Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The People of Tierra: Evie

Evie serves as your number one Point of Contact when it comes to dealing with Tierra Vegetables. She is really the Marketing Manager, but this also evolves into people manager. Luckily, she is darn good at it and well suited to answering the calls, questions, emails. She is the face you almost always encounter when visiting the farm and farm stand, others off working behind the scenes. Evie seems to know everyone. She maintains the CSA membership and literally knows each and every member's personal story and history in her head. In addition to farm stand sales and CSA memberships, Evie might also wheel and deal with restaurants sales and, less frequently, some wholesale orders. Much of the vegetable sales interface passes through Evie one way or another, therefore, the majority of you all know her well.

Who better suited to be tucked away in the office to manage the CSA member data base? A computer spreadsheet accounts for each farm subscriber. Wayne and Evie both work constantly to keep this information updated as members pay, move, change phone numbers, and make special requests. Because all of this specific information causes additional work on the end of the farm, a CSA member is rewarded with savings if they pay all at once (that is less visits to their row in the spreadsheets). Phone calls and emails galore make up this system of ensuring everyone gets what they pay for and arrive at the right pace to pick it up.

A favorite component of the CSA is the menu that accompanies each vegetable pick-up. Evie fabricates this entire thing with her expert understanding and use of vegetables in the kitchen and ability to research and dig further when Wayne and Lee have produced something a little less ordinary. At Tierra, you are likely to encounter a new vegetable from time to time in your box and, fortunately, Evie is here to interpret this item and make suggestions for what we all might do with it.

And what about accounting for all the the sales? Evie is usually in charge of this portion of the office work too. Quickbooks facilitates the process of creating invoices and receiving payments for each and every customer and sale that goes through Tierra Vegetables. Nothing is left unaccountable!

A weekly email is produced (twice weekly when in the depths of main season produce) reminding you all what is in season and what you might expect at the farm that week. Whether it be first of the season asparagus, strawberries, a glut of eggs or the introduction of a new product, Evie ensures you know what is happening each week as she provides updates featuring the seasonality of farm products.

While you may see Evie as the friendly face that is usually to be found at the farm stand, her role within the company encompasses much more behind the scenes too. As for that friendly face, children galore come to see just that face at least weekly. They might earn themselves a free carrot or strawberry, learn to type a few numbers into the cash register or weigh their produce. Great with children and folks of all ages and types, Evie is a friend to us all and a community figure we are all missing presently as she takes some time to focus on her health.

It is no secret Evie began her personal battle again ovarian cancer during the holiday season. It is only as a result of this that I have learned first hand how diversified her role can be as I face her customers each week, ensuring them she is doing the best she can under the circumstances of her treatment.

I'm not Evie, but she is trusting me to stand in for a bit and I'm doing the best I can with it. As we each have our own unique strengths and weaknesses, Evie's character and knowledge is certainly missed by all those who know and love her. She hopes to return by the time summer kicks in and she is still out there behind the scenes making her irreplaceable contributions to the farm operation.

Sorry for a limited number of photos on this post! I need to chase Evie with my camera in 2010, she seems to have slipped past me so far.

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