What’s In Season? Summer Guide

The summer solstice is finally here, which means we can warmly begin to welcome our favorite summertime fruits and vegetables. Solstice comes from the Latin words sol (meaning Sun), and sistere (meaning standstill) and is a day adored by farmers across the country. This is typically the turning point in the season as farmers shift from a period of lush vegetation growth to the ripening of summer produce.

Kick off your summer with a trip to your local farmer’s market or grocery store and see what your growers have to offer during this time of abundance. We’ve put together a list of California produce that’s currently at the peak of season.

For maximum freshness, flavor, and nutritional value, check out what’s in our Summer Solstice Harvest Basket:

What’s in the Basket


Bell Peppers

Berries & Cherries
Berries & Cherries

Broccoli & Cauliflower




Stone fruit
Stone Fruit



Zucchini and summer squashes

Let us know which ones you try and how you like them— and be sure to tag us and our local farmers!

Close Customer Relationships Close More Sales

Our previous blog post “Sustainability Starts with Customers” talked about how customers drive the demand for environmentally-conscious efforts throughout the ag industry and why it’s essential for farmers to adapt. But how do you grow relationships beyond that initial business transaction? In honor of Customer Appreciation Day on May 20, we’re diving into the importance of building relationships with customers, at a time when it’s more critical than ever.

Whether you’re a large grower or a market farmer, it’s time to start thinking about nurturing your retailers as you would nurture your crops. According to the USDA, “Economists at the Economic Research Service (ERS) have found that farmers who market goods directly to consumers are more likely to remain in business than those who market only through traditional channels.” Read article

It’s easy to think of agriculture as a commodity that people will always need to survive. However, customer satisfaction can make or break a business. Retailers are key to long-term viability and profitability. So, where do you start?

First Impressions Are Lasting Impressions

One of the best ways to show you care is to invest in customer support team members who share your values and passion. These individuals will be the face of your organization and you need to be able to trust them to reflect your brand.

That’s why it’s essential to hire motivated and personable staff who know how to show respect, listen critically, and offer solutions, not excuses. Additionally, offering consistency in your customer support strategy will leave them confident in supporting your business, which will always keep them coming back for more. When was the last time you visited your own website, called your customer support line, or joined a sales rep on a call? Try to see what your retailers would see and determine if it’s a good reflection of your brand values or if it could use a little improvement.

See What They See

Knowing your customers’ needs and acting on them is essential for building a positive experience. One of the best ways to collect customer-generated feedback is to simply ask your retailers what they think.

Our team recommends investing in a professional research strategy, like MMAPS®, to help you build and execute a successful survey. The MMAPS team will work with you to help create a comprehensive customer perception survey while also ensuring you retain proven methodologies for statistically sound data output. Along with deploying and analyzing the survey results, the MMAPS team drafts an executive report with professional recommendations for your next move – big or small.

Show Them What You’ve Got

Once you have a solid foundation in customer support, honest feedback, and data insights to fuel your decision-making, it’s time to show your customers what you’ve got. To do so, translate the information you’ve gathered into meaningful branding and marketing, from packaging and social ads to a logo redesign or complete relaunch of your website. 

Need some help? Here at Farm to Shelf, we pride ourselves on supporting grower sales efforts with retailers. Here’s just a sample of the work we’ve done to launch products:

Simmis Case Study Mailer

Each retailer interaction paves the way for the next sales transaction. Continual investment in your relationship with retailers is critical to growth. As we celebrate Customer Appreciation Day, it’s a good reminder to say “thanks” for their business.

Sustainability Starts with Customers


These are just a few of the buzzwords used to describe sustainable agricultural practices and the items they produce. In particular, “The organic industry is one of the fastest-growing agricultural segments in the United States,” according to the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. So, what’s the driving force behind this wave of sustainability? Well, it starts with customers.

One of the main arguments for sustainable ag is that the world’s population continues on an upward trajectory. There is an ongoing fear that the planet’s capability will eventually fail to meet the needs of this increasing population. As a result, there’s a growing appetite for sustainability, which many believe is the key to keeping up with the demand for food while simultaneously taking care of the environment to ensure the longevity of our natural resources. While there are many conflicting thoughts and opinions on climate change, social impact issues, and health trends, there’s one thing for sure: we’re entering a generation of conscious consumers.

This generation craves organic, GMO-free, environmentally friendly, and locally grown products. And it’s justified. After all, we depend on food to give us life, so we should care about the quality! For this reason, farming practices have needed to adapt to drive sales toward the rising demand. As a marketing agency, we’ve seen these practices in motion through our work with clients, like Double D Farms Organics, Fowler Packing, PureFresh, Fruit World, and Dairy America.

We’ve learned that sustainability in ag means:

  • Water Conservation
  • Eliminating Synthetic Fertilizers
  • Eco-Friendly Pest Management
  • Utilizing Wind and Solar Energy
  • Maintaining Safe Working Conditions for Workers

And much more!

It can be overwhelming to keep track of innovations and their successes, but it’s worth it for those working in the ag industry.

In 2019, the USDA reported organic products generated $9.93 billion in sales. California alone contributed to 36% of all certified organic sales worth $3.60 billion—four times any other state nationwide. In response to this data from the “2019 Organics Survey,” many producers announced efforts to increase production using their organic farming practices.

That’s great news for the industry! However, to capitalize on the level of success we’ve seen across the country, we must consider one essential tool that turns sustainable products into successful sales: marketing.

The Farm to Shelf team is here to help!

We combine our passion for marketing and ag to grow brands. Our full-service agency handles everything from logo design and photography to packaging, trade show booths, and sales sheets. It’s an investment that will surely pay off as customers gravitate more and more toward sustainable practices and fresh products that need a home on our grocery store shelves.

To learn more about our work, click here.
Are you interested in working with us? Reach out to our team here!

Building Relationships Post-trade Show

One of the reasons face-to-face marketing, trade show exhibiting, and networking are still dominant in the ag industry is because of the value of relationships. These relationships don’t happen overnight. They take a careful, strategic plan. Once you establish connections, you’ll notice your business and trade show exhibitions become a driving force in your brand.

While building a network may seem tricky, you can take a few approaches to make the task less daunting. Whether you’re a marketer increasing brand awareness or a farmer trying to boost sales, here are some of Farm to Shelf’s favorite ways to build better relationships post-trade show.

1. Create a trade show-specific follow-up campaign.

Before going to the trade show, have some post-show marketing materials ready. This could be a series of e-blasts or as simple as a handful of social media posts. Fieldin sent an initial message within the first few days after attendees visited their booth at the World Ag Expo. They thanked attendees and included a clear CTA to increase website traffic.


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A post shared by Fieldin (@fieldintech)

2. Implement a LinkedIn strategy.

Messaging via professional networking platforms is a great way to grow online. Consider asking them to “connect” or “friend” you/ your brand and express how much you enjoyed speaking with them. We’re here for all the social media networking at Farm to Shelf! Don’t be shy and come say hi to us on our LinkedIn page.

3. Publish content that reports on the trade show event.

Provide a recap! Whether it’s a blog, press release, repost, the information you include can provide new perspectives or insight to your new connections. Plus, you’ll establish more personal relationships in the community.

Building relationships in ag will lead to an invaluable improvement in business. By establishing clear business expectations for attendees and keeping up communication, your trade show experience will be a big hit.

Want to learn more about how to make the most of your trade show experience? Check out the six lessons we learned at the 2022 World Ag Expo.

F2S Branding

Lessons We Learned at the World Ag Expo

With more than 100,000 attendees annually, the World Ag Expo is the world’s largest agriculture exposition. This year Farm to Shelf spent the week networking and meeting with ag professionals from around the world — and we found no shortage of things to do. The expo featured everything from seminars and tours to demonstrations and new products. If you’re considering attending or exhibiting at the World Ag Expo next year, here’s what you need to know.

1. Brand yourself accordingly.
When you’re walking around the expo, you’re going to see a lot of faces. Smile! You might strike a conversation and open the door to an opportunity. Pro tip: if you’re going to attend, be sure to bring some business cards or stickers to hand out. Our team wore branded t-shirts with our logo and Instagram handle to promote our brand to the crowd.

F2S Branding

2. Network!
The expo presents a wealth of opportunities to promote business and your brand. Whether it’s interacting with current relationships or engaging with new connections, networking is essential. We even ran into a few of our clients, PAGO, and FieldIn!


3. Get Inspired.
With over 2,000 exhibitors, the expo exposes the strategies and best offerings in the industry. Take a walk around the show and see what other companies are doing to attract customers. Take note of what poorly performing booths are doing. Understanding this can help you avoid the same mistakes for your brand.

4. Swag. Free swag.
Whether you call them promotional items, tchotchkes, or novelties, they’re one of the greatest perks of attending. Exhibitors hand out swag to attract attendees to their booth. And it’s a great way to tie that message back to your company long after that show has ended. Trust us — our team went home with pens, notebooks, bags, bottles and you could say we were enticed.

5. Wear good walking shoes.
We walked a combined total of 25 miles so wear your best tennis shoes!

6. People flock toward business card bowls.
You know, those fishbowls where people drop their business cards in to win a free prize. A contest or a prize drawing is a great way to attract people to your booth and grow connections.

Now that you’ve learned our trade show tips and tricks, all that is left is to go! Whether you’re attending or exhibiting it’s a fun process — providing new business, increasing brand awareness, presenting networking opportunities, and giving the chance to learn more about the industry you’re in.

Introducing the Traveling Tractor

Tractors are an essential tool in agriculture operations—both big and small—that typically last between 20 and 30 years. As a result, the tractor has become an iconic, timeless symbol of farming and agriculture.

Here at Farm to Shelf, we pride ourselves in our clients’ shoes to make sure their business needs translate into successful marketing campaigns. From traveling cross-country to make sure our client’s packaging is up to par to regularly monitoring digital analytics in-house, we go to great lengths to ensure our marketing is an essential tool for our clients for years to come. 

As we constantly take on new and unique clients, we’re also looking for inspiration. Sometimes that inspiration takes us just down the street or from coast to coast. So, this year we’re launching our Traveling Tractor series to take you on the road with us and explore some extraordinary sights and scenes. 

Join us here or on Instagram @farmtoshelf_!

New Year, New Challenge: Eating Seasonally

Farm to Shelf helps agricultural businesses get their crops from the farm to retailer shelves nationwide throughout the year. However, with the sparkle of a new year approaching, we’d like to try something fresh in 2022. So, we’re challenging consumers to be more deliberate about choosing farm-fresh produce when visiting the store.

Let us explain…

Each week, it’s the same deal: You go to the grocery store, pick out the same few produce items, and bring them home to cook the same few meals. Once you’re home, you find most of the fruits and veggies have already halfway expired. That’s probably because your produce is not in season.

Obviously, there’s a demand for fresh fruits and vegetables year-round, but we all know that’s not how produce grows. So, what happens when the bananas and broccoli that you’ve planned for your meals aren’t accessible? It’s simple.

Companies export produce around the world to meet demands. That means, in the time since a crop is harvested, the items are packaged, transported, and unpackaged before they even make it to the store shelf. This process could take weeks, months or even a whole year before the products are brought home. Imagine that! The ‘fresh’ tomatoes you selected from the grocery store could have been off the vine for an entire year!

As you start placing bets on your New Year’s resolutions, Farm to Shelf challenges you to eat seasonally in 2022. As a result, we guarantee you’ll experience fresher, more flavorful, and nutritious food that might even last longer once you bring it home.


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A post shared by Farm To Shelf (@farmtoshelf_)

Follow us on Instagram—@FarmToShelf_—for monthly updates on the fruits and vegetables that are in season here in Central California, or visit SeasonalFoodGuide.org to find out what produce are in season where you live!