Green Man Farm's Eric Gibian

Green Man Farm, Washburn, Tenn.

You’re operating a “CSA.” What do the letters stand for?

It’s community supported agriculture. Prior to the beginning of the growing season, we sell shares of the upcoming harvest from our small family farm. I sold 60 shares this year based on anticipated production. Then, each week for 25 weeks, members receive a box of produce from the garden, five to nine varieties, or maybe even more.

What’s growing well this spring?

The garlic looks real good, and the turnips—the greens are healthy and vigorous. Also the cilantro, and the pea shoots.

Do you mean that the pea harvest will be good?

This time of year, we harvest pea shoots just for the tender greens. They’re great in stir fry or in salads. I seeded them three or four weeks ago.

Do you ever end up with so much of one crop that the customers are like, “Enough already, Eric!”

Yes, definitely. Last year we had way too much zucchini. We sold some at the Market Square Farmer’s market (which resumes May 2), like we do our other surplus, but still. I just have to adjust my planting is all. Plus this year we have pigs, and they can consume quite a bit of the unsold surplus.

Do customers ever get more produce than they can handle?

Absolutely, that’s part of the CSA. You have to be a little flexible, but it’s really best for people who are home cooks. I have several families that split a share.

Are you from Tennessee?

I was born in upstate New York, and moved to South Florida when I was 14, and lived there until we moved here.

Do you have farming in your background?

I do not, no.

So you’ve been growing how long?

Going on almost two years. This summer will be our second CSA.

For more info: thegreenmanfarm.com and knoxvillemarketsquare.com/farmersmarket.html

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