By John Cunningham
Matt Moore of TED Talk fame comes from a family that is four generations deep into farming here in the Valley. He is also an accomplished artist, and a dad and a husband. A while back, he became friends with Aric Mei, the guy who created The Parlor restaurant at 19th Street and Camelback Road. It’s a favorite community restaurant—if you’ve ever eaten there, you can see why nearly all 1,300 Yelpers agree that The Parlor deserves the coveted five-star max ranking that it enjoys.
They Had a Dream
The two friends realized that they could do something great together as community partners. So, they thought it would be cool if there was a way to bring an organic farm into the city.
What would set this apart from a community farm is that this one would have professional farmers tending the land year-round.
There will be concessions offered at the farm, which would include food grown on the property. You and I could come by with family and friends to enjoy a meal, and it would give us a chance to buy food that is grown and prepared right there, literally from farm to table. A farm stand will also offer fresh produce and canned goods.
On top of all that, there would be a 2,500-square-foot educational building where local students could learn about growing crops. Schools in the Valley will be able to book times to come by and learn about what it takes to produce the food we eat.
From Old to New
They wanted to locate the farm at Los Olivos park in Phoenix, a decades-old park that is currently underutilized. The farm would change all that. New life will happen when this blessed thing comes to life in this old park.
The people nearby are looking for ways to connect with others. The neighborhood would now have another one of those magical places where people want to be. It’s what turns an already nice community into an even greater place to live.
They Said “YES”
On March 22, 2018, City Council Chambers in Downtown Phoenix was standing room only. By my estimate, more than 95% of those present (about 400 people) were in fierce support of the plans for the farm. The Parks and Recreation Board voted in favor of the local farm project.
The Farm at Los Olivos will be located on the northwest corner of Los Olivos Park, which is just north of Indian School Road on 28th Street. Approximately 4½ acres of the 27-acre Los Olivos Park will become the farm project. Greenbelt Development LLC will lease the 4.5 acres of the city park. You can find out more by visiting their website.
John Cunningham is an online digital real estate marketing agent who helps people find their happy place and get all of their equity out of their home when it’s time to move. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.