National Agriculture Day 2014
National Agriculture Day, first celebrated in 1973, is part of an initiative to increase the public awareness of the critical role agriculture plays in today’s society. This year, it happens to fall on March 25. Agriculture is a keystone to our business here at Harry & David, and we owe our business to our famous Royal Riviera® Pears and how popular they were with businessmen and executives in the 1930s. Our business has only expanded from there, but to this day, nearly every gift we sell, when broken down into its elemental parts—the grains in our cookies, the cocoa beans used to craft our chocolates and truffles—remains rooted in agriculture. Harry & David actively cultivates 1,700 acres of land in the Southern Oregon area, and at last count, we had almost 633,000 trees growing Royal Riviera® Pears on more than 1,500 of those acres. Another integral process in the agricultural cycle is pollination, which, due to tapering populations of bees in recent decades, can actually be something of a problem. In order to ensure that our peach and pear trees are optimally fertilized, Harry & David annually contracts 1,300 beehives to thoroughly pollinate our orchards. National Agriculture Day is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the things that we would not have were it not for agriculture. Crops and livestock are the obvious examples, but everyday, we are surrounded by many other unexpected things—from paper and soap to pencils and clothing—that have a base in agriculture. We’re extremely grateful for the bounty and abundance agriculture has provided us, and we hope you are, too.