written by: Brad Mee photos by: Scot Zimmerman
Page and Brian Westover passionately lead a talented team to create Snuck Farm, a family-owned farm and legacy project on a bucolic property in the heart of Pleasant Grove.
When it comes to having a love for farming, family and community, Page Westover doesn’t fall far from the tree. She drew upon her grandfather and father’s passions as she and her husband Brian created Snuck Farm, a new working farm located in the heart of Pleasant Grove.
“It began as a legacy project,” says Page. “I wanted to build something that would last through the ages and would involve our family.” Snuck Farm is named in honor of Page’s grandfather, Boyd “Snuck” Fugal. He and his wife Venice cultivated the land where the farm and greenhouses now stand, a small 3.5-acre portion of the original Fugal family homestead settled in the late 1800’s and acquired by Boyd in 1945. “My grandfather was a community servant, there to help anybody,” Page recalls. That same sense of giving inspired the project’s development from the beginning.
“We wanted to preserve the land and the rural, wholesome feel of Pleasant Grove,” says Page, who was joined by Brian and her father Guy Fugal on this endeavor. “This place is special to us, and we wanted to save it to somehow share with the community.” Surrounded by residential developments where open farmland once flourished, Snuck Farm conjures another time: bucolic, peaceful and purposeful. “We fell in love with the small community farms in England that we saw during my parents’ LDS mission and knew we had to do something similar with this land,” Page explains.
The Westovers and Fugal began the journey in January of 2013 by meeting with landscape architect Jeremy Fillmore, who designed the farm’s grounds and helped develop a site plan identifying where to locate the new buildings: a barn, garage/workshop and multiple greenhouses in addition to others that could be added later. The Westovers then signed up architect Warren Lloyd, project designer Louise Hill and project manager Anna Friend to design and create Snuck Farm, including its main attraction, a spectacular barn.
“The piece of property is incredible,” says Hill, who imagined the expansive acreage of years past rather than the existing three-plus-acre plot so she could help design a barn large enough to appear original to the land. “We wanted the barn to look like it had been there forever and things just grew in around it,” she explains. Indeed, the 7,330-square-foot barn is impressively large. It boasts a hayloft and working barn at the east end, kitchen and living areas at the west end and a unique pass-through connecting them in the center. “One of the interesting constraints about the project is that the site is long and narrow, so we needed access through the barn rather than just putting a big barn in middle of the field,” Lloyd explains.
With 14-foot-high openings and a vaulted ceiling of more than 30 feet, the pass-through easily allows vehicles to travel from the front pasture to the yard, garages and greenhouses behind. The pass-through frames spectacular views of Mount Nebo to the south and Mount Tipanogos to the North. Inside, it features three large chandeliers that illuminate the wood and stone-clad interior space ideal for hosting large gatherings, al fresco dinners and plant sales. “We put a lot of flexibility into the barn’s design,” Page explains.
Unquestionably, Page is most drawn to the new greenhouses where she and her team grow greens hydroponically—not in soil but in nutrient-enriched, recirculated water to conserve water and eliminate agricultural runoff. She and Brian knew they wanted to grow much of the farm’s produce this way, but had to search out experts and advice on how to do it. “No one near us was doing this, so I had to do a lot of cold calling and research,” says Page, who visited hydroponic greenhouses as far away as New Zealand.
Today, herbicide- and pesticide-free greens and herbs, from assorted lettuces and kale to basil and bok choy, grow year-round inside the greenhouse. The Westovers sell to restaurants and cafeteria groups as well as to the community of Utah County through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm membership program. Members purchase subscriptions giving them access to the farm’s freshly harvested greens and other local food products that can be picked up weekly at locations across Utah County.
“People want access to fresh food, and this is an easy way they can get it,” says Page, whose passion for food and community drives her work. In addition to producing garden-grown vegetables and fresh eggs, Page and her team hold classes for CSA members and the public and host an annual plant sale on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
Snuck Farm’s mission statement—eat well, do good—is a simple, heartfelt one that guides Page and her family each day as they grow the farm into the future. “We are a work in progress and it’s so exciting to think of all the different things we can do,” she says.
See more inside the Spring 2017 issue.
written by: Brad Mee photos by: Scot Zimmerman