Wanda and Ray Davis, she, a retired English Professor and he a retired insurance and financial service professional for 45 years thought it would be fun to try their hand at farming to keep active and learn to grow their own food in retirement. Clear Creek Farm came into existence in 2004 when they purchased 30 acres of land just west of Whiting Field NAS off of highway 87. The land has hills and flood plain with upland slash pine and hardwoods and diverse trees and shrubs sandy soil and a number of fresh water springs.
Clear Creek bisects the property on its way to the Blackwater River. What the land doesn’t offer is fertile, level ground. Through the use of innovative container, raised bed, passive hydroponics, and high tunnel gardening, they are able to provide for their needs and sell fresh naturally grown food almost year round. They are self-taught growers who rely heavily on the methods espoused by the late Mel Bartholemew in his square foot gardening books to grow their produce. They are also dependent on county extension agents Blake Thaxton and Mary Derrick, whose service programs and workshops broaden their understanding of what it takes to grow your own food. Retired county agent, Dan Mullins, taught Ray to graft fruit trees. Dan was responsible for re-introducing the heritage Alabama Shell apple tree to the area. They do outreach to the community working with youth in schools and churches, home school groups and the general public through workshops, seminars and tours of the facility.
We strive to grow our produce in the most natural way and without the use of harsh chemicals. Click here to see our blueberry & apple test results from the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Clear Creek Farm recieved the Santa Rosa County 2014 Agricultural Innovator of the Year Award. Read The Whole Article Here.
Apples to Africa
Clear Creek Farm has sent scion wood from the Shell of Alabama apple varietiy to Uganda to assist in growing their apple production.
The Shell of Alabama, the variety dates somewhere in the 1880’s from Alabama, a very hot and humid part of the USA near the Florida state line. It is a superior replacement for Dorsett Golden, as it is equal in vigor and bearing habit and will pollinate Anna, but it hangs on the tree much better without dropping, remains firmer when ripe, and has a good zing of acid to go along with the sweetness. It holds up well for cooking and baking.
Sustainability is more than a buzz word to Ray and Wanda Davis of Clear Creek Farm. They invested in 15kW of photo voltaic solar panels to provide for the farm’s electrical needs. They compost garden plant material and vegetable kitchen waste, weeds, wood chips, grass clippings, tree leaves, shredded newspaper and junk mail to enrich soil used in their containers and raised beds providing rich growing material with no chemical fertilizers. They use red wigglers to provide rich liquid and solid vermicompost. They invested in a plug-in hybrid Ford Fusion Energi for delivery and the commute to the farm and are averaging over 200mpg in the vehicle which they charge with their solar panels..
They used a variety of found materials such as salvage pallets to repurpose in composting and other projects around the farm. When trees had to be cut to provide sun for the solar panels, the trees were taken to a local sawmill and cut into useful boards and beams for farm projects. Limbs and brush produced by the process were chipped and aged for compost material. Whenever possible, non GMO heirloom variety seeds are used and the plants are allowed to produce some of the seed for the next planting. Care was given to protect the highly erodible land from washing into the flood plain and Creek through a series of terraces and retaining wall, diversion ditches and retaining pools. Rain water from the ag barn roof is recovered and made available for garden watering. The springs provide geothermal value for the year round growing of produce in the high tunnel houses be keeping the root zone temperatures moderated winter and summer without hydrocarbon fuel sources warming or cooling the growing houses.
Being part of the community is a strong focal point for Clear Creek Farm. We feel it’s very important to provide quality local food and give the opportunity to educate the community and support local efforts for community gardens and school projects to teach youngsters where food comes from and how to grow it.
We offer our produce and farm products through the Local Byte Farmers Market, a creative one hour weekly on line market which brings the vendor and buyer together at a one hour weekly meet on Thursday nights at the parking lot of the Woodbine Methodist Church on Woodbine Road in Pace.