Savor Your Life Series: Kristin Pearson, Farmer and CSA Owner
Are you living your dream life like farmer Kristin Pearson?
You must meet my wonderful farmer Kristin the owner of Pearson Organics, LLC.
Kristin is living out her passion! Her works makes her forget to eat. That is passion! I want that for you!
How did you start your career as a farmer? What were you doing before you got the itch to farm?
It was really in college that I first became interested in the sustainable and healthy food movement. I did an independent study with a professor about the biochemistry and sociology of obesity. Right after college I was exploring my career options and thought I might go back to school to become a teacher. I lived in California and Louisiana, working and interning on educational and commercial farms. I then moved to Maine to apprentice on a vegetable farm, where I later became the manager. I lived there for 4 years. This was really when the farming bug got me. I knew after about a year that I wanted to own my own farm and work for myself.
What were you passionate about as a child?
As a child I wanted to be a doctor and open my own clinic for people who couldn’t afford treatment. Growing up in Rochester with two parents in the medical field, it’s easy to see healthcare work as the only career path. While the doctor dream faded, I never lost my passion for helping people live out healthier lives.
What makes you forget the world around you to where you even forget to eat?
Work. I get very focused on work, and often forget to eat and hydrate during the summer. I have to set alarms for myself so I don’t get dehydrated…
What is your typical day like?
During the farming season, most days start around 6:30 or 7. The first thing to do in the morning is either start harvesting as soon as possible or figure outa watering plan for the day – for field crops or in the greenhouse. On harvest days we spend 3-5 hours harvesting – this has to be done right away in the morning to ensure crops stay fresh for as long as possible. Once that is complete, we will weed, transplant, or do other field projects for the remainder of the day. On CSA days, we harvest, pack boxes, and then load up all the produce for delivery around 10 or 11. A typical day goes until 5 or 6. I usually hang around the farm after employees leave for an hour or so, to just enjoy the time alone outside. It’s very meditative to just be hanging out with the plants.
What do you do to reset your energy?
Self-care is always a work in progress. I’ve never been the most social person, but after a couple long days of farming I need are my friends and to be around people. I love to try new foods and support local breweries and restaurants, so many evenings during the farm season you will find me out with friends. I also love music, and use it to relax, unwind, or get out pent up energy.
What is on your bucket list?
Having kids? That’s a long term goal. I honestly can’t wait to farm with my future kids. I certainly won’t get as much done, but it will be awesome!
I actually don’t have too long a bucket list.
My biggest dream is to own my own land and raise kids on a farm I build. I’ve done a bit of traveling recently and don’t feel any great draw at this point for exploring too much more. In the last few years I’ve taken a couple long trips to Cuba and to Hawaii with my siblings. I was also in Istanbul. Next winter I am hoping to be able to take a couple months off (for real off, like no second job) and take a road trip out to the west coast to spend some time with my brother, Nick.
How do you want to be remembered?
Just as someone who helped their community and made some lives better.
Tell us a little more about your CSA?
The Pearson Organics CSA is slightly different than most in that we give you the choice of what you want in your box each week. Each week members fill out a short survey choosing their veggies for the week from what is available. Half shares receive 6 different veggies each week and full shares receive 10. Each veggie is a pre-set amount that will give you enough to cook with for a meal or two (a pint of cherry tomatoes, a half pound of salad mix, 2 heads of broccoli). For our Twin Cities members they choose a drop off location and pick up their box on Tuesdays. In the Twin Cities we have five drop sites – a residential site in Woodbury, Tin Whiskers Brewery in downtown St. Paul, Birchwood Cafe in SE Minneapolis, Indeed Brewery in NE Minneapolis, and Cream & Amber in Hopkins.
Chere’s note: Pearson’s produce arrives as lovingly washed and packaged as if it were on the shelves of a high-end supermarket. No other CSA does that!
What are you excited about this year, Kristin?
In addition to increasing the size of the CSA (which we still have many open spots for, wink wink, tell your friends), we are adding new vegetable crops to the plan. Cauliflower, shallots, brussel sprouts, baby bok choi, parsnips, and strawberries are a few new things to look forward to this season. We also will try our best to make some of the most loved crops available for more weeks and in greater quantities.
We will also start working with new restaurant partners around town to provide them with a more selective list of produce for wholesale. Fiddlehead Coffee Co. will be a great partner for us. Their chef will be utilizing our produce daily on their lunch and dinner menus to bring some amazing seasonal dishes to Rochester.
I am also excited to work with Zach Ohly at Cameo Restaurant (opened Nov 2018). He is very eager to get some fresh local produce into their kitchen.
We also are applying to be a vendor at the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market. If accepted we would be a temporary vendor, which means we would not be guaranteed a spot at every market.
And, we upping our seedling production and have bids in to a few vendors including the People’s Food Coop to provide them with their vegetable starts for sale for 2019.
How can people have you be their farmer and purchase your CSA?
To become a member of the Pearson Organics CSA go to www.pearsonorganicsfarm.com and click sign up! Payment can be made via check, venmo, or credit card over the phone. There are limited spots available, so sign up while you can!
Hope to see you at the CSA pick up this summer!!