by Neil and Chris

The second version of Harms Farms began in 1997. Neil was a schoolteacher in Sacramento, and was looking to buy a home, when he came across a beautiful acre in Citrus Heights. The house on the property had character but the land was what he wanted. There were lots of different trees on the acre, including a large persimmon. Knowing nothing about this fruit tree, he did some research and found out that the fruit could be sliced and dried. The tree’s dried fruit became nice holiday gifts. Several years later a sixteen-tree orchard was planted. There are now plenty of persimmons to dry and they are in demand. Plain is popular, but chocolate dipped is hard to keep in stock.

An oversized vegetable garden can be found right behind the house. Just a few steps from the patio is a cucumber patch in the summer or brussel sprouts in the winter. A large variety of vegetables fill the garden. Much of it is canned, dried, or frozen, just like our grandma did on the dairy farm long ago. Friends and neighbors also benefit from the garden. Sharing the garden’s bounty makes everybody happy. It is a one-stop produce shop at Harms Farms. Hard, healthy work keeps things growing.

Speaking of growing, the Muscle Farm is our latest addition.

Its inception came about out of necessity, really. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Spring Training was shut down and Chris found himself on a plane headed back home to Sacramento. Gyms all across the world shut down, but people still needed to train. We still needed to train. Fortunately for us on the Farm, we already had a miniature weight room set up in the garage, so it wasn’t a treasure hunt to collect the necessary pieces. Neil has always kept in good shape, and Chris and Casey have benefited from his passion for exercise their entire life, so regrouping at the Farm was just another example of that.

After a couple weeks of mostly barbell training inside, we decided to take advantage of the California sunshine and ventured out into the yard. We took a well-worn battle rope (Neil used to have his wrestlers train with it when he was coaching) and we spent about 30 minutes “battling” to get the damn thing over the limb of an oak tree out back near the persimmon orchard. The first workout we did was an EMOM 15 consisting of 1 rope climb and 10 dumbbell single arm snatches. That means that for every minute on the minute for fifteen minutes, we would climb up and down the rope and then complete the snatches until the next minute came around. We found ourselves making loud noises and wondering what the neighbors thought. Oh well. They would get used to it. Over the following weeks, we picked up a sled on Facebook Marketplace for a decent price, ordered some sandbags from my guys at StrongFit, pieced together a yoke using straps and schedule 80 piping (not easy to find), made a loadable pin for swings, and constructed some farmers handles. The Muscle Farm was slowly coming together...

Now don’t get it twisted, we still teach and train with the barbell and dumbbells regularly, but because we’ve expanded our equipment, we can expand our goals. And the more goals we can go after, the more people we can cater to. So, whether you want to lose some of your unwanted quarantine weight, become the strongest version of yourself, or a little bit of both, the Farm welcomes you!