Right in the middle of the city are a few special acres called Broken Road Farm.
Sara Mires — who owns the working farm with her husband Greg — has used her corner of town to create a place where visitors can get out of the house and into farm life.
“I’ve always wanted a farm,” Mires said. “I grew up visiting family in Texas, and it always just stuck out to me. I had an obsession with animals, but I thought it was a far off, one day, dream.”
While her husband still works his 9 to 5 job, Mires runs the farm. She said she uses the business to support her animal habit by opening up the space for outdoor activities.
“COVID hit, and we realized we are lucky to have our space and animals, so we wanted to share it with the community since it’s a safe option,” Mires said. “We have groups to let kids run around and learn about and feed animals and movie nights and Farm Favorites Experience family events.”
Mires and Greg moved to Brentwood from Concord last year after finding the property. When the couple initially drove out to take a look, they saw a big project with plenty of potential hidden in the overgrown weeds and established fruit trees.
“It needed a lot of work, but I thought let’s just see what happens,” Mires said. “So Greg and I came and looked at it, and we definitely saw the potential . . . I ended up writing a letter to the owners about wanting to raise our two girls here and our love for animals. We made an offer, and they countered with something we could work with.”
Mires soon found herself the ecstatic owner of a farming property with no farm experience. An avid animal lover, she began collecting livestock and agriculture advice from multiple sources.
“We had said maybe in a year, we would start getting animals, but I ended up taking home two mini donkeys way sooner than I had planned,” Mires said with a smile.
In total, she has 10 large animals, as well as ducks, chickens and bunnies. She now spends her days running the farm with her two small daughters, Letty and Maddie.
Currently, she offers three types of events at Broken Road Farm. Future Farmers is a playdate-type of activity where kids can come feed the animals, learn about farm life and work on a craft. Farm Favorites is an experience the whole family can have together and comes with a box of locally crafted items and some tasty goodies from the farm and a local baker. Movie nights start with animal time, then participants can settle in their own marked off space, remove their masks, and watch a themed movie. Mires has done family-themed nights but is working on other ideas, such a Girls Night Out.
Jennifer Guptil owns Lilac Avenue, a vintage upcycling business. Guptil met Mires when the two bartered some chickens for a vintage planter. A friendship was born of the transaction, and Guptil now helps Mires compile her Farm Favorites boxes each month.
“The Farm Favorites box is part of the Farm Favorites experience,” Guptil said. “Usually, she has a candle from a local candle maker. And last month, I made some handmade pumpkins out of vintage linens for the boxes. This month, there will be some Halloween things I’m making to put in the box and she usually has either a farm-fresh vegetable or eggs, depending on the season. We’ve had a local cupcake maker in the box and a local jelly maker, so it’s a fun, locally curated box you can take home.”
As she moves forward with her plans, Mires said she will continue to listen to what her neighbors and customers want in an activity and looks forward to becoming part of East County.
“I want to become a part of the community,” Mires said. “I live for community, I have that small-town mentality; it’s how I operate, and I want to get as involved in Brentwood as I can, in things like Rotary. We also want to do a community farm out front. We have a bunch of ideas. I want to be part of it all.”
Visits to Broken Road Farm are by reservation only. For more information on events and reservations, visit www.facebook.com/brokenroadfarmca.
For more information on Lilac Avenue, visit Etsy at http://bit.ly/thepressnet_Etsy or follow on Instagram @lilac_avenue.