Foothill Organic Growers is a group of local organic farmers that have been offering locally grown organic produce for over 25 years! We provide and deliver fresh organic fruits, vegetables and Wheatgrass from our local farms to you.
This is Organic Jack:
It's not your average house. In fact, it's probably not like any house you've ever seen. Green plants line every walkway leading to the door and cover most spaces in the yard. The property is five acres and though most of it slopes, about an acre has been cultivated into prime growing soil. The property is near Newcastle at the top of a hill overlooking a beautiful valley, except the best view out of the large windows is blocked floor to ceiling by shelves holding growing trays of wheatgrass. An indoor plant sits on the dining table so large it touches the ceiling.
At home is Jack Hertel, local area organic guy and expert in his field. He's busy at the kitchen counter putting fresh apples and lemons into his Champion Juicer to make fresh apple lemonade as he explains all the benefits of drinking fresh squeezed organic juice over the steady grind of the juicer.
"You've got to try this, you get all the nutrients from the fruit," Hertel said.
At 73 he has the look and energy of a man 25 years younger.
Hertel moved to the area in 1976. He was raised in downtown Sacramento; His father was a custom home building contractor and real estate broker and his mother, a homemaker.
"I was unbelievably lucky. I had some great parents," Hertel said.
An industrious kid, young Jack had a paper route delivering The Sacramento Union on his bike every morning. Unlike his buddies who spent their money on insignificant items, Hertel, with his father's help, bought a house at the age of 13 with his paper route money.
An entrepreneurial spirit was instilled in him that still exists today. Hertel eventually obtained his real estate license and at one time he owned 112 homes and managed the properties himself. In the mid 1970's he sold most of his holdings and moved to the country settling in the Foothills.
In the early 1970's Hertel's mother passed away from cancer at age 55. Her early death started Hertel on an exploration mission to learn all he could about nutrition and living healthy. That exploration is still going on today. "Certified organic toxic-free food is what we are talking about," Hertel said.
In the mid 1980's Hertel began what he calls an "organic" diet. About that same time he became involved with the beginnings of what would evolve into the thriving Auburn Farmer's Market held near the Historic Auburn Courthouse each Saturday morning. Hertel was one of a handful of community members instrumental in getting the fledgling farmers market concept of organizing local farmers to offer their produce to community members at a public market off the ground and operational.
For the last 17 years Hertel has been involved with a community-supported agriculture program supplying about 800 mouths with more organic produce than you can find in any grocery store around.
"Much of the produce is grown in my garden: bell peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peaches, oranges, lemons and Asian pears, and adding other growers' produce, we pack and deliver 300+ custom packed family harvest boxes every other week," Hertel said. "We do it year-round, it's all organic custom packaging and I think it's one of the best community-supported agriculture concepts in the country."
The concept of healthy organic living is a lifestyle for Hertel and he has researched and thoroughly believes everything he preaches to all who will listen, hoping to change some lives, helping others enjoy the healthful living he has discovered. (see testimonials page)
"I'm not bulletproof, but at 73 I see almost perfectly," Hertel said. "I've had no pharmaceutical drug in 52 years, I haven't had a cold in many years, and it's been decades since I've had the flu."
An avid reader, Hertel has a collection of more than 2,000 books in shelves that line his hallway and he has carefully kept a journal listing every book he has read along with a running page count. "As I grow older, more and more of my reading has to do with health and nutrition both of which lead to a longer and healthier life and I share my knowledge with anyone whom wants to learn and listen."
Jack is a wonderful and generous man who gives to all by sharing his knowledge and food expertise with so many.