Miguel Crisantes Gatzionis migrated from Greece to Mexico in the 1920s. In the '30s, he started a farming business in Sinaloa, Mexico, and, eventually, his son, Theojary Crisantes Sr. became an organic farming trailblazer. Fast forwarding to today, 40 miles south of Tucson in Amado, you will find Wholesum Farms Arizona. Wholesum is a family-owned business with their all-glass tomato greenhouses. Theojary Jr. shared that they started the transition in the 1960’s and shifted to become 100% organic from 2005 to 2007. Their goal was to produce delicious, organic food that could be attainable and accessible.
“In order to nourish a healthy world through produce that is Grown for Good, we must create the best growing environments for our crops to thrive. From our all-glass tomato greenhouses in Arizona to our squash fields down in Central Mexico, we use site-specific solutions to deliver a consistent supply of healthy and delicious organic produce year-round. That is why we invest in the latest sustainable, organic growing technology. By constantly innovating, we can prepare for the future of organics because we believe the future is organic.”
Tucson is considered a “high desert,” which means it is great weather for growing tomatoes, as they grow all year round. “During summer, we have more light hours, and the dry weather prevents disease. The only negative time would be during monsoon as we get less hours of sun and light and the climate is not as dry," said Mr. Crisantes. "We love growing our tomatoes in greenhouses because we can create the perfect conditions for the best-tasting crops while keeping them nice and protected from harsh weather conditions and pests. At the same time, we can make efficient use of space and natural resources such as irrigation water."
Wholesum’s Fair Trade commitment is also something to talk about! “We are passionate about empowering people to live healthy lives. This isn’t just reflected through the food we grow, but in how we care for our employees and the communities where we grow. This is why we are Fair Trade Certified.”
WHOLESUM- ARIZONA Varieties include:
Beefsteak tomatoes are large, juicy tomatoes with a firm, "meaty" texture. You get succulent tomato flavor in every slice, so they are perfect for BLTs, burgers or grilled cheeses.
Lush and lovely organic cocktail tomatoes on the vine. Best known for their deep red color and rich, vibrant and succulent taste. They are ripened on the vine for full freshness and flavor.
TOMATOES ON THE VINE
Their most popular variety of tomatoes is carefully handpicked by the cluster. Typically four or five on the vine, they develop a fuller flavor and continue to add nutrients on their way to your table.
Highly sought after for their unusual beauty, incredible flavor, distinctive textures and vibrant colors. Many varieties have been "found" on old farmsteads around the world.
You can find their tomatoes at Natural Grocers, Sprouts, Whole Foods Market and Fry’s.