In this Week’s Box: Strawberries, Zucchini, Dill, French Breakfast Radish, Sugar Snap Peas, Spanish Roja Garlic, Summer Crisp Lettuce, Broccoli, and Spinach
Greetings Calliope Farm CSA members,
Jenni here, filling in for Teva this week for the newsletter. Every so often you will be hearing from me with updates of what’s happening at Calliope Farm, as well as with introductions to the people behind the produce.
This week I’m featuring Brian Hausman, our harvest and packshed manager. Brian’s job entails managing the crew and systems that go into harvesting and handling a diverse array of crops for our CSA, the farmer’s market, and numerous wholesale accounts. When not harvesting, packing orders, or managing the harvest crew, he loves to hoe and prune tomatoes.
Brian, how long have you been farming?
BH: I started exploring agriculture while pursuing an undergraduate degree at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, North Carolina about six years ago. I worked part-time doing vegetable gardening for the college, as well as working part-time at a goat farm nearby. I also worked growing plant starts for a few Spring seasons. In 2014 I decided to jump into farming full-time, working for a large CSA farm in the Hudson Valley in New York. There, I began to learn what it meant to grow vegetables at a production scale. After the Hudson Valley, I moved to Olympia in January 2016 and started working at Calliope around the same time.
I’ve been lucky to experience different scales and ways of production throughout different regions in this country. Growing in North Carolina, New York, and now Washington has helped me see subtle differences in the ways in which plants grow. One of the most appealing things about farming for me is the endless opportunity to always improve things. There is no one way to do one thing on a farm. The potential to improve every system on a farm, either in big or small ways, keeps this field of work endlessly interesting and stimulating.
What is your favorite vegetable or vegetable group?
BH: My favorite group of vegetables to grow are greens. I especially love growing head lettuce. It is one of the most satisfying crops to harvest. I pay close attention to all the greens on the farm. It’s exciting to pay close attention to the ways in which they grow during the different seasons. Tender spring greens are also some of my favorite produce to eat.
Do you have a favorite farm tool?
BH: My favorite farm tool is the collinear hoe. The collinear hoe is a fixed, straight-blade hoe that is used for killing small weeds close to the plant. It’s my favorite activity to do on the farm. The collinear hoe lightly skims the surface of the soil as not to stir up more weed seeds. It’s a useful, efficient, and ergonomic tool to use on the farm.