Welcome to The Good Earth

Thanks for coming to our virtual farm! The Good Earth is a vegetable farm located just south of Lennox, South Dakota.  It consists of 26 acres of pastures, creek, and farmland, birds, frogs and two humans: Nancy and Jeff Kirstein. Our members purchase a share in our farm via a CSA Program and we get to work trying to maximize their return by growing as much healthy, delicious food as we can. 2015 will be our 5th growing season. 

The “C” in CSA is very important us! We want our shareholders to know that being a member of The Good Earth is about more than receiving the freshest produce around-it is also about positively impacting our community. Your support of our farm allows us to do things that we feel are important. Over the years hundreds of children have been able to take a field trip to the farm and learn about vegetables, animals, insects, and enjoy a day in the country. We’ve been able to speak about healthy eating to hundreds of folks, offer cooking classes, and visit with classes of school children. And perhaps most importantly, we’ve been able to provide thousands of pounds of fresh produce to individuals and families that couldn’t otherwise afford it.  And it’s all because you’ve chosen to buy your veggies from us. Cool, huh? 

 

Nancy, Jeff, and all the Animals

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About Us

The Good Earth is more than just a farm. It’s a place where Jeff, Nancy, the animals, apprentices, WWOOFers, Marv (Nancy’s Dad), Steve, and all slew of incredible people hang out to plant, weed, and harvest fruits and vegetables.  It is a place to come to get away from your cell phone, your computer, your desk and experience the simplicity of rural living–even if it is just for an afternoon. You can bring the kids, the dog or your cat (as long as your cat likes dogs) and run around for a while or take a walk down by the creek. Depending on the time of year, you can pick some fresh veggies or fruits or see if the chickens have laid any eggs.

The Good Earth is embarking on its 5th CSA season.  In 2014 we provided produce to 275 families in the Sioux Falls and Dakota Dunes area.  We learned several important lessons that we will carry forward.  Farming is about hard work, observation, and optimism. We’ve learned that much in 4 years!

We sell our produce primarily through the Community Supported Agriculture model. This model creates a sense of community-something that’s very important to us. You as the consumer will have the benefit of knowing where your food is grown and the people who grow it.  Our CSA program is limited to 300 full shares. Membership signup for 2015 is underway.

Nancy / Farmer

Nancy was raised on a farm in Northwest Iowa. She made the unfortunate mistake of naming several of the farm animals (Bill the cow, Buckwheat the sheep, Get Away from Me the goose) and upon leaving the farm became a vegetarian and a teacher. She spends most of her day on the farm breaking lawnmowers, growing decorative gourds, and counting turkeys. 

Jeff / Hayseed

Jeff grew up all over the place, but mostly on small hobby-farms from Oregon to Iowa. He, too, made the mistake of naming (and occasionally riding) farm animals and consequently doesn’t eat meat. After spending most of a year riding a sailboat in the Pacific Ocean, he knew he couldn’t possibly go back to life under fluorescent lights and behind a desk and instead has chosen a life under the sun and sky and behind a tractor wheel and a hoe. He intends to have the greatest farmer-tan anyone has ever seen!

Conrad / Farm Dog

Conrad is a tried and true city dog. He is adjusting to life on the farm but is distressed by the lack of readily available cheese and squirrels. Conrad’s favorite place to be on the farm is in the car heading to town. Jeff and Nancy hope this changes as the weather warms up.

Owly / Exterminator

Owley is the Great Horned Owl that lives in the barn. She is responsible for the lack of squirrels and possibly the reason why Conrad likes to hang out in the car. Owly and her son Atticus (hatched in the barn in 2011) are as much a part of this farm as we are.  It’s worth driving out some evening to hear them in the trees. 

Lucky aka Felix/Scaredy Cat

Felix was rescued from the death chamber at SCRC by Cora Lee.  He is livin’ the dream in the sheep barn and occasionally knocks on the front door of the house for food. He has been a great mentor to Pearl and Reinhold.

Buck/ I am not a Pit Bull

Buck was living at 12 Hills Dog rescue in Nebraska.  We were looking for a Red Heeler to wrangle T-Bone and chew up irrigation tape.  He does one more than the other.  Buck is named after Pearl S Buck, author of the novel The Good Earth–our other option was to name him after the main character–but he just doesn’t look like a Wang.  Although, Jeff did think yelling “Wang” would be more fun.

T-Bone/Entertainment

T-Bone is a miniature bull and after being on the farm for two years he has finally stopped trying to kill us. His low center of gravity, large head and tiny horns makes him a force to be reckoned with.  His kryptonite is honeydew melons. As time goes on, I am sure he will come to love us as much as we love him.

(T) Rex/Nag

T-Rex was brought to the farm to keep T-Bone company.  I was fearful that T-Bone would end up living in the house, so getting a miniature horse seemed like a great idea.  Rex quickly became the boss of T-Bone and in turn, T-Bone is now much nicer to us.

The Chickens

The Chickens are the newest barnyard animals and by far the most comical. Every chicken expression and every cartoon chicken are based in fact as near as we can tell. There was a brief attempt to name them after the characters of Downton Abbey, but they won’t sand still long enough.  The coop does function much like Downton, pecking order and all.

Pearl

Pearl came to us as a result of a covert mission involving adopting a cat from the Humane Society. The story is full of suspense and plot twists that would make an investigator like Thomas S Magnum proud. Maybe the Humane Society is getting the last laugh as Pearl is trying as hard as she can to be an indoor cat.

Reinhold

Reinhold is the another cat on the farm and easily the craziest. Named after famed mountaineer Reinhold Messner, this little guy does his namesake proud. There is no tree, building, or person he will not scale.

Billy

Billy Idol and Joan Jett are the goats who came to the farm as a result of a impulse buy. Have you ever been around a baby goat? They are just about the cutest thing ever. However, like all kids they grow up and wreak havoc–wrecking trees, cars, your patience, and eat you out of house and home. They hang with T-Bone and T-Rex during the day and eat pine trees at night. 

The Rabbits

Roger and Jessica are Flemish Giant rabbits that are very cool animals. Marv built them giant hutches and they hang out in there most of the time. These two  go with Nancy when she talks at schools about sustainable farming.

Mystery

Mystery is the latest cat on the farm and comes with another story. A dear friend of ours found Mystery outside a hotel in Minneapolis on a bitter cold night a few years ago. Mystery is an Ocicat-a cat crossed with an Oscelot. We inherited Mystery in the fall of 2013 when our friend was taken by a brain aneurysm. After carefully sheltering and slowly introducing Mystery to the other farm animals and cats, we were sure he was good to live among them. A day later, with temps around -15 degrees, he disappeared.  All was lost, or so we thought. He sauntered back to the farm about 3 weeks later, missing about half his body weight, several teeth, and with one eye closed. After several hundred dollars in vet bills he’s back, healthy, and won’t leave his heat lamp. Ever.  

 

 

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Membership

Pick the share size that is right for you and/or your family. Weekly deliveries will consist of in-season vegetables and some fruits. Jeff and Nancy grow most everything at the farm, but we do rely on some trusted friends and growers of the Good Earth for things from time to time

1/4 Share

$225/year

For a single veggie lover or a family that only cooks at home occasionally. Box size is 7x10x14

Sign Up

1/2 Share

$350/year

For a smallish family or a single vegetarian. Box size is 11x11x14.

Sign Up

Full Share

$595/year

For a larger family or a couple of vegetarians. Box size is 12x12x18 (1 1/9 bushel).

Sign Up

Hunger/Charity

$100 one time

Donate
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FAQ's

 

How do I get my hands on my veggies?

That’s a question that deserves a multi-faceted answer! First of all, if you live in the Sioux Falls metro area, we have several options.  On Tuesdays our truck will be at the Great Outdoor Store downtown from 4:00-6:30. On Thursdays we’re at the Natural Foods C0-op from 4-7, and on Saturdays we’re at JJ”s Wine and Spirits from 1:00-3:00. We recommend trying to make it to one of our stands for a few different reasons: 1. We get to talk to you, learn what you like and don’t like. 2. Our pickup locations are set up like a farmers market: you can pick and choose what you like. Don’t like kale? Take some extra beets. Company coming one week and need some extra produce? Take more one week and less the next. 3. There are lots of fun people to talk to and share recipes with!  If picking up your food isn’t convenient we also offer home/office delivery. For about $5/week will deliver your veggies to your doorstep. We run it like a paper route and have them on your porch before you leave for work in the morning. Or if you prefer, we can drop off at your place of business one afternoon during the week.  This costs even less than home delivery (varies on share size) And of course you can pick up at the farm if you like.

what's the difference in share sizes?

We are planning our fields based on a full share receiving between 350 and 450 pounds of produce over the season, or an average of 25 lbs per week.We recommend a full share for a vegetarian couple or a large-ish family. And we recommend a half share for a regular ol’ couple or a family with small children that don’t cook a ton of veggies. A quarter share for the single veggie lover. Weeks vary and early weeks are smaller: mixed greens, radishes, kale, chard, etc. Weeks in August may consist of 50 lbs or more (melons weigh a lot, but they don’t count against the expected annual shares…otherwise we’d just deliver 10 watermelons and call it good)

My family won’t eat cucumbers, so what do I do with them?

At the drop-off/pick-up there will be a swap box. You can put what you know your fam won’t eat in there and hopefully someone else will have left something there for you to trade. Jeff isn’t allowed to cut-up onions in the house, so I will always put our share of onions in the swap box.

What if we are going on vacation for a week?

What happens to our food? You can donate that week’s share to Feeding America. You can tell one of your friends to pick it up and let them enjoy some fresh food. Just let us know–we are here for you.

Payment Info

There are a few ways to pay for your CSA share–but first you have to click on the link to purchase your membership. There you will be directed to our payment portal and you can select how you want to pay and when you want to pay.

So....what is a CSA?

Community Supported Agriculture is a different way of buying fruits, vegetables, and other items. In this case, a customer (you) creates a relationship with a farmer (us–Jeff and Nancy) by paying for a ‘share’ in the farm. As a shareholder, the customer shares in the risk and the reward of the yield from that farm. You’ll know exactly where your food comes from, heck–you can even come out and harvest it yourself! But if you don’t want to pick it yourself, we (and by “we”, I mean Jeff), will deliver it to a central drop-off in Sioux Falls. Your box of deliciousness will be waiting for you on on your pickup day for approximately 13 weeks starting at the beginning of July.

what kind of veggies do you grow?

We try to keep things simple and grow mostly stuff that you’d find in a grocery store. In 2014 we’ll plant about 200 different fruits and veggies and about 6 herbs. Expect lots of varieties of tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, beans, beets, hard and summer squash, sweet corn, pumpkins, popcorn,  cabbage, rutabaga, parsnip, kale, chard, melons, peas, radishes, and a few more unique items that’ll be a surprise.

Who built this awesome website?

Bryan over at Optic Impulse. Check out his other work at www.opticimpulse.com. He also designed, from scratch, the logo. He’s got game.

What towns do you deliver to?

We deliver to Sioux Falls, Harrisburg, Brandon, Lennox, Tea, Beresford and Canton,  in South Dakota. If you live near one of these towns, it may be possible for us to deliver to you! Just drop us a line and we will see if we can make it work.

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BLOG

CSA for Christmas!

November 26, 2014 News

Thinking about giving the gift of a Community Supported Agriculture share to someone you love t his holiday season?  If there's anything better  than fresh, local produce every week during the growing season, it's receiving a share as a Christmas gift! If you're interested, please just click over to our

Turkonomics

November 23, 2014 News

It's Thanksgiving Season again. It's time for us to reflect on the year and to think about the things that we are thankful for.  It's (in my opinion) the greatest of the holidays. It's largely non-denominational so everyone of every color and creed can participate without feeling out of place. ...

2015 Apprenticeships

November 17, 2014 News

November 17, 2014 We are currently accepting applications for internship positions for the summer 2015 growing season.  About the opportunity: You will live and work on a farm that was started in the 1870's in Southeast South Dakota.  You will begin your  education by helping out in the greenhouse, planting seeds, and ...

2015 CSA Details

November 17, 2014 News

2014 was another learning year for us here at the farm. Most of the lessons were good ones and we will carry that knowledge forward into the 2015 season. Here is our latest update for the upcoming season. You may contact us with additional questions or comments at: nancy@thegoodearth.us or ...

What’s the Plan, Stan?

October 23, 2014 News

As our fourth CSA season draws to an end we try to find time to look back, make notes, figure out what we did wrong, what we did right, and look to the future. So how did the year turn out? Kind of like a roller coaster. Started off scary, went ...

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