My friend, Bill Loyd, (see previous post The Farmer’s Mantra) goes to scrap yards looking for inspiration and he finds it in cast off items most of us would overlook. He found just such a piece in an antique tank car “head” from the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railway at Capitol Scrap in Santa Fe. Gordon Tooley, of Tooley’s Trees in Truchas, had approached Bill about making a sign for him—one big enough to put on the highway coming into town—to announce the location of his tree farm, a spot people often miss even when searching specifically for it. So Bill had this in mind that day at Capitol Scrap and there it was, stretching 7 1/2 feet in diameter—the perfect solution for Tooley’s sign.
Bill is one of the most creative people I know. He actually sees what the scrap is going to become, in his mind’s eye, often right there leaning among the refuse. He brought his treasure home and started to work.
Gorden Tooley and Margaret Yancey began their tree farm in Truchas 20 years ago, but Gorden’s been working with trees since he was in his 20’s, when in the early ‘80s he saw a tree grafting demonstration. He knew, then, he wanted to have a tree farm—to grow things that are not common. He and Margaret bought 15 acres in Truchas and began preparing the land for planting. Here’s an interview of Gordon Tooley talking about their tree farm:
Gordon and Margaret operate Tooley’s Trees as a retail and wholesale nursery, focusing on varieties that are drought tolerant. They grow species trees, shrubs and grafted fruits using organic methods while practicing integrated pest management.
Here is what one reviewer in the Santa Fe New Mexican had to say about their efforts: “If you need a fruit tree for your garden… pick up one of Gorden Tooley’s and Margaret Yancey’s 11,000 drought-tolerant, heirloom and uncommon-variety apple, plum, pear and cherry calipers. Tooley has grafted some of these hardy, flavor-packed trees from 100-year-old cuttings collected on old homesteads. Great nursery for fruit trees that grow well in Northern New Mexico. Gordon Tooley is an expert on the subject.”
About their fruit trees Gordon says, “What we’re doing is producing and preserving varieties that are disappearing. A lot of apples were bumped out of the market because they aren’t pretty. But some of the most explosive flavors are in the ugliest apples imaginable.”
Tooley’s is known for more than just their fruit trees, however. They are famous for having tree solutions for all problems Northern New Mexican, be they native Hawthorns, Oaks, Spruce, Cottonwood, Juniper, Chokecherry, Crabapple…
One writer in an article published in Edible Santa Fe says, “Integrity. Determination. Quality. Detail. Tradition. For Gordon Tooley and Margaret Yancey … these principles provide the framework of their business.” Is it any wonder they found Bill Loyd? All three of them practice these qualities daily in pursuit of their own chosen art forms. For Bill Loyd it begins with broken down scrap metal. And for Gordon and Margaret, it’s the soil.
Take a look at what happens when these three combine energies.
Love to you all,
This article was useful when looking for:
- tooley\s trees truchas (23)