Get to Know Farmer Norm

Get to Know Your Farmer // Norman Budnitz!

Norm puts the 'acre' in Red's Quality Acre; he so graciously provides the land that we grow all of our produce on! Beyond being deeply generous and having amazing soil Norm is a retired teacher, birder and origami master. Norm brings a scientific eye to our operation. He's often identifying pests on the crops, pollinators buzzing around, birds flying above, and the pesky weeds that find their way into our beds. He has a vast knowledge of the natural world and an unmatched enthusiasm for teaching those around him. Norm has been an invaluable part of our farm, providing us not only the space and tools to develop our dream but also the thoughtfulness, patience, and years of garden experience to make it the success it is today! 

How long have you been farming?
I have been gardening forever, but on this scale it has been 10 years.

How did you get involved in farming?
I used to garden with my father as a kid, and it was a special time I was able to spend with him since he was often very busy. We could be together in the garden. As an adult I always wanted to grow something, even if it was just tomatoes. I scaled up my farming with Four Leaf Farm to help them expand their operation; that's how I got into it in a bigger way.

Favorite veggie to grow and why?
Although we aren't growing them now, my favorite is peanuts. They are extremely interesting plants.

Favorite vegetable to eat?
It used to be edamame, but I can't eat it due to my current diet. Now I would have to say my favorite is vine ripe tomatoes; they are just so special.

Best part of Red's Quality Acre?
Having Dave and Caitlin around. It's been so great to have everyone out here farming.

When you're not farming you can be found:
Birding! This year I've been to Alaska and Peru and am about to head off to Alaska again in a few weeks.

Greatest accomplishment at the farm this season?
Not my own accomplishment, but how much we have all learned from last year. It is great that the farm is that much more productive from having learned so much.

Biggest challenge?
Just aches and pains....oh, and the heat.

Why is farming important?
It's hard to put into words. I just really enjoy producing things that people can eat. I like knowing that it's good food and nurturing to those who eat it.

Where do you see Red's in the future?
I'd like to see Red's thrive; getting bigger in the sense of hiring more people and being able to produce a living wage.