Fusion Farm is the culmination of over 10 years of dreaming and scheming about how to orient my work life in ways that support what I love to do–Growing safe, nourishing food by employing organic, biointensive, sustainable methods and philosophy.
My grandfather J.P. Clark was a farmer here in Ashland, having arrived from Iowa with my grandmother Margie Forney and their many children during WWII in the 1940’s. They had lost their Iowa farm, but benefitted from a fresh start in southern Oregon. They very successfully raised eight kids on what they grew in Ashland and sent to Medford for distribution to regional markets. Their primary crop was radish, in addition to broccoli, cauliflower, green onion, lettuce, muskmelon and turnip.
Grandpa Clark’s mentor was Albert C. Joy, and together they ran Joy Gardens, farming at multiple locations around Ashland–There were farm gardens in what is now Quiet Village, as well as much of the land from Garden Way and Harmony Lane, all the way down through the current sites of Hunter Park, Ashland Middle School, and I-5 (before it was I-5).
My mom grew up in the middle of it all, in a big farmhouse on the corner of Siskiyou and Walker, which is now the site of the Presbyterian Church. Grandma Margie not only ran the home and raised the kids, but also was incredibly civic-minded. She was involved in Eastern Star, Soroptomists, and was President of the Ashland High School PTA. My grandparents donated the land for Garden Way Park, between Walker Street and Harmony Lane.
So, farming is an important part of my history. I walk into the garden, and I am lost to the world until either my low back or my momming duties tell me it’s time to call it a day. Growing is what I’d do full-time if I had my druthers. At this point, I am doing what I love in an effort to diversify my income streams, and to make life that much better for myself and my children, my family, friends, and fellow community members. I admire anyone who values a diverse, vibrant local economy, and also recognizes the critical role that food security plays in the world. Choosing health and vitality by incorporating more fresh, organic food into one’s life is an affirmation of right living. I believe we all live by example.
I chose the name Fusion Farm for a few reasons: I adore Latino-Asian Fusion; I am planning multiple growing sites; I strive for balance… Mostly, it’s because I love it when things come together beautifully.
My main garden is in Phoenix—Sub rural is defined as the outskirts of suburbia, which is precisely where my micro-mini farm is located. Not quite in the country, certainly not in the city, but right down the street from the suburban lives of my neighbors.
Thanks for being here.