Meet Chris Voss, Angelic Organics’ Exemplary Growing Manager – 18th Harvest Week: Tue, Wed, & Thurs Delivery for Oct 9, 10, & 11, 2012
Farmer John Writes . . .
Greetings from Angelic Organics
Meet Chris Voss
We’re blessed to have Chris Voss at Angelic Organics. Amongst many other talents, Chris is adept at keeping the crew enthusiasm high and getting the farm work done in a timely way.
FJ: Chris, what is your role at the farm?
CV: I’m the growing manager. In that role, I oversee all the aspects of growing the crops from seed to planting to irrigation through harvest. I help schedule the 4 teams here that do the daily work. I’m also actively involved in a lot of the planning stages that are necessary to a business such as Angelic Organics, not just long term or during the off season, but day to day, week to week, month to month. The farm, just like any other enterprise, needs a lot of planning to be successful. Outside of these responsibilities, I tinker with the web page. I am by default an interim IT person here. I also am occasionally the farm emissary, whether it’s to shareholders during our farm open houses or on farm pickup days, other organic growers, travelers who might not farm but are interested in visiting Angelic Organics, youth groups affiliated with the Learning Center and outside of the Learning Center. Talking about the work that we do here is very gratifying. I love talking to the shareholders, giving the hayrides, talking with the kids about the fields, showing newcomers the farmstead. I enjoy sharing the farm with others.
FJ: What’s one of your favorite things about working at Angelic Organics?
CV: I have a personality that I’m always curious about things. Every single day, there is always something new to learn on the farm. Everything is so variable; there are always things you can’t control. An environment like that is challenging and inspiring and fulfilling. You always are presented with things that you don’t know what happened or why it happened. I rarely see a challenge that is insurmountable. I just think I need to look at this from another direction, to figure out another way to approach the goal.
FJ: You’re not a lifelong farmer, though you have a knack for farming. How did you get here?
CV: Previously, I worked for a large corporation and ran two successful locations for that corporation, but after doing that for 13 years, I needed a change. I was making good money, but I wasn’t fulfilled with the work I was doing. So I resigned and took a year and a half off to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, at first to my wife’s chagrin. In that year and a half, there was a lot of pondering, reflection, and introspection trying to determine what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I’m 40 years old, I’m a fairly loyal individual; when I do something, it’s for a long period of time. When I took that year and a half off, I kept wondering “what can I do for the rest of my life, which I will enjoy, find gratifying and will be that fulfilling force.” That’s how I came into farming.
FJ: Where do you live?
CV: About 35 mi SE of the farm, in Lake of the Hills. I live with my wife and two young daughters. Meghan is 14 and a freshman in high school. Samantha it 8.
FJ: How’s the commute?
CV: The commute is relaxing. I used to work in Schaumburg, which is 18 mi from where I live, and it would take me as long to get to Schaumburg as to the farm. I get to travel on rural country roads and watch the cornfields grow in the summer. I get to watch sunsets and sunrises. I wouldn’t say I have a bad commute at all. Although I did run over a raccoon the other day, which was a bummer.
FJ: What do you think about Biodynamics?
CV: I love the ideas behind Biodynamics. I like the idea of a complete farm, a farm that has its own soul or its own being. I don’t know everything about Biodynamics. It’s an area I want to explore more fully. Having a Biodynamic farm is a very admirable goal and approach; it creates a more complete farm. Getting to that point is one of those challenges that require a different perspective.
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Fruiting Crops – Sweet Dumpling & Butternut squash
Brassicas – broccoli, kohlrabi
Salad Greens –lettuce, spinach
Cooking Greens – kale,
Root crops – potatoes, turnips or radishes
Herbs – dill
Vegetable of the Week: Cooking Greens