I had to go all the way to the animal barn in Canard to connect with Richard. Richard-- or Babu-- has been working at TapRoot Farms for 7 years. He "does lots of different things, but this year he is just doing animal care": last year, in addition to animal care, he picked corn and peas and lots of other field tasks.
Richard toured me around the animal barn and showed me all the meat rabbits. Richard likes working with the rabbits best because he feels that they need his careful attention the most. Richard says there are roughly around 120 rabbits in the barn right now.
I asked Richard what the most important thing about himself is, and he said "I am a farmer." Back in Jamaica, Richard used to have a coffee farm, and now grows young bananas, and raises goats and chickens. Also, he's not a "sporting" guy and is happiest just working and going home, he tells me. He has six kids between the ages of 5 and 22 years old. He misses his family very much during the 8 months of the year that he is in Canada, and talks to them every day. He says what he misses most is playing with his youngest children, and hearing them say "I love you, Daddy".
Justine has worked on the farm since 2010. I ran into her while using the office at Church Street this week because the power is out at the CSA office. Jocelyn is filling in for Justine's maternity leave and is all trained now, so Justine is currently filling in getting all the extra admin, troubleshooting and office tasks done.
Justine typically works in the wholesale and meat realm at the farm. She says her favourite thing to do at the farm is the busy summer organic wholesale orders, when there's tons of fresh produce coming in and being packed up and going out into the world. Her favourite veggie to eat that we grow here at the farm is the mini cucumbers. Her favourite veggies to grow on the farm are fennel and eggplant.
As well as working at TapRoot, Justine and her husband Nathan keep free range licensed chicken and sheep. Some of Justine & Nathan's pastured chicken and lamb make it into the TapRoot meat shares.
I asked Justine if there was anything else she wanted to add and she said "I really like it here.... That's all I can think of right now-- pregnancy brain!"
Louise-- also known fondly around here as "Weesie"-- hails from Grand Bank, Newfoundland near the Burin Peninsula. She and her husband Gerald travel to Nova Scotia each season for about 5 months to work at TapRoot Farms. Louise's favourite things to do at the farm are bunching green onions and weeding. Her least favourite part is the flies! Her favourite veggie to eat that we grow at the farm is carrots.
In the winters in Newfoundland, she and Gerald enjoy ice fishing and going into the country on their ATV. They have been coming to TapRoot Farms for 9 seasons now, and now bring their dog Brandy (chihuahua lab mix) with them! She says they think it is a nice place to work and they like it.
I asked Louise if there was anything else she wanted to share about herself and she exclaimed "Yes! I'm cute, adorable, and sweet. And friendly!" and Jocelyn chimed in "she likes singing Christmas carols in July!"
Calvin arrives each year to TapRoot Farms from the south coast of Newfoundland, near the Burin Peninsula. This is his ELEVENTH season at the farm, which makes him nearly tied with Josh and Patricia! He said he's seen a lot of changes at the farm in that eleven years: "Everything has changed. It has been a real learning experience, watching as the farm becomes more efficient".
Calvin favourite crop to grow and eat at the farm is grape tomatoes. He said he loves the smell when they are in the greenhouse. On the farm, Calvin does various tasks, from transplanting and harvesting to maintenance of tunnels and other infrastructure.
Back in Newfoundland, Calvin and his wife Danette enjoy their new camper trailer. Calvin also builds sheds and other woodworking projects to keep busy. He says: "I've got to keep busy: Can't just do nothin'". He will be here for at least 5 months again this season, and we're happy to have him as part of the TapRoot Team!
Brodie-- or as I fondly call him, B-Rock-- is working for his third season at the farm. He is 18 years old and originally from Hantsport, Nova Scotia. He is Josh's cousin and is also living at the farm during the week in a small trailer-- or, as he calls it, his mansion. He says it's not bad, when there's power-- which, unfortunately post-Hurricane-Arthur, right now there is not!
Brodie's favourite thing about the farm is the people he works with... but not the bugs! He loves pruning tomatoes in the tunnel (if it's cool). His favourite veggie to eat is potatoes.
In his spare time, Brodie likes to watch movies and play guitar.