Yakima, Wash.-based FirstFruits Marketing entertained food bloggers Sept. 27-28.
Bloggers from across the country toured Broetje Orchards, FirstFruits’ grower-shipper partner, in an effort to increase awareness of FirstFruits’ Opal apple and other fruits, according to a FirstFruits news release.
Bloggers learned about the growing, harvesting and packing of apples and met company leaders.
Orchard tours included the company’s Wallula organic ranch and several different Opal blocks, with bloggers learning about growing, pruning and picking practices. While the picking crew went on a break, some bloggers tried their hand at picking and placing apples in bins.
Bloggers on the tour included Leslie Green of The Hungry Housewife, Katie Jasiewicz of Katie’s Cucina, Kevin Lynch of Closet Cooking and Lindsay and Bjork Ostrum of Pinch of Yum,
Ralph Broetje, founder of both FirstFruits and Broetje Orchards, and his wife Cheryl outlined the history of Broetje Orchards.
Bloggers also toured the companies’ Tierra Vida community, which offers affordable, quality homes built in the interest of giving all employees the opportunity to become homeowners in a friendly, safe and nurturing environment.
The tour also took in the Broetje packinghouse’s affordable onsite housing, elementary school and daycare center.
Bloggers also learned about the companies’ worldwide efforts to build, empower and educate the underserved. Suzanne Broetje, the Broetjes’ daughter, who is the executive director of the companies’ Vista Hermosa foundation, led that discussion.
FirstFruits Marketing donates 10% of annual profits, and Broetje Orchards at least 50%, to causes fitting the company’s mission worldwide.