Nothing feels quite as satisfying as growing and cultivating the land you own. Being able to produce whatever suits your needs—whether it be food, or flowers—gives a sense of purpose, and success upon completion. Becky and Andrew Grossman of Davy Crockett Tree Farms know these feelings all too well! Together, they work at their farmstead in southern Portland, known mainly for their Christmas tree population.
However, they’ve added a recent development into the mix—they also grow and produce wasabi! This week, they’re here to tell us how they got started in the wasabi business, what wasabi can actually do to improve your health, and where they plan to take their wasabi sales in the future. Let’s get started!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- All about who Andrew and Becky Grossman are. A mother and son duo, they work together at their farm, cultivating a small, family-owned business that’s been on the scene for over 80 years! Talk about success!
- Andrew goes on to tell us about the origins of wasabi, explaining that it comes from the mountains of Japan, where it’s originally grown. Andrew also explains the different parts of the plant, explaining that the leaves themselves can eat, as well as the roots. The bottom of the plant, called the ryesome, is what most people tend to eat, as it’s generally grounded into a paste and ready for serving.
- Becky explains to us how they got started on the wasabi train, saying that her career was based as an environmental manager for private companies. She was tasked to do research for crops that would grow in California, and found that wasabi fit the bill—and the climate—perfectly! For extra protection, however, she does store them in a greenhouse, to provide safety from wind and excessive heat.
- They explain the layout of their land, stating that they have four greenhouses right now, taking up about 5,000 square feet each. They also got lucky in the sense that, 14 months after they planted their wasabi, it was ready for marketing and selling. It usually takes 18 – 24 months for something like that to happen!
- Out of the four farms that grow wasabi on the West Coast, their farm is the largest wasabi growers in the country! They sell their products through a company called Pacific Coast Wasabi, which allows them to sell their wasabi to people within the United States. However, they soon hope to start distributing out of their own website!
- Though each part of the plant has its own importance, Becky and Andrew talk to us about the recent discovery that lies within the leaves. The leaves of the wasabi plant promote hair growth, and can also be used in various skin products to retain elasticity and promote collagen. Right now, there’s a lot of people looking into this opportunity, and Becky and Andrew are no exception! They hope to venture into that sort of realm in the future, while the research is still being finalized.
- Andrew talks to us about their exciting partnership with New Seasons, stating that, by November 1st of this year, they want to have their products available in all 20 New Seasons stores! Their plans include selling the ryesome itself, as well as manufacturing a grinder, so people can grind the stem from their own house!
- Becky leaves us with the confidence that they’re still going to maintain their Christmas tree business, as well as push the wasabi business forward. Becky states that they may expand into other areas and are thinking about other crops they want to grow in the area that match the same climate as wasabi, but for now, this is where they’re staying.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Did Andrew and Becky not have time to answer a burning question you’ve got on your mind? No problem! Six hours south of Portland, they’re ready and willing to answer all your questions. And make sure to keep a look out for their upcoming website, too! Becky and Andrew Grossman seem to be two of the hardest working people I’ve talked to, and together, they’re really creating something unique and wholly theirs. Make sure to visit your local New Seasons in the fall to snatch up their products as soon as possible!
Davy Crockett Tree Farms in Photography: