We’re a family of organic farmers and their ilk, descended from more farmers and more ilk. The seed of our company was planted back in the ‘30s, when Rupert Stephens inherited the family farm: Mountain Valley Farm, 89 acres of hard living, a place to grow field berries and a family.
Even by Depression-era standards, where sheer inventiveness kept families going through times of scarcity, Grandpa Rupert was an odd duck. He horrified his farm neighbors by using sawdust as mulch. Rupert found ways to work with it, turning in rich crops of berries and vegetables. In 1951 his treatise on his unorthodox farming methods was published as Sawdust is my Slave.
Arran Stephens grew up on that unconventional farm and came away with a lifelong love of soil and nature. His fondest memories are of helping his parents gather and spread kelp on the fields, planting corn with his father and wandering through the farm eating sun-ripened berries.
Arran followed a path that led from the farm to India and ultimately to becoming one of the pioneers in the organic foods movement. He and Ratana founded Nature’s Path in 1985, and our family is still very much involved in the day-to-day operations of the company.