Meet Arnott Duncan and Duncan Family Farms

photo: Duncan Family Farms
Picture of Arnott and Kathleen and family (The Duncan Family: Arnott and Kathleen with Javier, Kell and Sean)
In this special In Season post we'll get to meet one of the Valley's farmers, Arnott Duncan and Duncan Family Farms located in Goodyear.

Specializing in greens and lettuces, Arnott and his wife Kathleen have been farming for over 20 years and they grow certified organic produce available from October through April at the newish Wigwam Farmers Market they helped develop and their new CSA program, Salad-A-Day.  

Farming without a doubt has its challenges and they've had their challenges, too. Here's what Arnott had to share.

Handful of Duncan Family Farms Mustards.jpg
photo: Duncan Family Farms
Handful of Duncan Family Farms Mustards

How did you end up farming?  I grew up around farming and have always enjoyed it.  I get up everyday and look forward to going to work because it is what I love to do.  I enjoy the challenge of continuously seeking better ways to farm sustainably and grow great tasting food.

The farm is best known for:  Having been opened to public with our education outreach, U-pick garden and farm festivals.  We had to shut down about 10 years ago and we still hear people say they remember coming out to the farm and how much they enjoyed it and how much they miss it! 

Duncan Family Farms Red, Gold and Chiogga Beets.jpg
photo: Duncan Family Farms
Duncan Family Farms Red, Gold and Chiogga Beets
What do you look forward to growing the most every year? Growing organics and learning how to constantly improve what we are doing. Learning the next new thing and always seeking innovative and sustainable ways to continue to grow produce.

What would you like people to know about farming/local food that they might not know?  That Duncan Family Farms is still here and very much a part of the community.

Do you have any junk food guilty pleasures?  Anything chocolate!  We have a continuous supply of Peanut M&M's in our office at all times.

Any fun plans for the future we should know about? We have a CSA program directed at "Health and Wellness" initiatives called Salad A Day CSA we just finished piloting with St. Joseph's Hospital, American Express and Whole Foods.  We will be introducing the full program to the public in Fall 2011.  We partnered with the Wigwam Resort to develop a Farmers Market dedicated to locally produced foods and have had a great time building this market which launched in Fall 2010.  Currently, it is a seasonal market but we are looking at a year round market starting this Fall.  We are also beginning local distribution with our produce to restaurants and schools.  We have a few projects in the works where we are collaberating and partnering with others to improve local food systems, distribution, and support of getting more local farmers on the ground.

photo: Duncan Family Farms
Juan Calderone, Duncan Family Farms Harvest Manager, doing QC on the vegetable display
Lastly, where can we get your food? Currently, at the Wigwam Farmers Market & we will be adding additional markets come Fall 2011.  Through our Salad A Day CSA program.  We will be going onto Whole Foods produce shelves in Fall 2011.

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