If you visit Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery, don’t expect to see a manicured landscape. “Some people expect to see perfect, weedless rows,” said David Bick. “But those come at a cost.”
The farm and winery, just north of Lantana Road in suburban Lake Worth, grows a variety of crops in what Bick calls his (and partner Teal Pfeifer’s) “polyculture farm.” They include herbs, cassavas (yuccas), longans, bananas, mangoes, and carambolas.
In diversity lies strength, according to Bick, who, with his family, has owned the land for almost 30 years.
“We have fruit groves, with crop groves in between, in the gaps,” he explained. “We have the kind of diversity that can handle any environment. This farm won’t be knocked out by any one problem,” such as insects or a freeze.
From late December 2010 to January 2011, for instance, a severe cold front hit, killing the farm’s bananas. But the other crops survived. In fact, Pfeifer recalls, “The apples actually gave fruit, as a result of the freeze, the very next summer.”
Crops aren’t the only things growing on the 16.8 acres. There also are two miniature donkeys – June and Henry – as well as free-roaming chickens and roosters.
In the small on-site store, Pfeifer and Bick sell eggs, moringa oleifera, organic rice, popsicles, wines, and more.
What is now Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery was, for almost 30 years, a commercial nursery whose owners leased the land from David Bick’s family and a partner. Then, in 2004, two nasty visitors came along; their names were Frances and Jeanne. The nursery, already struggling, was devastated.
“Those hurricanes created this farm for me,” Bick said. “Thank God. I’m glad they came through when they did. It showed us we don’t have to sell to developers.”
Pfeifer and Bick live on the farm.
About the name …
Ben Franklin provided the basis for the name “Sons & Daughters Farm and Winery.” He wrote, in 1760: “There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. … The first is by war … robbery. … The second by commerce … cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle.”
Pfeifer explained, “David felt it was important for us to carry on this idea regarding Franklin’s ideal of a country based on agriculture and the preservation of land and, consequently, on the dignity of the people. As such, he thought ‘Sons & Daughters’ (as in sons and daughters of the American Revolution) would be a cool homage to those principles.”
Both Pfeifer and Bick believe strongly in small farms.
He said, “We want to show people a different model for how farming works. Here, people know what they’re buying. We try to be a little respite for our customers.”
Added Pfeifer: “Kids get to touch the animals, and they won’t get near any chemicals. It’s just safer.”
IF YOU GO
Sons & Daughters Farm & Winery
5926 Fearnley Road, Lake Worth
Thursday, 2-9 p.m.; Friday, 2-11:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2-10 p.m.