The Story of the Big White Barn
Nestled among the oak-studded valleys and spread across the wide plains of Sonoma County, visitors traveling our country roads frequently come upon scenes of what has been the backbone industry of this area for generations – the small family farm.
How often have you driven around the bend of one of the many back roads of this area and been charmed by a picturesque old weathered barn set amidst the fields, late afternoon sun sending shafts of golden light to fill the tableau with a magical quality?
You might think, how quaint. You might wonder about the people who lived there generations ago when then barn was newly built, what their lives and work were like compared to our fast-paced lifestyle now. Then you drive on to your next task of the day and the bucolic scene fades away in the midst of the business of the modern world.
This is the story of one such barn, built nearly 100 years ago, around the time Luther Burbank lived and farmed in Sonoma County, during the age of prohibition and before construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Although not considered an historical landmark, this barn is nonetheless an example of our shared Sonoma County culture.
The barn's original location was on what is now called Mark West Springs Road, just a few miles away from Tierra Vegetables Farm. In 2011, the barn was considered for demolition to make way for the construction of the new Sutter Hospital. Fortunately, Sutter Hospital and Tierra Vegetables were able to collaborate and the structure was donated to Tierra Vegetables – as long as they were able to disassemble it and remove it from its present location.
The level of commitment in undertaking such a task was no small consideration for the farm; it required time, logistics, and a financial investment all to be carried out on farmland that was leased by Tierra Vegetables from Sonoma County Land Trust.