This post comes from an interview for our CSA newsletter a few weeks ago with Agustin, who, along with his brother Juan, has been helping us with farm work at “Join the Farm.” Agustin is something of a farm manager for us here. He does everything from cultivating, mowing, weeding, irrigation, and maintaining equipment to watering the outer roads of the field to keep down dust. With his background knowledge from growing up on a farm, he gives us tips on extending crop life and advice on plant problems. I’ve loved getting to know Agustin, and his jovial nature and jokes make our work lighter. Here’s his short bio from the newsletter:
Agustin Contreras has been working on the DeBusschere family ranch for 18 of the 37 years that he’s lived in the U.S. As he helped us wash carrots, turnips and leeks for your CSA boxes, he amiably answered some questions for this newsletter. Agustin comes from the town of Querendaro, Michoacan, Mexico. Some of Agustin‘s favorite memories from Querendaro include tending his family’s cattle and helping out with the farm work there. His father left the farm in Agustin’s care to work in Temecula, CA as one of over 4 million Mexicans contracted for agricultural labor as part of the Bracero program during the 1940’s.
After 18 years of working on his family’s farm, Agustin also left Mexico along with four of his siblings because it became too hard to feed the family there. He recently became a U.S. citizen, along with his brother Juan, the other employee on the Ranch. Agustin lives in Oxnard close to his sister and brother and is a favorite uncle of his nieces and nephews. On his day off, when he’s not taking his nieces and nephews to their various appointments and activities, he likes to relax with a beer or two. His favorite vegetables are onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Agustin brought us back some chili seeds to plant from a holiday visit to his hometown, so hopefully we can share them with you too this summer!