Full Moon Farm still rises
By Margaret Melloy Guziak -
On the last Sunday morning in August, we were among the crowd of parishioners at the annual picnic and potluck which Ella Moon hosts at Moon Farm for Sacred Heart Church. When I mentioned to Josh, a college-age, young man, earlier in the week that we were going to Moon Farm on Sunday, he said, “I remember going there as a kid with our class many years ago and what a good time we had. Guess I didn’t know it was still open.”
Moon Farm — in spite of the well-worn, faded sail flapping in the breeze on the deck of the pirate ship, and the little merry-go-round lacking some fresh paint — is alive and well. So is the lovable, generous owner, Ella Moon, who sat resting in a chair near the back door, greeting new and old friends and the children who came over to talk to her.
Because it remains a landmark in the community, the history of Moon Farm is well known. Ella and her late husband, Wallace, moved from Jensen, Utah, to Fruita in 1954, where they purchased a farmhouse with 80 acres, selling off most of the acreage in subsequent years. Wallace was a carpenter who worked for the gilsonite plant called
Gary Western. Ella sometimes taught dancing in their basement.
They adopted seven children over the years, providing them with love and a good, stable homelife. The Moons’ love of children was their main reason for the start and the evolution of Moon Farm. It began with a treehouse that Wallace and son, Mike, built. Then, DiAnn wanted her dad to build a playhouse for her, which he did. Ella, would take the kids after school to pick up and buy the scrap wood the local lumberyard owner saved for her, and had it waiting to show their dad when he returned each evening.
When David was in kindergarten, he brought the class home to play on his farm with him. At the time, they had one horse and three designed and family-built buildings. Other schools and classes wanted to play there and they did. The petting zoo grew and the kids loved the freedom of exploring the farm and its buildings. Wallace retired in 1975, so he had more time to build and play with the kids. The kids loved helping with the buildings.
In 1976, they started a day camp and as the brightly painted sign at the entrance at 1360 18-1/2 Road says, it is “A place built by kids for kids and adults.” The day camp ended in 2007. Moon Farm itself continues on, although it is closed to the public from November to March, before re-opening in April 2013.
Halloween is coming
During October, for the second year, David Moon is hosting the pumpkin patch. Admission fee for persons four years and older is $7, which includes the petting zoo, finding your way through a straw maze and a corn maze, and a fun hayride around the farm on a wagon, ending with real, just-picked pumpkins for sale to take home. The sign on the road says “Pumpkin Patch starts Oct. 3.”
Call David Moon at 858-7176 to book nights, reservation times available from 4 p.m.– 7 p.m. for your Halloween party. You can also reach him at 261-1113 to find out earlier times and rates available for groups during October, for birthdays or Halloween parties since it will be open seven days each week. See their online gallery with pictures of their animals and buildings. Read their history at www.moonfarm.net. If you’ve never been there, you are in for a treat.
While you’re at Moon Farm, check out the “Good Ride Cowboy” sculpture of Chris LeDeoux on his horse stomping on a guitar, and ask David about it. He and his artist business partner, Forrest Hoskins, ran their art business, “Moonscapes 3D,” from the building behind the sculpture.
When we were there in August, David told me he sold his part of the business to Forrest and it is now located in Grand Junction. David retains the signage portion of the business, designing and creating commercial signs for businesses and trade shows, and will give us more information on that later for a future column.
More airplane news
If you’re downtown at Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 29, look up in the sky and you might see some small planes flying over piloted by local chapter 800 EAA with their passengers. If you haven’t registered your child yet for a free flight from Mack Mesa Airport, go to www.eaa800.org. It will give you all the information. As of Sept. 15, 35 children have already registered online to fly, with more anticipated.
We’ve been told that some people did not know there is an airport in Mack. There is and it is a fantastic, general aviation airport where the local Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA800) meets for their monthly meetings in a hangar, and stage their Young Eagle Flights to educate children about aviation opportunities available to them. Thanks, Ladd Klinglesmith, for letting us use your airport. We all appreciate it. Look for a feature article about Ladd in the Fruita Times. Google Mack Mesa Airport and read all the details and directions from your home.
• Prairie Lane Quilting –
a new Fruita home-based business
• Amateur and Professional Photographers: Info on how to enter the Colorado Agriculture Industry’s annual photo contest which ends Dec. 31. A $150 prize will be awarded.
• Meet Melissa – A new singer in town.