By Giva Solana Schumacher 2/10/2014
One of the first steps Creative living Fellowship took in our GreenFaith Certification program is to establish a win/win relationship with Tonopah Rob and his beautiful vegetable/ produce farm in September 2012. We invited him to start a farmer’s market at our church and our congregants bought more than 30 shares for the following season. Our contributions played a huge role in Rob’s Farm life, as they enabled him to buy the long desired piece of land behind his property. And that was the first thing he did! He named the plot “North 40”.
The following is an article he wrote in his Newsletter December 2012:
Come See the North 40!
Posted by Tonopah Rob
December 11, 2012
Detroit Red Beets growing out back in the Back 40.
If you haven’t been out to the farm for awhile or at all, now is the time to come see the beautiful North 40……
The North 40 is spectacular. Even the guys who have helped plant the fields are oohing over how big and beautiful everything is maturing. Broccoli is beginning to show tiny compacted crowns down deep in its center. Cauliflower leaves are growing like crazy. Every day it seems like another 6 inches of new growth has shadowed more bare land, turning the plot into a green cauliflower carpet.
Raised and flattened beds support rows of delicate greens decorating the northwest portion of the N-40. A spectacular mixture of different kale’s are growing in beautifully planted north to south rows. Tonopah Rob’s heirloom spinach mix is awaiting its first cut. It is a mix of two very old varieties, when grown together it makes a delicious flavor……..and the salad mixes. The vibrant greens and reds of the All Lettuce Mix makes a stunning focal point on the farm.
I encourage all to come out and see what your dollars have done. It’s really groovy. Vegetables growing in the desert. The way the farm is planted using wind directions and moon cycles coaxes both beneficial and non beneficial insects into the thriving farm scape.
The farm will be open on Saturdays from 8 to noon so come on out, bring your cooler too. It’s suggested to wear hiking boots or a good pair of tennis shoes, open toed shoes can be dangerous. A large hat and plenty of water, a plastic bag or two just in case you find some seeds to take home and binoculars for birding. American Robins, Western Bluebirds, Lazuli Buntings and American Gold Finches are a few of the birds recently seen on the farm…….and of course Hear No, Big Red, Romeo, Little Tom and Drumstik turkey will be following us around so bring your camera and take a picture or two of the smiling poultry brothers.
When I read the article, I couldn’t help but feeling a bit proud of having initiated such a beautiful “thing” through our participation in the GreenFaith program.
Now, 18 months later, CLF has helped Tonopah Rob to purchase another piece of land, where a successful crop is being birthed right now. CLF just visited the farm last weekend and we saw it with our own eyes. (see pictures below). We had such a wonderful and educational time at the farm! Rob is not only an excellent farmer, he is also an incredible source of knowledge about urban farming, benefits as well as challenges. He lives for his farm, and his whole heart is in it! As I said in the beginning, definitely a win/win situation!