Ashley, the Farm’s “Manager”

Ashley, the Farm’s “Manager”

We joke around that Ashley is our farm’s “commander.” Kidding aside, she’s the real deal—hard working, witty, and service-oriented.

Ask her what she does at the farm, and she’ll say, “Anything and everything.”

A managerial title would suit her, but she’s not inclined to behold any ego-driven title. We all know, however, the Apple Farm’s success depends upon her.

She busily hires seasonal help in early August. She makes sure that thorough to-do lists are completed. She reminds us of what curb-side pick-up orders are ready. She ensures shelves are stocked and accurately priced. She serves up fine cups of espressos and lattes, no matter the time of day, teaching everyone else along the way.

And that’s not all.

She’s a “boss” on the forklift, hoisting 1500-pound apple bins onto our sorting and pressing lines. On Sundays, she ensures all things are set for cider pressing, including our high-tech, cold pasteurization UV machine.

After long days, she power washes our press and conveyer belts to ensure everything is safely sanitized. Yes, it’s a “dirty job,” but she does not shy away from messes. She’s in the trenches with the rest of us, like any commander ought to be. What must be done, she gets done. And she’ll remind us, “We signed up for this, so let’s get to it!”

Ashley is a strong, reflective leader—heart and soul. She is fiercely loyal to the farm’s mission of providing quality produce, as well as our orchards where people find solace and appreciation of nature.

When you stop in and happen to meet her, you will be greeted by someone Victor, NY and agriculturalists are proud of!

Bejan – The Logician

We have determined that Bejan is the logician of the Victor Apple Farm.  He prefers logician over the farm’s owner.  He values being a steward of the orchards, rather than their holder.  Adaptive and creative, Bejan figures things out, weaving pragmatism into prosperous vision.

Although he grew up on the farm, he remembers never feeling “adequate or skilled enough to run it.”  

So much has changed!

Prior to taking over the farm in 2014, Bejan studied architecture, worked in real estate and construction, and managed his own rental properties.  He even earned a degree in respiratory therapy and worked at Rochester General Hospital for two years prior to finding his way back to the farm.  Each varied endeavor increased his confidence as he completed online agricultural courses through Cornell University and made plans to take over the enterprise he once felt too inadequate operate .  

Central to Bejan’s quiet, humble manner are rare eclectic values, dreams, and persistence—which are the Apple Farm’s ability to thrive, despite catastrophe.  If you haven’t read about the Apple Farm’s 2016 fire, please read about it here:  Our Rebuilding Story.

His stewardship of the orchards breathes life into each season behind the scenes.  The abundance of apple picking, between late August through early November, is the gift of everything he persevered during the cold season. 

Throughout the “off-season,” tractors were repaired, trailers welded, woodchippers sharpened, motors replaced, and farm beams hoisted. At every restoration, Bejan is on standby, ready to get things up and running again.

But it’s not just about metal mechanics; he also builds authentic relationships with other apple farmers, a local hard cidery, large-scale land developers, and strong shouldered pruners and pickers.  

All the while fostering supportive, loyal employees who devote their worktime to the Apple Farm’s vocation. 

Though random deep-level repairs might drive others to give up, there is Bejan:  in good humor and a gentle smile—with a funny clip from YouTube that puts growth into perspective, modeling for the rest of us: to go with the flow, just as Nature does.  

Copyright 2019 The Victor Apple Farm LLC
Site built by Bejan