In this episode of the Trailblazher Podcast, we’re talking with Kristin Graves of Fifth Gen Gardens. This is a follow-up to an article she wrote in our Fall 2023 Issue 12 of Trailblazer Magazine. Her article is called Embracing the Softer Side of Farming. So after a decade of working in healthcare, Kristin has found her way back to her roots and is now moving into her seventh season with Fifth Gen Gardens.
Not only does she have a three acre market garden, but she is also learning the family business of grain farming and grows close to 75, 000 bulbs of hardneck garlic. Kristin enjoys creating unique garlic products using her very own homegrown garlic bulbs and incorporates many farm forage wild ingredients. Her heart is happiest while in the field, and she is deeply committed to cultivating connections through the food she grows. We hope you enjoy Kristin’s story as much as we enjoyed sharing it.
Kristin Graves, also known as the Garlic Goddess, is the owner of Fifth Gen Gardens. Kristin grew up on her family’s farm and was always very connected to the land but never actually worked on the farm and never really envisioned herself as a farmer.
Before the life on the farm she lives now, her story actually started in healthcare, as an x-ray tech. She had moved away from the farm, went to school in Edmonton, and worked at the U of A hospital in Edmonton for the better part of a decade.
After a hard couple of years, she had had enough. So she ended up back at the farm where her contribution is a market garden, as well as a large garlic crop. Since then she’s been more involved on the farm, learning about the grain operation and cutting hay with her dad.
In addition to the market garden and garlic, Kristin also loves working with local restaurants to provide them with farm-fresh ingredients. Throughout the winters, she spends her time making specialty garlic products and specializing in all things garlic.
In the opening of Kristin’s article in the Fall Issue of Trailblazher Magazine, she mentions being “Farm Girl Strong” and in this episode, Jan dives deeper into this very topic. At the core of the message, Kristin believes that there is room to be both tough and sensitive on the farm and there is no right or wrong to simply “being”. She has found her own place on the farm by allowing her to just be herself and encourages others to do the same. Below is her best advice for someone looking to find their own balance on the farm.
“I think the best advice that I could ever give somebody is to just be authentic to who you are.” – Kristin Graves
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