Good Work Farm is so named from an essay by Wendell Berry entitled Conservation Is Good Work. Farming like any art or craft or meaningful work can be done well and it can be done poorly. Good farming substitutes the 'easy' (read: expensive, harmful, and short-sighted) chemical 'fixes,' and supposed 'economies of scale' and dependence on 'cheap' fossil fuels of industrial agriculture with traditional agricultural knowledge, physical labor, and love for one's place on earth. But this is not simply a matter of "organic" or "local" or "pesticide free." What matters most is a farmer's commitment to their work, their land, their community, and the future of these precious things. At Good Work Farm we try to farm well through hard work, careful planning, paying attention & constantly learning. We often fail. We try again.
We farm on a small scale and market locally. We have been growing to certified organic standards for the past six years, but are not yet certified organic. We purchase organic seeds whenever possible. We purchase open-pollinated and or heirloom seeds when appropriate. We use hybrid seeds when they can ensure higher yields with fewer inputs of money, time, fertility or labor, through resistance disease, pest, flood or drought. We never use Genetically Modified (GMO/ GE) or chemically treated seeds. We use only organically approved fertilizers, amendments, sprays, and materials. We use bare fallow periods, mechanical cultivation, and hand weeding to control weeds. We plant cover crops on at least 1/3 of of our land every year, and aim for as much winter cover as possible to reduce erosion, build soil fertility, improve soil structure, and encourage soil biology. We use crop rotations, resistant varieties & organically approved sprays to break up pest and disease cycles.
Farming provides us with a livelihood which fulfills our physical need for healthy food that retains its connection to its source. We farm to remain connected with our bodies, to feel the strength and soreness of our muscles as a result of our work each day. We farm to awaken our spiritual connection with the Earth, the elements, and the unknown. We farm to find our place in service to, and in being served by, a community of growers, consumers, producers, share-members, and friends, as we together partake in the intoxicating adventure and delight of seasonal eating and agrarian living.
We enjoy ourselves. We laugh. We cry. When we are not careful we bleed, bruise, or break something. We depend on the resilience and wisdom of our fellow farmers and friends to restore our sanity and remember our humanity.