This past friday, I found myself on a beautiful warm and sunny day (extremely rare for San Francisco!), anticipating the beginning of our interview with Betsy Fields, owner of the organic granola company, “From the Fields”. I rustled together my notebook and pen, and got ready to quickly jot down notes, but had no idea that the conversation I was about to engage in, would leave me with lessons about the environment, in which I could do nothing but open my heart, perk up my ears, and listen.
Before I delve into the powerful and intriguing statements Betsy made that I now carry with me inwardly, it’s important that I paint a picture of how “From the Fields” came to exist. It starts with Betsy Fields as a young 15 year old girl, immersed and connected to the food system during the time, wanting to keep her body a healthy temple, visiting farmer’s markets with the simple longing to be surrounded by the people passionate about their products, and feeling a continuos passion for the home made granola that was always made in her household. Fast forward to just two years ago, when Betsy found herself still loving granola and making it for family and friends who urged her to give the granola the chance to thrive as a business. Betsy reflected on the fact that making granola was never intended to be a business, but was indeed her passion. However once her granola transitioned from a hobby to a business, Betsy found herself with a high demand for her granola and thus From the Fields took off.
Currently, with From the Fields being just two years old, there has been a tremendous amount of success within the business. With buyers such as WholeFoods, Bonapetite, Woodlands Market, Rainbow Co-op, and Good Earth Natural Foods, From the Fields has quickly established themselves within the market. The types of granola shelved at these establishments include original, Orange Ginger, Currant, Fruit Ambrosia, Honey Lavender, Cherry Almond, Pineapple , Coconut, and Cardamom Rose. With all the delicious granola that is produced, packaging is always a huge factor to consider when making a product. Luckily for Betsy, the only packaging she would stand for when it came to her granola was one that is biodegradable and compostable. Taken from their website, From the Fields states, “after you’ve enjoyed the granola, feed the bag to your plants!”
As for those inspirational words and stories I listened to , as Betsy spoke during our interview, I can still feel their existence within my mind. I listened to Betsy state when referring to when the food system was transparent and people took passion and pride in telling the story of their food, that, “it was always that way, the system broke”. As a continuum to that statement, I listened to Betsy state, “even our natural food system is a bit broke”. I listened as Betsy told touching stories of her passionate daughter, who at the age of 7 has already decided to devot her life to the good of the environment by using her gift of singing and making up songs, as a way to draw people in, to the goodness of the earth. I listened, and listened, and listened, and by the end of the interview I had so much more than just two pages of notes. I had this amazing story of how one mother and environmentalist, uses her business not only as a way to get her products out to the public, but as a way in which to continuously enlighten herself as well as others, about the need to care and nurture the environment. She does this with a whole hearted passion and dedication to seeing people transform into nurturing protectors.
Somewhere during that interview, this very aspect touched me, and made me realize, that a product is truly valuable when the story behind its existence contains a person having a raw passion and love for the environment. Kudos to From the Fields. Only two years old and you are well on your way to becoming something remarkable. Perhaps you already have.