Peacehaven Community Farm recently received the donation of a 20-acre commercial nursery located just five miles from Peacehaven’s primary location. This property, formerly a commercial nursery, includes 19 hoop houses, an irrigation pond and pump house, two wells, and a retention pond. This donation was made possible thanks to the generosity of Peacehaven neighbor, Sandy Doughty, who operated Monterey Nursery on this property for nearly 30 years.
The existing hoop houses will add to Peacehaven’s food production capabilities. A hoop house is a tunnel made of polyethylene, allowing the interior to heat up from the sun, warming the plants inside the building faster than heat can escape the structure.
“Peacehaven is extremely grateful to Sandy for this donation,” said Buck Cochran, Peacehaven’s Executive Director. “We are humbled by her generosity and know that this property will greatly enhance our mission and dream of connecting more people with special needs to their community through the work of sustainable farming.”
Initial goals for this new property are to provide people with disabilities with training, jobs, and community through vocational and day programming; to provide earned income to support the larger Peacehaven mission; and to explore innovative practices, farming techniques, and a business model to share with others.
A team of experts with knowledge in finance, farming, disability and business planning is currently developing a business plan. While this plan is developed, Peacehaven will concentrate on general cleanup of the property and planting cover crops to amend and nourish the soil in two of the hoop houses, which will serve as test sites this Fall to evaluate high tunnel planting of vegetables.