July 28, 2004: Headlines: COS - Comoros: Organic Food: Boston Herald: Comoros Islands RPCV Jeffrey Barry founded to promote organic produce

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Comoros: The Peace Corps in Comoros: July 28, 2004: Headlines: COS - Comoros: Organic Food: Boston Herald: Comoros Islands RPCV Jeffrey Barry founded to promote organic produce

By Admin1 (admin) ( on Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - 4:25 pm: Edit Post

Comoros Islands RPCV Jeffrey Barry founded to promote organic produce

Comoros Islands RPCV  Jeffrey Barry founded to promote organic produce

Comoros Islands RPCV Jeffrey Barry founded to promote organic produce

Produce delivery sprouts with Organics

By Mat Schaffer

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Boston Organics founder Jeffrey Barry didn't intend to get into the fruits-and-vegetables home-delivery business. After a stint in the Peace Corps and graduate school, the Massachusetts-born Barry settled in San Francisco, where he and his wife subscribed to a service that delivered organic produce to their home once a week. Barry tasted his future.

"I think once you eat a good piece of organic fruit or vegetable, you just want to keep eating more," the 36-year-old Newburyport resident recently recalled. "And then it gets you more interested in where your food comes from - that's how it led me to where I am today."

Moving back to Massachusetts two years ago, Barry decided to start a similar service in the Hub. For a weekly or biweekly fee ($25 or $35), he delivers to your home a box of fresh fruits and vegetables, USDA certified organic. Subscribers sign up, place their orders and interact with Barry via the Internet.

What's in the box depends on the season.

"This week we've got bananas coming from Central America and a lot of stone fruit - plums and peaches," said Barry, mid-July. "Most boxes this week will have blueberries from Florida; there will also be cantaloupe from Arizona. Some boxes will have mangoes and strawberries and Valencia oranges from California. Locally, we're getting a lot of vegetables from a farm in South Natick. We'll have fresh basil, celery and white onions.

"We'll have broccoli from California and cucumbers from Florida," he continued. "A couple of boxes might have some avocados. From Vermont, there's red-leaf lettuce and kale. We'll also have some sugar-snap peas from a farm on the border of Vermont and Canada. And there's also summer squash and zucchini from Massachusetts."

Although buying from regional growers is important to Barry, New England's climate is a limiting factor.

"Philosophically, I want to support the local farms as much as possible, but this is a year-round service, so during the wintertime, a lot of produce and fruit will come from outside the area," he said. "The farmers around here can only grow what they can grow based on the weather. Over the winter, a lot of the produce comes from Florida and California."

Currently, Boston Organics delivers to most Boston neighborhoods as well as Arlington, Brookline, Cambridge, Medford, Somerville and Newburyport. Each box includes a newsletter with information about the organic movement, recipes and helpful storage hints.

"Fruits and vegetables like to be refrigerated, with the exception of tomatoes," Barry said. "You want to keep tomatoes out on the counter; they lose their flavor if they go into the refrigerator. I like to put greens inside a plastic bag that you might pick up in a grocery store or drug store in the crisper in the refrigerator. Keep the bag loosely tied - they should last another week or so.

"Apples? Keep them in the refrigerator but keep them separate because they release a gas that will ripen everything around them. Stone fruit? Refrigeration won't help them too much. Once they feel like they're ripe, they're ready to go so you have to eat them quickly."

Business is good. Back in 2002, Barry began with 14 subscribers who responded to fliers he posted. Today, Boston Organics has 450 subscribers and Barry is finally able to pay himself a salary. But it's not just about the money.

"For me, it's just personally important to do something that's helping to send a message about improving the environment and - I don't want to sound too cheesy - to make the world a better place."

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Story Source: Boston Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Comoros; Organic Food



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