Passing on the Love of Growing Raspberries
Recently Driscoll’s sat down with raspberry grower, Titi Vasquez, to talk about why raspberry growing is such a passion for him and his family.
How long have you been a grower for Driscoll’s?
I’m a third generation farmer and have been growing raspberries for Driscoll’s for over 10 years. I’ve grown up in a farming family and my father has been a grower for Driscoll’s since 1983 and my grandfather started growing strawberries in Watsonville, California as a share grower many years ago. Farming is in my family’s blood.
What do you love about raspberry farming?
I’m a grower because of the challenges - nothing is ever the same. I love being outdoors and I feel lucky that I work with my dad, sister, wife, uncles and cousins. I also feel proud to grow a product that is so healthy and delicious! I know that I will feel good about feeding my new son or daughter raspberries as soon as the baby is old enough.
So you’re a new father?
About to be. I’ve been happily married to my lovely wife Lorena Vasquez for 5 years and we're expecting our first child in April 2014. We are very excited and are looking forward to being parents.
Who is your most influential role model?
I feel blessed that I get to work with my Dad, Chava Vasquez, on a daily basis. He is a very wise man and he has shown me how to be both a good father and a good farmer. He taught me to love the challenges that farming and life will bring.
Why are the raspberries you grow for Driscoll’s so special?
Driscoll’s provides us with our raspberry plants. They are not regular raspberry plants but varieties that are unique to Driscoll’s and have been perfected through years of knowledge and a passion for finding the best raspberry. With all the hard work that goes into farming I want to grow only the best raspberries. I inherited the pride of growing great berries from my father and I hope to pass down that tradition to my children.
What are your earliest memories of farming with your dad?
I remember driving with my dad on the tractors around the berry fields. He would tell me stories about berry growing and teach me about being a good farmer and a good person. One of the things I learned from him is the importance of family. Our family is not just my immediate family but all the folks who work here at the farm. Most of our employees have been working at the ranch for several generations. I now work with the children of the employees that worked with my father and he worked with their grandparents. We are a very close knit group and we all work hard to provide the very best berries.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. My wife and I also have two Chocolate Labs named Spike & Diesel. They are a big part of our family too. From a travel perspective my favorite place is Mexico. I also like watching sports - football, soccer and baseball.
As we enter the holidays are there any special family traditions you would like to share?
It’s not a Thanksgiving tradition but my Mom makes the best raspberry agua fresca you’ll ever taste. She serves it at every meal during the summer. We love it because we know she made it with love, the berries came from our farm and it just tastes great!