Crescent Moon Ranch was a working ranch that was donated to the US Forest Service in the mid-1900s. It once boasted a full apple orchard with over-shot water wheel that was homesteaded in the early- to mid-1900′s along Oak Creek for irrigation purposes.
In 2006, some community members became interested in the orchard as a rejuvenation gardening project. Many committed people contributed to the regentrification of this area.
The Crescent Moon Ranch Community Garden aims to bring educational opportunities by way of agriculture pratices, cultural gardening exchanges, fresh produce, and ditch stewardship. The garden supports only organically grown food and flower crops that pose no threat to plant & animal life downstream of the garden. It is watered using ditch water from Oak Creek.
The garden has individual plots, an orchard area, and a food forest. The vegetables and byproducts from the garden are not sold. Gardeners exchange 8 hours of ditch work in the winter months for their gardening plot, and are responsible for walking the ditch a number of days over the growing season. For insurance reasons, gardeners need to be members of Gardens for Humanity.
Geoffrey Worssam, teacher at Sedona’s Red Rock High School, and the US Forest Service restoration project Manager, Jennifer Taron, mobilized students to refurbish the 1-acre apple orchard and develop a community food garden, with plants such as common vegetables, and an artistic component to beautify the area.
Sedona’s Gardens for Humanity, a local group of volunteers focused on beautification, obtained an $8,500 start-up grant for the project from the Greater Sedona Community Foundation. Home Depot in Cottonwood, Arizona also donated $500 worth of materials.
The view of cathedral from the top of a dry dusty dirt road is a stark contrast to the luscious apple orchard land that is irrigation-fed out of the cool clean water of Arizona’s protected water way, Oak Creek, a breathtaking river that runs through the heart of the Sedona area.
Today, the garden project has blossomed into a thriving organically based garden that is open to school groups, community members, and individuals for the purposes of gardening and learning from other gardening experts in the field.
Rob Lautze, Garland’s Lodge in Oak Creek orchard manager, has been a longstanding participant in the development of organic gardening that is suitable to the area.
This unique garden is truly a model of collaboration between schools, government, community members.
For more information on this exceptional project, please contact us.
How to Get Involved
- Read the “Volunteering” section of this website, particularly the “Getting Started” information.
- Read the By-Laws.
- Fill out an application for your own garden plot.
- Spread the word.