One of Tehachapi's legacy farms is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month, and is inviting the community to help them mark the happy occasion.

Moessner Family Farms, located in Cummings Valley near the gate to Bear Valley Springs, was established in 1980 by Paul and Ursala Moessner, who were German immigrants who opened the first farm-to-table restaurant in the Tehachapi Mountains.

Despite all challenges involved with running a farm and a restaurant, the Moessner family has persevered against the odds and after four decades is busier than ever with their unique Tehachapi business.

On Sunday, Oct. 25, the public is invited to a 40th Anniversary Celebration at Moessner Family Farms at 25000 Bear Valley Road. Beginning at noon, the event will feature live music, pumpkin carving and pumpkin patch, German food, a costume contest, bounce house and farm touring.

"We've been very fortunate to be able to keep going all these years, and especially this year with the pandemic, " said owner Mike Moessner. "We're very grateful for the support of the community, and all our loyal customers."

In addition to fresh produce and the meal options at the farmhouse cafe, Moessner Family Farms also offers pickles, jams, preserves and pastries. Many of these are made by Ursala, who at age 86 is still bright-eyed and active, and she is the one who typically runs the produce stand, which is located in a metal barn just off Bear Valley Road, a short distance past Cummings Valley Elementary School.

Ursala grew up working on her grandparents' farm in Germany, which included grain, as well as apples, pears and cherries. "One of my jobs was to take the dairy cows out to graze during the day, then I had to bring them back in during the late afternoon," Ursala remembers, "I was only 11 or 12 years old at the time."

Ursala and Paul emigrated from Germany to Peace River, Canada and got married there in 1953. Paul worked as a cook and Ursala as a server, and they would maintain a food service partnership for the rest of their 65 years spent together. Paul passed away in 2018.

And 75 years after those days on her grandparents' farm, Ursala is still working on a farm and selling produce to those traveling by her produce stand. The smiling lady with the brilliant blue eyes, cheerful demeanor and German-accented English is appreciated as much as the fresh produce.

Further up the road is the farmhouse cafe, and that's where the Oct. 25 celebration will be held. With help from his dedicated crew, Mike runs both farms and serves as the head chef at the diner.

"It's hard to believe 40 years have gone by!" Mike laughs. "We're glad to be growing fruits and vegetables, and serving meals here in the Tehachapi Mountains. It's hard work, but we're happy and proud of what we're able to provide."

Moessner Family Farms is a wonderful and authentic contributor to the style of life that Tehachapi offers. I congratulate them on 40 years of farming and great food, and I will be there to help them celebrate on Oct. 25. For more information, check out moessnerfarm.com.

Have a good week.

Jon Hammond has written for Tehachapi News for more than 30 years. Send email to tehachapimtnlover@gmail.com.

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