Our dear Farmer Frank at Crooked Sky Farms needs your help! The City of Phoenix is trying to acquire his farmland -- lovingly farmed to provide honest, local, healthy, Certified Natural produce for over a decade and a half to Phoenix -- and our community simply cannot let that happen.
Farmer Frank, son of a Native American migrant farm worker, continues the Native American traditions of using Heirloom seeds, natural care for the soil, crop rotation, and other sustainable farming practices. He believes in the "Stewardship of the Land," where first priority always remains taking good care of the land, plants, animals, and people. His farm is critical in the work to continue to build a resilient local food system.
Crooked Sky Farms feeds many, many people - and even more in this time of COVID - 19. They are generous with their donations as well to groups like Unlimited Potential, the Joy Bus and others.
The current farm location at 2615 S. 27th Ave. is close to many of the low-income areas / food deserts that we are all hoping to more equitably include in healthy food access initiatives.
Frank Martin has been an anchor for the local food movement for Arizona including its tribal communities for more than 20 years now - it would be more than a shame to have him not be able to farm here in the valley. And this kind of loss might be a harbinger of further farm losses to come if we can't right now actively implement some solutions.
The City has offered him $55,000 to help him move. This doesn't begin to cover the cost of the loss of the crops in his fields, nor the cost to move his farm, nor the loss of jobs / continued wages for his 14 employees as he gets reestablished in some other location, nor the years it has taken Frank to nurture the soil on this farm so that it is fertile and productive.The City has also verbally offered Frank to help him find a piece of property on which to farm, pay the rent for the land for the next two years, run water lines, put up a cooler, relocate his sheds and make sure there is electric to these buildings. They are now backing off this verbal agreement.
HERE IS HOW YOU CAN HELP:
Please contact MARTHA OJEDA at Acquisition Sciences, LTD. and let her know how valuable Crooked Sky Farms is to you personally, and to our community, as a whole. This can be by phone, written letter, email, or preferably: all of the above! Her contact information is:
Direct Line: 602-393-6027
1990 W. Camelback Road, Suite 207
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
It is also critical to contact District 7 City Councilman Michael Nowakowski and provide the same information, as well as how important it is to have the City of Phoenix stand by their commitment to fully help this farm:
District 7 Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski:
City of Phoenix, Council Office
200 W. Washington St., 11th floor
Phoenix, AZ 85003
In addition, please share this call to action with friends, family members, coworkers, even complete strangers. Please help save Crooked Sky Farms!
Crooked Sky Farms’ contact info is:
Frank Martin, owner and farmer
Many thanks to Jennifer Caraway from The Joy Bus Diner for some of the content for this post!