Annika: Fox 1031, “Good Morning Annika Sonic with you here this morning on this, Wednesday. It is 8:12 and welcoming back to the show. Yes, I say all the time, but that’s because I’m always so happy to see him. Chris from LunaGrown.
Now, first of all, Chris, welcome thank you that And now LunaGrown just to clear this up your location where you are.
Chris: Our farm is located in Wurtsboro.
Annika: In Wurtsboro. But you can’t go to your farm.
Chris: Correct. We are not open to the public.
Annika: That’s ’cause you’re busy, making delicious things. Like what we’re gonna talk about.
Chris: It is.
Annika: And he needs all of his attention. So you were here last year and we just couldn’t stop talking about your jam and marmalade. Is it marmalade or mar-ma-lard.
Chris: Lade it’s Marmalade.
Annika: Okay, is there is such a word… As mar-ma-lard. Where did I get that from a…
Chris: I don’t know I…
Annika: Okay, well, at least now I know how to say it. What have you been busy do You have some new flavors or… Let’s talk about some of your favorites. Let’s talk about some of the favorite holiday ones.
Chris: Okay, we’re coming into the holidays. So the newest one that will, it’s just gonna go very fast, is the cranberry or “Cranberry jam is made with the bit of cinnamon and some orange zest. So it’s a really nice replacement for your standard cranberry Thanksgiving. The stuff that slides out of a can… And that’s…
Annika: Which is what a lot of people think of when they think of Cranberry sauce.
Chris: This is, this is a few steps up from the quality of that.
Annika: Isn’t it weird that we call a cranberry sauce? So that’s when you get it out of the can, doesn’t look anything like sauce. And we still call It cranberry sauce. Now for people that weren’t here the first time, it’s very special. These aren’t just regular jams and jellies. You do a thing with sugar, that I… I just want you to re-tell me.
Chris: Alright. All our products are reduced sugar so they’re safer for type two diabetics or people with sugar issues or concerns per tablespoon. We run, anywhere between five to seven grams which is, it’s very low when you compare that to some of the commercial brands can be used. 25 to 40 grams per tablespoon so we try to keep it low to keep it healthy. So people get the taste and they can really enjoy it.
Annika: Exactly, I mean without all that sugar, to mask the taste really taste the certain flavors of the fruits that you use in the jams, and also the consistency is not what you usually expect from these jams and jellies.
Chris: Right, because you’re getting fruit that’s a big thing for us. The fiber in the fruit, it just makes a world of difference for your palate.
Annika: You just have to try that. Now, I know that you’ve been to food shows not food shows, but these fairs and festivals where you’ve had your jams and jellies for people.
Chris: Certainly, absolutely…
Annika: If you’ve ever seen them Please, if you ever go to anywhere you gotta taste the “LunaGrown jams and jellies. I can guarantee you’ve never tasted anything like this.
Chris: Probably not.
Annika: Because you don’t have all that sugar, in it. Does it take longer or a shorter cooking period?
It’s a different process altogether and from the government standard the FDA standard, where you’re doing 50% sugar, which is… That’s sure what they tell you and it’s a lot if you’re doing that without pectin it’s a longer cook-down time and you have to choose specifically correct, fruits, and it’s just all food science. Our process is a low sugar process, so it’s different. In fact, each of our recipes has to be filed with the state approved and then refiled with the federal government Homeland Security, and it’s a big deal.
Annika: Homeland security.
Chris: So yeah, they cover all the food in the United States.
Annika: Wow get out of here! I didn’t know that…
Chris: Oh, absolutely, yeah. All your food is covered by Homeland Security amazing.
Annika: But not just that, but the way that Chris packages things is it’s so beautiful. Please do not hesitate a good way to figure out and to kind of see what I’m talking about is the name of the… ’cause I like your Facebook page, but is it “LunaGrown is that the name of the Facebook page?
Chris: Yes, you can find us on Facebook, on LunaGrown or you can go right to the website, which is on a LunaGrown.com.
Annika: L-U-N-A-G-R-O-W-N And the reason I tell people that I’ve been… I follow you, and you’ve been showing how you’ve been making the JAMS and before and after enduring. And the photography is just beautiful.
Chris: You can thank Instagram for that.
Annika: Get out of your really… Then you have an eye for pictures because it just looks so delicious. I’m always like, When is he can finish that already is ’cause I wanna get a taste. But the labels on, on these jars beautiful. Just give this as a gift. You don’t have to worry about anything, you package it, you give little spoons with it if you do everything right, you just do everything right.
Chris: Well, you wanna be proud of your product isn’t given a gift, it’s the thought behind the gift that counts. So if you’re given it, you wanna be proud of that. I don’t care what the gift is it is a…
Annika: Well, you certainly have achieved that. Like my dad is diabetic so I can’t wait to bring this to him because he misses his sweet so much, that’s all he talks about he might be breaking the rules a little bit, but this is much better for him.
Chris: And he can ask his doctor, to make sure it works, because we have the nutrition labels on there. You can take that right to his doctor and say, well this work with my diet. Whereas if he was having some of the commercial brands the doctor would straight and tell him no… And that’s, no yeah.
Annika: So let’s talk about some of the new things that you have. The popular ones from last year, which is like everything. Red pepper jam. Alright, you… You bought me some of that last…
Chris: I did, I just…
Annika: Great, I love it. Chipotle, pepper. Or what is that?
Chris: Chipotle it’s Chipotle.
Annika: So what are the new ones for this year.
Chris: For this season? We do a vanilla Pear, we do an Apple, which tastes like apple pie and we do a raisin jam which is interesting, its full chunks of apples and whole raisins and cinnamon. So you’re getting… It’s more like a compote than it, it would be a jam. Of course, our cranberry, we do a mixed berry which is our razzleberry just raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
Annika: That’s one of my favorite things, and I love that.
Chris: Interestingly if you looked into the history of razzleberry jam in America, it would be Huckleberry, black caps, and whatever other berry was available at that time.
Annika: So then why do we use the ones that we use now?
Chris: Well, some of the traditional berries are kind of gross to eat, to be quite honest.
Annika: Well there ya go! I wouldn’t have thought that.
Chris: Huckleberries taste like dirt, so you need the sugar to make them taste good, and then they just kind of faded away, So I, they don’t use them anymore.
Annika: In case you haven’t got this from our conversation. They use the best ingredients, the finest ingredients because that’s what you’re gonna be tasting because it’s not all that sugar in there. They have to use all the great things because they highlight the taste.
Chris: And we do grow most of our own and what we don’t grow we get from the Hudson Valley, as many farms as we can for what the Hudson Valley produces. We can’t get Our cranberries here, but we are apples from thoughts in Valley and we grow our blueberries and raspberries. It’s good stays right here.
Annika: What about this Hudson Valley farming with this rain did that put you on behind it all.
Chris: What that did to the farmers in the Hudson Valley this year, it’s horrible, and it’s a very sad actually ’cause our farmers, of course, they feed us, but they also feed to other areas of New York. It just hurt everybody really tough. We had some damage. Not as bad because our season is different. I did read that up in the northern area by Lake Erie, they lost 35% of their grapes this year. So, 35%, that’s huge for the grape community. So you can expect wine, to go up this year a bit.
Annika: I knew we were gonna be in trouble when at the beginning of the year, I wanted to do a certain kind of gardening where you did it with hay bales and I went and I tried to get her and I couldn’t get her because of all the rain, so I knew we were gonna be in trouble with that. And that was early in the season.
Chris: Yeah, it was tough and it was interesting because from a fruit perspective, when everybody was ready to get peaches and you’re ready, you’re like, “Oh fresh peach is, This is gonna be great. You go out and get one or two. And they were a little sparse then we had that terrible rain and all the peaches grew they’re like, We had millions of peaches that had to go then and there. Otherwise, they rotted.
So it was just a very strange season altogether and was really tough on our farmers in the Hudson Valley.
Annika: Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed. You guys still got your product out. And speaking of which, getting your product out, you are now available in a lot more retailers. So why don’t you tell us about that?
Chris: We were up to, I believe 24 stores in three states. Now.
Annika: You have to check it out, please if you haven’t done it. I know sometimes I get very passionate about a certain subject and I’m definitely passionate about the LunaGrown product because it’s beautiful, it’s delicious, it’s natural, it’s healthy, and you couldn’t get a better jam or jelly. Or marmalade? Amelia. Okay, good, okay, yeah, I got it right any here? I mean, close to us in the valley.
Chris: Oh, there’s quite a few in the Hudson Valley, we’re going anywhere from Kingston down to Monroe now and everything in between, in the Newberg, area, there’s a place called Hudson Street Cafe yes, okay, well, they have… They serve us, they use our large containers and they serve and Donna also sells there.
There’s a lot of different places. Taste in New York has picked us up.
Annika: Oh good, you know, excellent congratulation they’re great.
Chris: There are a quite a few butchers just over on the other side of the river, Marbled meat shop has picked this up Campbell meats its picked us up, and what a great pairing for this time of year, you’re going in our cheese dishes and your meat dishes and it’s nice to have a fresh jam product that’s not too sweet.
Annika: The brie with the fig jam is to die for, a… It is just whatever you pay that with is delicious, but these are so good, if you serve these at your holiday parties every time somebody picks up a little bit of a way you get this, it’s unlike anything you’ve tasted before, it’s a fresh, it’s like an explosion in your mouth. I’ve always wanted to use that term is an explosion in your mouth of flavor. So, congratulations on all of your new retailers. People are all it takes is one taste.
Chris: It does, and we’ve been very lucky, we’ve been a lot of really wonderful people this year in the food industry, just to hear in the valley, Hudson Valley eats. They’re fairly new, but they’re phenomenal people and of course, all the standard magazines have been just very supportive. So we’ve had a very good run so far.
Annika: Well you work very hard to produce this product. It doesn’t just happen on…
Chris: Oh No, It takes a lot of people. You can create the best product you want, but if you don’t have the support of your community and you don’t have the supportive other business in the community, you’ll be nice to each other and you, you create something that’s gonna last you that everybody can be proud of.
Annika: So you have any events that are coming up.
Chris: Two events left for this year, we do one at Bialas farms on November, 17th, that’s there.
Annika: That’s right around the corner. That’s one day from now.
Chris: Yes, I know and we do Hudson Valley Farm and Flea at the motorcycle museum of… which is a wonderful event, and for us it’s a great way to end our season.
Annika: Do you know when Farm & Flea is gonna be happening what day?
Chris: It’s the 24th this year, it’s the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
Annika: Okay, great, you gotta give her a plug. She works so hard. Also, we get to those vendors together.
Chris: Really just a beautiful event.
Annika: So what was… Just out of curiosity, in your history, what was the first event that you guys participated in that kind of started off everything.
Chris: The first event that LunaGrown did was foodstock up in Calicoon.
Annika: Hey, oh in Calicoon? I love Calicoon.
Chris: And that was, I’d never done an event before I called my dad. Come on Pops. Go do this thing with me. And a… And you learn, and you get excited. And so that was the first event and then our first farmers’ market was Goshen and we’re still with Goshen proudly.
Annika: Excellent, very good. Now, I know you have to go over to our sister station here, so wow, see, talking to you, time just flies. It’s like I’m looking here and going all five-10 minutes out. It’s been a little bit more than that. So if you’re just joining us, I’m talking to Chris Wilson from LunaGrown and “LunaGrown Jams marmalade jellies some of the most interesting flavors all with natural ingredients Hudson Valley grown products and ingredients. Now, if somebody was interested in perhaps ordering something give us all your contact information.
Chris: LunaGrown.com, they can order, they can look. There’s galleries, you wanna find us on social media. It’s LunaGrown with an N. On Facebook, on Instagram, don’t follow us on Twitter, ’cause we don’t pay any attention to that.
Annika: We’re too busy making all these delicious things of course, and it’s a beautiful Facebook page. Like I said, you’ve been keeping everybody up to date and how’s the dog?
Chris: Hank is good, hank is good.
Annika: Good, pictures of hank. People love dogs.
Chris: And the farm got a new dog Chaka so she’s good.
Annika: Oh good, I didn’t see any pictures of her.
Chris: She’s in training, right now. Oh okay, he’s good.
Annika: What do you train in? Or to do pick the blueberries remains in training.
Chris: She came from an abuse situation, so I…
Annika: So, you do everything that’s right, right? So how long does it take though? If you have an animal that’s been abused and of course, there are different kinds of abuse. I understand that was a time line.
Chris: She went from the abuse situation to a new home. So three months in the new home. And then there’s adjustments or small adjustments to be made right now. She’s in specific training to be more of an animal that goes with you all the time.
Annika: Not a service dog, kind of like a service dog.
Chris: She, she had issues with men, she came from a situation where in the little… So what kind of dog is… So a cute one. She’s a pit mix.
Annika: Aww… Pities in my favorite. You score 100 Chris on everything. Alright.
Chris: Can I mentioned, before I forget, we do ship nationwide, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Annika: Oh, good. ’cause people have friends that they’re difficult to buy for and they have a sweet tooth, but not to sweet… In this instance, but please give Chris in his company a look-see, and you’re never gonna look back again. LunaGrown.com, and you guys are just fantastic.
Chris: Thank you so much.
Annika: Thanks for stopping by always a pleasure. Now, you know what I’m gonna do after you leave? I’m gonna start looking forward to the next time you’re gonna be here. Thank you, Chris, Chris Wilson from Luna grown and you’re heading over to or sister station? So thanks a lot for being here.
Chris: Thank you.