets English peas apart from other varieties is their thick pod, which contains a string. Just pull the string to “unzip” the pod and release the plump green pearls inside! They’re easy to prepare, too: Just drop them into simmering water and cook for 3-4 minutes, then toss into your favorite pastas and salads.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Buy organic. Buy local. Invest in your local food economy.

TerraSPECIALS of the Week

Strawberries, $4.75/lb
Artichokes, $1.25 each
Asparagus, $6.00/lb
Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, $3.00/pint
Honeygold Grapefruit, $1.50 each
TDE Tangerines, $3.75/lb
Valencia Oranges, $0.50 each

 

New Local Pastured Eggs, Romanesco Cauliflower, and Lady Alice Apples

NEW in the Terra Organics webstore

TDE Tangerines
Eggs from Early Bird Farm
Honeygold Grapefruits
Romanesco Cauliflower
Ataulfo Mangos
Lady Alice Apples

TerraNEWS & INFO

These dreary days of February beg for something a little exotic and different, and we’ve got the answer: Romanesco Cauliflower! When you see a romanesco for the first time, you might not be able to believe your eyes. It originated in sixteenth century Italy, but looks more like something from outer space, as its florets grow in mesmerizing, psychedelic fractals. You’ve got to see one for yourself! This unusual vegetable has become a favorite that customers often ask about, not only because of its interesting appearance but also for its nutty, mild flavor, comparable to broccoli or cauliflower but a bit sweeter. Who knew geometry could be so delicious?

We are thrilled to announce that we are now carrying farm-fresh eggs from a new supplier, Early Bird Farms in Tacoma! Early Bird’s beautiful brown and blue eggs have won rave reviews for their superior taste and are served in some of Seattle’s finest restaurants. These happy chickens live their whole lives roaming freely on pasture and enjoy a diet of sprouted whole grains and veggies. Eggs don’t come much fresher or more local than these!

In search of snackable citrus? Try our TDE Tangerines. If you’re wondering what “TDE” stands for, it’s for the three varieties that were bred together to make these tangerines: the Temple tangor, the Dancy Mandarin and the Encore mandarin. This trinity produces a sweet, juicy orange that is a snap to peel and contains no pesky seeds!

Though its name makes it sound a bit like a character from Downton Abbey, “Lady Alice” is actually the newest apple variety in our web store. This variety comes from Washington state and is sweet, with a kiss of tartness. Its dense flesh holds its shape well, making it a great choice for baking into pies and other desserts. But it’s also slow to brown after it is sliced and is an exquisite option for raw snacking, too!

Buy organic. Buy local. Invest in your local food economy.

TerraSPECIALS of the Week

Honeygold Grapefruits, $1.50 each
Red and Green Leaf Lettuces, $2.00 a head
Broccoli, $2.25 a bunch
Cucumbers, $1.50 each
Roma Tomatoes, $1.75/lb
Asparagus, $6.99/lb
Lacinato Kale, $2.50/bunch

 

Invest in Tahoma Farms Today!

It’s amazing that we can feed you fresh, healthy food every day and provide you with the convenience of delivery. We’re humbled that we get to contribute to your well-being in this way!

We couldn’t do it without your support. That’s why we’re asking you to make an investment to help kick-start our next growing season at our farm, Tahoma Farms.

This is a special opportunity for you to help grow the thriving food system you want to see in our community. By investing in our business, you’ll make that system a reality – and reap the rewards come summertime!

Here’s how it works: You pay us the amount of your choice now. We’ll use this money to fund our sumer growing season. On June 1st, we’ll return your entire pre-payment to your Terra Organics account, along with a 5% return on your investment!

Why should you consider pre-paying?

1. Fight for real food. Show the big agricultural companies that you won’t have their GMO-laden “foods” and that you’re rooting for 100% certified organic and GMO-free all the way.

2. Create a better local food system. Everyone in our community benefits when there’s more good food to go around.

3. Help us improve the fruits and vegetables we put on your table. “Good food from healthy farms” will get even better.

4. Support a family-owned business. One that is devoted to bringing you the fresh, whole, natural foods you love.

5. Get a return on your investment. Remember, you’ll get a bonus credit for your Terra Organics account!

Be sure to sign up by May 1 to guarantee your 5% bonus credit!

Click here to invest in another year of good food from healthy farms.

Thanks so much for your support of our farm!

-Your Terra Organics Team

 

Those Who Labor For Our Food: What’s Fair?

These are the facts, and the facts only. The way that I feel about this is a topic for another day because it’s hard to feel good about something that you think is unfair to begin with.

Farm work is brutally hard at times. It’s hard on the body, mostly – but also on the mind and soul. It tends to be thankless work and repetitive and it is, quite literally, back breaking.

For many farmworkers, the job is seasonal – one often goes where the work takes them – and short-term: there is no guarantee that because you worked one place, for part of a year, that you can return the next.

There are countless exemptions and exclusions that further degrade the work of farmworkers. Many actually earn less than the state minimum wage if they are paid per pound or per piece rather than by the hour, as many farms around the country do. The agricultural industry as a whole is exempt from paying overtime to its workers.

On the other side of the equation is a supply chain that cares very little about these facts. We, as consumers, have come to expect very low prices for our food and, as a percentage of income, spend far less on food than pretty much every other country on earth.

But all of this does not mean that it has to be this way or that there is nothing we can do about it. As consumers, we can ask questions of those who are growing and supplying us with our food. (Indeed, this article is a response to a question from a concerned individual, who is considering buying food through Terra Organics.) And since the question has been asked about the conditions on our farm, Tahoma Farms, here are some more facts:

* Entry level pay at our farm is $10 per hour. Pay increases occur annually for employees that return the following year;

* The working conditions themselves are relatively favorable: instead of having a specialized and dedicated crew for each job on the farm, there is a diversity of work and work environments so that the work is less repetitive and more comfortable;

* All employees have unrestricted access to drinking water, a break room and bathrooms at any point during the day. Paid breaks happen on a regular basis and an hour-long unpaid lunch break is taken every day by everybody;

* We supply everyone working on the farm with the appropriate shoes and clothing for work during the winter and in the rain.

* When there is a surplus at the end of the year, we have been able to offer profit-sharing to our entire team;

* Free fruits and vegetables are distributed to all employees, as available and within reason;

* We host an end-of-the-season dinner for employees and their families and have impromptu meals with the crew throughout the season;

* And, lastly, we are safety-conscious. Farms have some of the highest industrial insurance rates because of the inherent dangers on farms. We have had two minor injuries in five years and have a perfect safety rating with our state department of labor and industries;

Oh, and because we are organic – our employees are not exposed to toxic pesticides and fertilizers! That’s a big one in the larger scheme of things.

Finally, because the question we received also wanted to know about other farms that we work with, there’s two things I can say about that:

First, because we try to purchase directly from our local farms first, I have had the chance to visit many of them and observe first-hand what I would consider to be fair working conditions. And, secondly, because we have trusted partners in Organically Grown Company and Charlie’s Produce, we feel confident that the farms that we purchase from that are further afield are also not engaged in any unfair labor practices.

It’s a complicated landscape for sure. Two additional resources that shed some light on the complexity of the situation and the hope for a better future are here and here.

Si se puede!

-Dan

No Deliveries For Christmas Week

Our "Healthy Holidays" gift box

Hello! We hope you’re enjoying your holiday season so far. We wanted to let you know that there will be NO deliveries during the week of Christmas, 12/23-12/27, as our employees will be taking the week to spend with their loved ones. We hope this is not too much of an inconvenience for you and thank you for your understanding!

If you receive biweekly deliveries and normally would have been set to receive a delivery between 12/23 and 12/27, this means that you won’t receive your regularly scheduled delivery and may have to wait until the second week of January to receive another order. If this applies to you and you would like to make an arrangement to ensure you get a box the week after Christmas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we will help accommodate your needs!

That also makes this week the last week for ordering gifts from us for Christmas! If you’re still looking for gifts for friends and family, our new organic gift boxes make lovely, thoughtful presents for anyone. Check them out under the “Gift Boxes” category in our web store! If you missed out on the chance to give a box for Christmas, don’t worry – the boxes will still be here for all your gift-giving needs in the New Year!

Love your box and would like to give someone else the gift of a Terra Organics subscription? Fill out our gift certificate or gift delivery form!

New Item & Recipe: Round Bone Roast!

We’ve added a new item to the web store: Round Bone Roast from Grass Fed Direct! The Round Bone Roast is a delicious cut of meat similar to chuck roast or pot roast. It’s the perfect cut for all your hearty winter stews or pot roasts! And, as with any item from Grass Fed Direct, you can expect the best taste and quality around.

Ready to give it a try? Check out the pot roast recipe below for a sumptuous, comforting supper!

Rosemary Pot Roast

Recipe from Three Diets, One Dinner.

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 lb Top Round, trimmed of fat and cut in half
1 onion, chopped medium
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp Worchestershire Sauce
Coarse Salt and Pepper

1. Scatter onion at the bottom of your crock pot. Next, heat the coconut oil in a skillet until hot.

2. Very liberally season the roast with salt and pepper rubbing it into all sides.

3. Brown the meat on all sides. Place the meat over the onions and add the rosemary.

4. Deglaze the skillet with Worcestershire sauce, scraping up the brown bits. This should take 5 seconds or so. Pour it over the meat and onions. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours. Turn to low and cook another 3 hours. Uncover and shred meat with a fork. Stir shredded meat into the onions and juices and serve.

 

Why Non-Organic Isn’t Always A Bad Thing

You may have noticed recently that we have offered a couple of non-organic items, including cranberries and turkeys, in our web store recently. It’s very important to us that you, our customers, have as much information about the products you’re purchasing as possible, so we wanted to fill you in on what informed the recent decision to offer you these non-organic items!

Organic food is the key to our mission, and we take our role as your source for organic produce very seriously! That’s why ordinarily, all of our produce is 100% certified organic. That said, we occasionally see some good reasons for taking on a supplier that isn’t certified organic, and this is one of those times.

This year, we are delivering turkeys from Mary’s Free Range Turkeys, which are not organic. We really wanted to be able to offer the option of a turkey for all of you this Thanksgiving season. Unfortunately, the few organic turkeys we could find came at a prohibitively high cost that wouldn’t be viable for many of our customers. We settled on Mary’s as a choice that would fulfill our values for healthy, high-quality turkeys raised in a great environment for an affordable price. Unlike your typical grocery-store turkey, these turkeys are guaranteed to be free-range and antibiotic-free. We would not have chosen it if we didn’t feel great about having Mary’s as a source. When you buy items like these turkeys from us, you support our small business and our own small organic farm and help us grow. Another reason we offered these turkeys was to gauge what the interest levels for Thanksgiving turkeys were like. Thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response we received, we already have plans in the works for next year and are hoping to team up with a farm that is raising turkeys to bring you 100% certified organic turkeys!

We are also carrying cranberries from Bloom Creek Cranberry Farm in Olympia, WA. Bloom Creek’s cranberries are not certified organic. However, they use sustainable methods and work hard to minimize their need for agricultural chemicals. Bloom Creek is a small, local, family-owned farm that is trying to transition into being certified organic in the next two to three years and perfecting their process, currently working on a bog that is pesticide-free. The first year they attempted not to use herbicides, they struggled with rampant weed problems that overwhelmed their crop. Cranberries are a notoriously tricky crop to grow – Bloom Creek actually hand-weeds their bogs! In addition, having a small farm ourselves, we understand the challenges of getting certification and want to support other small farms who are going through the process, knowing that they need the financial support to reach their goal of being certified. Furthermore, Bloom Creek lovingly produces their cranberries, and it shows in their product! Their cranberries are exquisite, with none of the decay that you’ll often see with the large commercial brands.

We feel honored that you’ve chosen us as your source for organic groceries and promise to always do our best to find amazing sources. All of the items in your weekly box will always be 100% certified organic, and we will only add non-organic items to our web store when we have a good reason for doing so and are completely assured of their quality. Because we are a certified organic handler, we take the utmost care to guard against any cross contamination or commingling of non-organic and organic products. And because we believe in transparency, when we do carry a non-organic item, you can rest assured that it will be clearly marked so that you know what you’re buying.

As always, please feel free to get in touch with us and share what you think. We value your feedback and depend on it to become a better business!

Sincerely,
Team Terra Organics