Singing Earth Farm is perched just off of Hermitage Road in Waynesboro, Virginia, a faded sign beckoning visitors with promises of flowers and fresh produce. But the humble entrance, a ramshackle, country assortment of greenhouses and pickup trucks, belies a far more serious farming operation just inside the property.
Owned by father and son, Adolfo and Jose Calixto, Singing Earth Farm covers six, lush acres with vegetable production. The hills appear outfitted in stripes of green – tomatoes, peppers, kale, beans, cucumbers, melons, and squash. Rows of cabbage reflect an eerie, neon purple glow, and a field covered in traditional Mexican herbs ripples in the wind, perfuming the air with a heady, green scent, all citrus and cilantro.
With only six people managing Singing Earth Farm, it’s hard to comprehend the level of efficiency that must be at work here. For more than seven years, farming has been their way of life and what keeps their young family afloat, so productivity is not a choice but a requirement. Yet Jose and his father are relaxed, modest and kind, speaking of their work matter of factly, and smiling when I wonder aloud if they employ some kind of time machine to get everything done.
As we walk the fields, Jose’s little girl trails behind us, plucking ripened cherry tomatoes from the vine with her tiny fingers and handing them to us to sample. They are sweet, warm and delicious – the perfect symbol of a fruitful summer to come.