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This post, Love Beets Farm Tour in Rochester NY, reflects an amazing sponsored trip I went on with Love Beets. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Love Beets Farm Tour in Rochester NY
I was honored when Love Beets invited me along on their first ever Beet Bonanza hosted right here in my home town of Rochester, NY. As a passionate gardener myself, I love learning more about how our food is produced, especially when it is produced so close to home.
We traveled about 45 minutes outside of the city to Byron, NY where Dewey Produce Farms is located where we got to meet the multi-generational family farmers who keep the farm alive and well today.
I was most interested to learn that 65% of all beets are grown here in Upstate, NY and that this has been a prime beet growing area since before World War Two. As Mr. Dewey said, every town had a little canning factory.
It is the Western New York weather and soil that makes this area a prime location to grow beets. We spent time learning about the different weather microzones created because of Lake Ontario, and learned that there are different types of soil ranging from sandy to clay soil which makes beet production valuable here.
While I tend to complain about the weather here, it is perfect for the beets. The NY Harvest lasts about week and takes place in July through October, meaning fresh beets are being harvested all the time.
Using Technology to Grow Beets
It was really cool to have representatives from two of the biggest schools around, Cornell University and my alma matter Rochester Institute of Technology to talk to us about how they are using technology to grow beets.
By using technology, they have been able to not only improve the yield of the crop, but to also focus son sustainability measures as well.
The Plant Pathologst from Cornell University talked more about her role in protecting the plants from disease, especially on the all organic farm we were at where no pesticides are used – just good old fashioned weeding by hand.
Their ultimate goal: ” To improve profitability, productivity and sustainability.” Now that is a win-win for everyone.
Representatives from RIT were also there, talking about how they are using drone technology to reduce the amount of pesticides used or to improve the yield of the crop.
While they didn’t use the $100,000 drone due to a change of rain, they did explain how this sophisticated piece of machinery can detect how many plants there are, and more specifically can count the number of beets in the field.
Love Beets Factory Tour
In true farm-to-table style, we were not only able to see how beets are grown right in the field, but also able to learn more about how the actually end up on the grocery store shelves or in your refrigerator thanks to a tour of the state-of-the-art factory also located in Rochester, NY.
We had the opportunity to meet the plant production and operations managers who took us on a tour of the massively huge building which turns those fresh farm beets into the delicious food in pretty packages you’re used to seeing at Wegmans.
The factory opened here in Rochester in March 2016 and employs over 120 people.
Love Beets Factor Tour
Going on a tour of the beet factory was truly amazing, and everyone who worked there was proud to show the factory to us.
The hygiene standards in this factory were un-real, it was absoutley the cleanest, neatest factory I have ever seen.
The moment the beets arrive from the farm, they are sorted by size and weight. They then are ran through a very specific washing and peeling process which helps to preserve as much of the usable product as possible.
Anything that is not able to be used, such as skins or juice, is recycled to be used in one way or another. Love Beets is comittted to sustainability and has truly found some clever ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle their beet products.
Have you heard of beet powder anyone?
Love Beets Products
From farm to table, these beets are magically turned into some of the most delicious beet products on the market today.
And I have to say, Love Beets have definitely found a way to make beets sexy again. From their modern packaging to their amazing corporate culture, it is easy to see why this is the most beloved brand in the world.
From beet powder to beet juice, tasty marinated beets and beet salsa, everything Love Beets makes is truly made with love.
Check out my favorite recipes made with Love Beets products:
- Pink Gremolata Hummus
- Rainbow Hummus & Beet Veggie Wrap
- Homemade Beet Tortilla Wraps
- Pink Fresh Fruit Spring Rolls
Beet Inspired Dinner
Of course, no trip is complete without a little wining and dining!
Love Beets prepared for us an entire beet themed dinner at one of Rochester’s best restaurants, The Owl House.
Not only was the food incredible, but the opportunity to sit and talk with people on the Love Beets team as well as the other bloggers on the trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
The following day we were all treated to an amazing photography workshop at The Rochester Brainery, a community classroom located in the Neighborhood of the Arts.
It was really nice to see how much Love Beets values their bloggers and influencers by giving us such a unique experience. The food photography class was taught by my longtime idol Cara, owner of Chickpea Mag, a Rochester based vegan print & digital community & magazine.
Cara shared everything she knows about food and food photography to help us take some amazing shots, like this one below of these tasty vegan beet doughnuts she made.
Love Beets Farm Tour in Rochester, NY
My time spent on the Love Beets Beet Bonanza Tour was absolutely incredible and I am even more thankful that it was in my home town of Rochester, NY. It is these once in a lifetime experiences that I cherish, and the knowledge I have gained will always stay with me.
Now, if you haven’t yet, you absoutley need to go out and pick up some Love Beets products from Wegman’s. Not only are beets highly nutritious, but they are absoutley delicious!
Have any questions about how beets are grown? Let me know in the comments below!