We source the organic pomegranate juice that we use in our yogurts from local farms like Crivelli Farms. Based in the western part of the San Joaquin Valley in California, this family of farmers planted their pomegranate orchards about a decade ago. Their organic pomegranates have a flavor that’s both tart and sweet.

 

All in the family

Chad Crivelli wasn’t always planning to be a farmer, but his father, grandfather, and great grandfather made their livelihood tending the land. Chad’s father, Bill Crivelli, grew crops like cotton, alfalfa, melons, tomatoes and grains. Bill and his wife, Rhonda, raised their four children on the farm, appreciative of the work ethic farming would impart to them.

Now married with two sons of his own, Chad continues to work the land. In the process, he has become a pioneer in the sustainable farmers movement, with his organic orchards and with how he grows cotton. 

For Chad, being a full-time farmer is “kind of like the way you choose to breathe,” he says. “It’s one of the few things that you’re truly your own boss on a day-to-day, year-to-year basis. You’re battling the weather, and there’s just so many facets to it. You can be in mechanics, you can be in science, whether soil or plant, whatever you decide to do that day you can do, and that’s something that is really unique.”

Sweet Nectar

Pomegranates have been grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley for decades. In the late springtime, blossoms dot the trees. After pollination by bees, the flowers develop into fruit, and the heat of the day ripens the fruit while the cool evenings harden the rinds. By about September or October, the rinds are bright red, signaling harvest time and a sweet payoff after a lot of patience and careful cultivation. Pomegranate trees  need about nine years to mature before they can be harvested.

But it’s worth the wait, as there’s nothing quite like a pomegranate. The rind encases hundreds of arils, the juicy seed pods inside the fruit; these edible seeds make juice that is cheerfully bright crimson. At Stonyfield Organic we add organic pomegranate juice to yogurts simply because it just tastes so good. And we are thankful to farmers like Chad who put so much of their energies into growing such goodness.