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Small farm finds new home in Garfield District

The first tree will be planted Thursday on an empty lot in Phoenix’s Garfield District that soon will be a small farm near downtown.

It’s being called Garfield Garden Park.

“Farmer Woody” is a local farmer and chef who is getting some help from a group called Valley Leadership to build the park on 14,000 square feet of land at the corner of 10th street and Pierce.

“I call it an urban agricultural resource center,” said Woody. “Richard Melikian, a co-owner of the San Carlos hotel, donated the land and free water so that I can set up a little teaching garden. It’s going to have a little amphitheater for cooking classes and food preparation classes.”

The amphitheater will also be the spot for music and public speakers.

The farm will grow food for those classes.

“A lot of market vegetables,” said Woody. “Things that are easy to make. Grow for salads, grow for soups, stews, particular dishes. I really want to grow for local restaurants.”

His hopes are that restaurants will buy the produce to help pay for the farm.

One of Woody’s goals is to teach local residents how to grow their own food. He hopes that they will learn enough that he’ll be able to hire them to work at this farm and at Superstition Springs Farms near Superstition Springs mall in Mesa.

Woody also has a potluck in mind. “I really just want to grow a ton of food to share and throw the biggest potluck the world has ever seen,” he said.

Woody has been building the farm by himself and is raising money to buy fencing and other things. There’s an account set up for donations at

Sprinkler World, Superstition Springs Farms and Shamrock Towing are among those who have already contributed to the project.