For San Francisco-based Earl’s Organic Produce, reaching out to the community is an important part of marketing efforts that have helped the company enjoy steady growth over the past few years.

Earl Herrick, president and founder, said the company is simply continuing to do what they do best.

“We buy fresh product and find more growers,” he said. “And we want to be a part of the food culture in San Francisco.”

The company participates in an event at the California Academy of Sciences each quarter. This summer, the event’s theme presented an opportunity for Earl’s Organic to bring out some of its finest ripe peaches for attendees to sample.

“We gave away information and peaches to more than 1,000 people,” Herrick said. “We introduced them to fresh peaches again.”

Herrick said the event is a great opportunity to let consumers see what perfectly ripened fruit should taste like.

“Some people might have a difficult time choosing when a product is ripe or ready,” he said.

In the spring, the company brought strawberries to the event. This fall, figs are on the menu.

“We’re really able to get people connected with some in-season produce,” Herrick said. “It’s a great opportunity to let them try something they might not usually consider eating.”

Social media educational tools

He said the company has several of those kinds of opportunities springing up, so it can choose which will be best to participate in.

Many of those opportunities come through social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, an area Herrick said the company is focused on expanding.

“We’re using it much more as an educational tool,” Herrick said.

The company uses social media platforms to talk about its growers, what products are in season, how the year’s production has been and how that production affects the supplies in local grocery stores.

“We’re creating a dialog and being a part of the wonderful food culture that’s here,” he said.

On the broadcast waves

As another aspect of participating in the dialog surrounding food and organic produce that seems to be thriving in the San Francisco area, Herrick also participates in an organic-themed radio show, “An Organic Conversation,” hosted by Helge Hellberg, Mark Mulcahy and Sitarani Palomar.

“I do a little five- or 10-minute segment for them,” Herrick said. “Right now I am talking about the apple crop.”

Herrick said the program is just another outreach opportunity to help spread the organic message to the community.

The show airs on various stations at various times, and details can be found at

Coming up, Herrick said he’s excited to sponsor and attend the Eco Farm Conference in Monterey, Calif., held at the end of January.

“It’s a weekend of seminars, conversations and reconnecting,” he said. “It’s a big celebration of the industry.”