History

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This land has a long standing history of farming.

In 1927 the farm produced alfalfa hay, along with many other farms in Gilbert. During that time, Gilbert was knows as the "Hay capital of the world". During that time a small farmhouse was added, as well as a tractor shed. 

 
 

During the 50's cash crops changed to cotton and wheat.

New buildings were added to the homestead. A cement block tractor shed was added and the existing barn was replaced with a recycled aluminum Quonset hut barn made from melted down WWII aircraft.

 

In 1960 the farm was purchased by a young farmer, Jim Johnston and his wife Virginia. 

Shortly after, they built a home on the farm to raise their 3 boys - Joe, Steve and Paul. The crops changed once again and the farm grew pima cotton, durum wheat for pasta, barley, field corn, sugar beets, milo and alfalfa. 

 

In order to preserve the land that they cherished, the Johnston family created a community where the farm could remain at the heart of everything. 

Working with land planners, builders and the town of Gilbert, Agritopia was created to not only preserve the farm in a new urban setting, but to create a village atmosphere with commerce and a vibrant neighborhood surrounding the farm. 

The Johnston Family Foundation for Urban Agriculture was created in 2015 to continue the heritage of farming on this land in perpetuity, and to demonstrate the continuation of urban farming in the state of Arizona.  


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