26 Jun – Who’s Your Farmer: Laura Bazzetta, Horseradish Ranch
Who’s Your Farmer: Laura Bazzetta, Horseradish Ranch
Offering pasture-raised eggs & meats and specialty produce from the Columbia Gorge. Horseradish Ranch focuses on regionally-adapted systems of agriculture to provide unique foods that have exceptional flavor and benefit our bodies, our community, and our earth.
Where is your farm/business located?
White Salmon, Wa
How long have you been farming?
I have been farming for eight years, and running horseradish ranch for two years.
Why do you operate a farm?
I came to farming at a time in my life when I was really longing to have a more direct connection with the world around me — there are few things that reach people more directly than the food they eat every day! Agriculture has such a huge impact on our world, and so even small changes in the right direction have the potential to make a big difference.
How do you spend your time when not farming?
I love to hike and backpack, whenever I am able to get off the farm, and enjoy the natural beauty of our area! I also enjoy playing musical instruments and creative writing.
What’s your favorite thing about running a farm business?
Getting to wake up every morning in one of the world’s most beautiful places, and feel like what I am doing is making a difference.
What’s your least favorite thing about farming?
It’s so difficult to travel or leave the farm overnight. Lots of animals here depending on us every day, so while I’d like the opportunity to explore and hike more, I don’t often have it.
What’s the oddest lesson you’d learned from farming?
Oddly enough, farming has had an impact on my interpersonal skills. Most people envision farming as a very solitary life, but teamwork and communication are often key parts of getting the job done, and I’m always inspired by all our wonderful customers who want to stay in touch on the regular with what we are doing out here.
If you won the lottery, would you keep farming?
Absolutely. I’d just hire some help! 😉
What keeps you going when you feel like quitting?
Sometimes you have to allow yourself to take a little break and help put your feelings back in perspective. Farming can be one of the hardest things to do at times, it’s so demanding and never seems to stop — but it’s also immensely rewarding, and honestly positive feedback and kind words from customers and community members always help me feel like it’s worth it, that what I do touches so many more people than just myself.
What would I tell someone wanting to follow in my footsteps?
You’ll never know if you don’t try! Take some time to work for other folks and get experience from them hands-on. A good mentor is worth twice as many mistakes that you have to make yourself.
What is your favorite food from the Gorge?
Not to toot my own horn, but Rabbit is probably my favorite food. Closely followed by those unbeatable summer cherries and peaches. Closely followed by that awesome Blue Bus kraut. closely followed by… I mean, everything here is so good, who can pick, really?
Is there anything else you’d like customers to know?
One of the things I love most about farming is that I have the opportunity to learn something new every single day, and grow and become a better farmer through each new experience, even when it’s difficult. I love when customers want to learn more about their food, their regional food system, and agriculture as a whole. Knowledge is power, and I hope that even just my business existing helps people think and grow and be willing to branch out into new territory.