The fate of the spectacular eight acres just off Westside Rd. known as Middleton Farm Gardens and overseen with loving passion for more than two decades is now in the hands of trust attorneys for Malcolm Skall’s estate. An agreement was put in place long ago that allowed Nancy Skall, Malcolm’s wife, to continue to live on the property and farm for the rest of her life. She passed away on January 23.
It seemed for a bit that it might be possible to continue to sell the farm’s spectacular produce until the property changes hands but it turns out the conditions of the trust do not allow for it. Thus, the 1000 leeks, 7000 strawberry plants, the best asparagus in the world, the flowering quince that is now in full bloom and so much more will now go unharvested. The last produce to leave the farm will likely be 25 flats of persimmons, donated to Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Nancy’s entire cookbook collection has been donated to WOW, as well.
Nancy also had more than a hundred books on gardening and farming, which have gone to the library at Santa Rosa Junior College.
A small memorial took place on Sunday at the farmers market. Clark Wolf stepped up to emcee, I spoke for a bit and then we handed over the mic to Gaye LeBaron and Lindsey Shere. There was a large crowd (a great sea of orange, as so many donned whatever they had in Nancy’s favorite color), some who knew Nancy from the Sebastopol market but many who knew her from other markets. Everyone, it seems, had a great story and many stayed around to share their tales. A small basket filled quickly and by the end of the day there was a thousand dollars to put towards a Nancy Skall Scholarship for the Farmers Guild.