CASTLE VALLEY FARMS
Cultivating Soul and Soil
Working the soil is one of the best kinds of employment, calling the muscles into action and resting the mind. Study in agricultural lines should be the A, B, and C of the education given in our schools. This is the very first work that should be entered upon. (6T 179.2)
Here at Castle Valley Farms, we grow our fruits and vegetables naturally, without the use of synthetic pesticides or herbicides, and we strive to grow nutrient-dense vegetables through the careful monitoring of our soil's need for minerals and other nutrients.
The farm is irrigated by water diverted from a creek that flows from the nearby La Sal mountains. This gravity-fed irrigation system does not require any pumps. As a matter of fact, the water pressure is so high that we have to decrease it in order to prevent our pipes from breaking! We are so thankful to God for this great blessing of abundant water here in our desert oasis.
During the main season, we grow a large variety of crops in our three-acre market garden—root crops, cucurbits, nightshades, herbs, alliums, greens, and more. In the winter, our 1/2 acre greenhouse produces a huge array of greens, plus beets, carrots, radishes, cilantro, and parsley. By using row cover in the greenhouse, we are able to provide our community and our campus year-round access to truly "fresh and local" produce.
In addition to our annual gardens, we also have 45 acres of alfalfa, one acre of asparagus, nearly 1/2 acre of lavender, and a five-acre orchard of cherries, apples, pears, plums, apricots, and peaches.
With teachers working by their sides, our students have an ideal training-ground at Castle Valley Farms. They gain experience in the various aspects of operating a viable small scale farm—from soil preparation and planting, to harvesting and processing for market. Students also participate in preparing a variety of value-added products from our own produce: kale chips, carrot hot dogs, lavender essential oil, and more. The farm is diversified, not only for the sake of financial stability, but also so that students can gain a wide range of experience, preparing them for whatever agricultural opportunity may come along later.
But more important than the gaining of practical skills and agricultural knowledge, the students are developing character here on the farm. The vital qualities of endurance and patience; the spiritual lessons that God has placed in seed, soil, and plant; the constant reminder of God's care for them—are planted in students hearts as they participate with Him in the miracle of growth.