Many restaurants and supermarkets in the CNMI usually source their produce from different parts of the world. Despite keeping it frozen for the duration of travel, items becoming spoiled before reaching the consumers still happen.
Caravan of Greens aims to fill the void and make fresh produce closer to the community by creating a farm-to-table concept where restaurants and supermarkets get their items through direct acquisition from local producers and farmers in the CNMI.
According to Caravan of Greens owner and local farmer Abed Salam C. Younis, his background is rich in farming influence. “We have a land that has been farmed by my father since the 1980s and I took over in 2013 as YAS Farms…in 2015, I inherited my father’s restaurant, Caravan of Food, and saw the opportunity to create a farm-to-table concept by providing fresh harvested produce and using it in our dishes,” he said.
“Due to the popularity of this concept, we wanted to share it with the rest of the island and provide sustainable fresh local vegetables directly to consumers and this is why we started Caravan of Greens,” he added.
Currently, Caravan of Greens is an online farmers market and delivered via Eats Easy, a food and groceries delivery app. “Due to stay-at-home guidelines, we have limited our door-to-door delivery. People can download the Eats Easy app on their phones or visit conquerthehunger.com to get produce delivered…we have cucumber available and we are currently growing tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, okra, hot pepper, sweet potato, pumpkin, and string beans… you can also buy our local produce at Joeten Dandan, Susupe, and Kagman,” Younis said.
“We are committed to providing locally grown produce that is not only healthy, but environmentally friendly…although we are not certified organic, we use sustainable organic methods of farming… Caravan of Greens strives to be environmentally conscious by using minimal plastic and delivering produce in reusable bags or boxes,” Younis added.
As Caravan of Greens promotes sustainability, they are also open to have their platform help create a co-op of sustainable farmers in the CNMI. “We are encouraging farmers to seek assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to become an Environmental Quality Incentive Program partner,” Younis said.
“EQIP is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to eligible agricultural producers who are willing to address priority environmental issues by implementing conservation practices on their farm. Our farm has been an NRCS partner since 2013 and we are in compliance with local environmental regulations,” Younis added.
With its vision, the underlying benefits help boost the local economy and local farmers. “This way, people are walking away with a wholesome product that supports local farmers, the economy and a healthy environment,” Younis said.
For more information, follow them on Instagram and Facebook @caravanofgreens and email: firstname.lastname@example.org