“I’m so nervous. I just hope [kids] like it," says the actress and co-founder of organic baby food line Once Upon a Farm

By Ana Calderone
January 08, 2020 09:00 AM
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Jennifer Garner has a case of the butterflies. She’s not anxious about a new movie or a red carpet appearance — she’s just hoping that kids will enjoy her latest organic baby food, Farmer Jen & the Giant Squash.

The new pouch is the first product in her Once Upon a Farm line made with produce from her family’s farm in Locust Grove, Okla., where her mom, Patricia, grew up. Her uncle and aunt Robert and Janet English live there now, growing the organic squash on the previously dormant farm, and Garner created the recipe herself.

“I always collaborate on the flavors, but this is the first time I’ve ever said, ‘Okay, I think it should be this,’ ” Garner, 47, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “I’m so nervous. I just hope they like it so I get to do it again.”

Jennifer Garner with her uncle Robert English (left), who farmed the squash for the baby food, and Ari Raz, Once Upon a Farm’s cofounder and president.
Once Upon a Farm

Garner joined the Once Upon a Farm team as co-founder in 2017 with a goal of making fresh food for kids more accessible. To have the brand and her family’s history mesh together so organically has been a dream for Garner — though it also came with a lot of work. When her mom was growing up, the farm was more like a small kitchen garden the family used to eat and can goods from. “They weren’t some big bustling operation,” she says.

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It’s been two years of revitalizing the soil, working with a biodynamic farmer to grow Row 7’s Koginut squash, harvesting their first crop and coming up with the recipe, which also includes apples, dates, coconut milk, oat and cinnamon. “My sweet uncle Robert said that the day the boxes of squash left the barn, he teared up,” recalls Garner. “He just couldn’t believe that they were really leaving. He said, ‘I just felt so nervous. Like are they going to drive carefully with them?’ ”

Farmer Jen & the Giant Squash
Once Upon a Farm

Because the crop is relatively small their first year, Farmer Jen & the Giant Squash is available now for a limited time only on onceuponafarmorganics.com and in Erewhon Markets in Southern California. The full line is at grocery stores nationwide in the refrigerated section.

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While Patricia was happy to see her childhood home being utilized, she’s been otherwise hands-off. “Other than cheering us on,” adds Garner. “Of anything I’ve ever done, this means the most to my mom — that her farm is being brought back to life, and it’s growing things for babies. It’s just the coolest.”