TEMPLETON — Templeton Hills Community Farm will be celebrating its First Anniversary on Sunday, Apr. 18. 

Members of the farm invite everyone to join them for a farm tour, refreshments, and fresh produce as they celebrate one year of impacting their community.

Open to all members of the community, the farm is located between the Templeton Hills Seventh-Day Adventist Church and school.

The farm opened in March 2020, right at the start of the pandemic. But despite lockdowns, the farm managed to more than double their crop production within one year.

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Pastor Zac Page of the Templeton Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church said, “During these difficult times when people have been feeling socially isolated, the farm has become a place for people of all ages to connect in a safe outdoor environment.”

Since the farm opened to the public, it has gained another hoop house, and more plans are in the works for expansion. A washing system for produce and a storage container for root vegetables like potatoes and garlic is something the farm is looking forward to.

There are even plans to begin hosting classes at the farm. Matt Giese and his wife hope to plan cooking and gardening classes at the farm, but the possibilities are endless. 

Giese works as the farm manager as well as the groundskeeper for the school and church.

“Some people come to learn, others are experts who want to be involved in something bigger, and still others just come to enjoy fresh naturally grown local produce,” said Page.

The farm has become a place for families to spend quality time together, and children are safe to roam around freely and learn how to grow their own food.

Page says, “We hear parents saying things like, ‘For the first time, my kids enjoyed eating their vegetables because they knew where they came from and had a part in growing them!’ That’s what it’s about for us here. The goal is to contribute to people’s lives”.

Every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., people come to the farm to volunteer their time. Throughout the week, Giese manages the farm and creates a list of chores to be done on Sunday.

After produce has been harvested, volunteers get to take home their portion of goods. Sometimes extra items like grapefruit are donated and added to everyone’s pick up of goods for the week. 

On Sundays, volunteers operate the Farm Stand, which sits by the curb of the farm parking lot where bundles of produce are often available for pick up!

The Templeton Hills Community Farm is open to all members of the community. Anyone can offer their time or give a donation in exchange for harvested goods, but no one in need will ever be turned away.

Page said, “We are excited for our farm’s anniversary event Apr. 18. In the first year, we’ve more than doubled the amount of crops we’re growing. This will be a great opportunity for anyone who hasn’t visited our farm to come check it out, and for those who have previously to see how it has grown!” 

For more information on the farm, visit templetonhills.adventistfaith.org/templeton-hills-community-farm or follow their Facebook page @grow.give.serve