Erich Schultz owns and operates Steadfast Farm, a certified organic farm in the heart of a suburban community on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona. With 3 acres of vegetables, over six acres of orchard, and a passel of livestock, Steadfast Farm is the neighborhood amenity in the Agritopia development – an alternative to the golf courses and swimming pools that often anchor suburban developments.
Steadfast Farm sells produce through restaurants in the neighborhood and around Phoenix, through a farmstand, at farmers markets, and through a CSA.
Farming in suburbia comes with its own challenges, as does farming in the desert Southwest, and Erich fills us on the ways he has made the most of both. We discuss how he’s leveraged his neighborhood for marketing, how he manages irrigation, the evolution of Steadfast Farm’s livestock rotation, and how he has moved away from the intensive mechanization he started with.
We also get into the details of the arrangement Erich has with the developers and owners of the farmland, and how the neighborhood has managed some of the complications of having an urban farm.
The Farmer to Farmer Podcast is generously supported by Vermont Compost Company.