Get to Know Farmer Claire

Get to Know Your Farmer // Claire Charny

Meet Claire Charny, the newest member of Red's Quality Acre and our first ever full-time employee! She's an old Chicago friend of ours who spent 2-seasons working alongside Dave at City Farm Chicago. Before coming down to Durham this spring, Claire was the production manager at Field & Florist— a Chicago-based flower farmer and florist specializing in local and sustainably grown florals for weddings and events. Claire has begun experimenting with flowers at the farm and as she expands our production she's also developing her own potential floral business endeavors. We are eager to see what new opportunities flowers can add to our operation while Claire creates local wholesale accounts within the floral community. We are so glad to have Claire out in the field with us, she's one strong farmer with tons of grit and vegetable production experience! Here is a little more about Claire:

How long have you been farming?
8 years

How did you get involved in farming?
I was looking for a job after graduating college, I’m not sure how I found the ATTRA website (a USDA farm employment listing), but I did and couldn’t believe that I could get paid to work outside. I learned so much that first year and thought it would be a shame to stop, so I just kept doing it.

Favorite veggie to grow and why?
Garlic: it’s relatively easy to grow and just so good.

Favorite vegetable to eat?
Sweet potatoes… if I only had to eat one thing for the rest of my life that’d be it. Roast one, and eat it like an apple.

Best part of Red's Quality Acre?
Working with and witnessing my friends living the dream.

When you're not farming you can be found:
Taking naps with my cat, roller skating, settling into Durham life, and thinking about camping trips to take come fall.

Greatest accomplish at the farm this season?
Getting some flowers to grow! This was my first time growing flowers in the region and the first year of flowers at Red’s.

Biggest challenge?
Figuring out the best place to sell cut flowers, and what the flower market down here looks like.

Why is farming important:
For me it’s the responsibility of land stewardship; taking care of our surrounding ecosystem—the soil, plants, animals, us. I think it’s important to be part of transforming small-scale agriculture into a viable industry that provides a living wage for the people who grow our food.

Where do you see Red's in the future?
I envision Red’s to have a U-Pick family-friendly pumpkin patch. But seriously, I’d like to see Red’s function as a tight ship, growing a small number of things really well.