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LETTERS

Criticism, praise continue for Ahwatukee Farms proposal Community agriculture requires much sacrifice Individuals commenting on social media about True Life’s Farm plan seem to be focused mainly on the “Farm to table,” fresh produce theme. Many are completely unaware of what a CSA (community supported agriculture) program is, and the individual sacrifices it requires. The garden farm portion of this proposal is not free. No one will be coming into the community to plant, cultivate, and harvest the crops. It’s like sweat equity: The neighbors and residents will have to do the work to sustain the farm garden vegetables and crops, either through monetary donations and/or labor by becoming “subscribers.” The harvest of crops, vegetables, etc, will then be sold inside the farmers’ market. Why would anyone want to pay twice for a turnip or carrot? With the frequent hot weather, how many residents are going to volunteer their labor? Especially when we already have a Sunday farmers’ market and a well-stocked Sprouts Market that sell fresh organic produce?

Before deciding to sell out Ahwatukee, there are some pressing questions we should be asking: Who will pay for the initial startup of this garden farm (tools, soil, seeds, plants, etc)? Who will screen and hire the vendors for this farmers’ market? Who will profit from this “business”? Who will control the accounts, pay the taxes, keep inventory, and restock orders for more seeds, soil, and or plants for the garden farm? Who will guarantee that the soil is not contaminated with pesticides and herbicides from the original golf course operations? Who will be held responsible/accountable if the produce and or goods sold make people and children sick? How will this garden farm be safeguarded from local wildlife and vermin like roof rats, javelina, coyotes, snakes, gophers, field mice, etc? Ahwatukee is already infested with roof rats. This “farm” will certainly attract more of them to the neighborhoods. Yes, build it and they (vermin) will come. Surely there are a number of compelling reasons why this “farm” is not the

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right fit for this community and these neighborhoods. Everyone loves a farm and a garden, but most don’t know the work and sacrifices it takes to operate. This will be a huge undertaking, developing a commercial complex with non-stop traffic and congestion along our streets, of delivery trucks and vendors moving goods in and out of the “farm.”. So much for the peace and quiet Ahwatukee residents and homeowners have enjoyed for decades! The biggest question of all is: Where will the water come from to irrigate the crops, and who will pay the water bill? It won’t be True Life. They haven’t watered the grounds, the shrubs, the lakes, and especially the trees that had been planted decades ago. Instead, they have turned their back on these “living organisms,” and have watched their slow death, eager to finish them off by chopping them down. The value in oxygen generated by these plants, shrubs and trees alone was and is worth saving them. Shame on us as a community if we allow this misguided “farm plan” to be developed. Think of the etching on the rear view

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mirror of your car. What does it say? “Caution: objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” Are we headed for devastation and ultimate community erosion because we failed to see the distorted objects in the “farm plan” renderings? Ahwatukee has been sustained for decades, by who? By the residents and homeowners who, together, will continue to sustain this unique Ahwatukee Community by upholding the CC&RS that protect all of us. Unite with us to keep Ahwatukee unique and viable now and for the future. Visit the Save the Lakes/Save Open Space web site for more information. -J. Huerbsch

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