Edge of Nowhere Farm History
Growing up in Gardena, CA in the middle of South Central Los Angeles in the 80’s wasn’t exactly where you would expect the story of a farmer to begin, but that’s exactly where farmer Duane spent his formative years. While he was caught in the middle of a concrete jungle his dad had a small garden which eventually turned into 4 fruit trees by the time he was in his teens. In addition to a small taste of fresh fruit every June-July, he also spent 2 weeks every summer at his grandparents 5 acre property in Southern Oregon where he got a taste of having fresh potatoes, corn and sweet peas right from the garden. While he hadn’t taken the step towards growing his own food by his early twenties, he met the love of his life by chance circumstances in San Diego, CA. That’s where farmer Lori comes into the picture and being a Phoenix native she quickly “encouraged” Duane to make the move to the heat of the desert!
The Hebert’s first home was in North Central Phoenix, in a typical subdivision with a 5,500 sq. ft. lot. One of the first things into the ground in the very limited space they had in their back yard was a small dwarf lemon tree. With a 2 year old running around the house and growing fast that was as far as the not-yet-budding farmers were willing to go with growing their own food. However, by the 3rd year in the ground their lemon tree had grown to over 12 feet tall and produced pounds and pounds of amazingly juicy fruit that they would give away to neighbors, friends and still have bags and bags of frozen juice that they could never seem to get through. While they were amazed with the production of the tree it wasn’t until one of Duane’s customers from work (he was working for a nationwide supplement retailer at the time) came in with several small green apples that his interest in growing his own food really took off. The amazing little green apple was the freshest apple he had ever eaten and within a week they had 2 apple trees in the backyard with a fig, mandarin, orange, guava, grape and blueberry planted by the end of that year. The farmers had officially run out of space! So with no hesitation, they started looking for more land to grow more food and get out of the city! Now when you live in the 5th largest city in the nation which happens to be located in the middle of the desert and you’re trying to get away from the city you’re going to really be pushing the limits of civilization. By the time they found the perfect spot they found themselves at home, on the Edge of Nowhere.