Parker’s Locally Owned and Operated Family Farm
If you’ve been among the many Parker residents who have driven by and haven’t taken the time to stop in at Flat Acres Farm, this summer is your chance to learn what it’s all about.
“It takes nine people to run the property efficiently, but there are only two full-time people who are devoted to the farm – and that’s myself and my wife, Anita,” says Mike Smith, owner and operator of Flat Acres Farm.
Flat Acres Farm has been a privately-owned property in Parker for a long time. The property has been in Mike’s family since the 1940s.
“I remember when they paved Parker Road. Back then, they put up population and elevation signs for all of the small towns, and the population sign for Parker stated that a whopping 63 people lived here,” Mike recalls.
In 2008, Mike and family members knew that there was a greater use for the land, located in the bustling commerce area near Dransfelt and Twenty Mile roads. Mike is no stranger to corporate development. He has more than 30 years of experience in commercial construction, building strip malls and restaurant buildings. Nonetheless, he is a Parker native and grew up on more than 1,000 acres just up the road on Hilltop Road and attended the Parker Consolidated School in grade school.
“We needed to add value to the property and knew that there was a need within the community and for the public,” Mike says.
So in 2010, Flat Acres Farm opened its Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch to the public with the Fall Festival. Hay rides and haunted houses also became part of the farm’s activities. While fall is a busy time, this family-owned farm is open year-round to the community.
Since gardening is a hobby for Mike, he has created a place for people to come and have their own plot of land to grow organic vegetables. The community garden plots have been made available to both novice gardeners and local producers since 2011.
Even now, Mike enjoys talking with students who come out with their school to learn about gardening. He says that with every bunch of students, there is always one or two students who really take interest and hang on his every word.
“It really is amazing because some folks have no idea where their vegetables come from. I can show the kids a seed and explain to them how with just one seed, a great big pumpkin will grow. Or, that another seed will only produce a small radish. It’s great to hit their interest, right to the bone.”
Products can also be Purchased
Among the offerings at Flat Acres Farm are heirloom, organic, vegetable starter plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, onion sets and pumpkins, in addition to a variety of plants and seeds.
Mike loves to teach about the variety of heirloom seeds that he sells and will take time to educate those who are looking for the best performing seeds for home-grown food in their own backyard.
Over the last several years, Mike has attempted to grow organic local produce for sale in the area. He says he has found that while the idea is appealing to people, the cost to produce vegetables for the public is too high. Instead, he focuses on starter plants to get produce to the public, so that they can reap the benefit of the exceptional quality and taste of heirloom variety vegetables.
“We consistently fight the climate here in Colorado and we just can’t have local produce ready for sale in the springtime,” says Smith.
If you see Smith at the Farmers’ Market, you’ll notice him selling plants and seeds, not produce. If you’d like to grow your own and need space, Flat Acres Farm can help you find a plot. Another option is to visit Flat Acres Farm to purchase the tomatoes, peppers and variety of herbs, which were started early in the greenhouse.
Honey is available all year long because Flat Acres Farm provides space to a local beekeeper to produce Parker honey. Joe and Debbie Komperda currently tend to the farm’s hives.
Stop driving by. It’s time to take a trip to the farm and be sure to “Ring the Bell for Service.” You won’t be disappointed.
Visit FlatAcresFarm.com to learn more about what Flat Acres Farm has to offer you.