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…about 15 minutes south of Sioux Falls. Nancy, Jeff and a few great people grow a variety of vegetables and fruits using organic methods. We deliver a box of ripe produce to you during the growing season.

The 2017 season is starting to take shape and we will offer shares in the CSA on a limited basis. Contact us for more information.

 

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. In addition to the humans that reside here, there is a menagerie of barnyard animals that coexist with us. They are here to live out their natural lives doing what animals do.

The Good Earth is embarking on its 7th CSA season. Farming is about hard work, observation, and optimism. This season we are pulling back in an effort to find a work/life/farm balance that is sustainable. What this means is that the CSA is extremely limited as both Jeff and Nancy will be working off of the farm. We will still welcome WWOOFers, visitors and field trips, but on an limited basis.

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. Membership signup for 2017 is underway–for more information, please contact Nancy@thegoodearth.us. 

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. Conrad is diabetic, blind, deaf and very demanding which is why we love him so much.

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 five 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 melon and spent grains from the brewers at Monks and Woodgrain Brewery. 

(T) Rex/Nag

T-Rex was brought to the farm to keep T-Bone company.  Rex’s mane and coat are beautiful–like something out of a Whitesnake video.  Rex quickly became the boss of T-Bone and in turn, T-Bone is now much nicer to us.

The Chickens

The Chickens are by far the most comical barnyard animal. 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.

Claire

Claire is a pardoned turkey from our 2015 flock. In true House of Cards fashion she was smart enough to hide weeks in advance of Thanksgiving only to return after the rest of the flock had met its demise.

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.

Maria

Maria and Baby Rita Donkey came to us a part of a relocation/rescue effort by one of our amazing shareholders and friends. Maria came to us in Sept of 2015 with a baby in her belly. Rita was born on March 11, 2016 and is the cutest baby mini donkey we have ever seen. Her foot speed is amazing and Maria is a very protective mom 

Quackers

Quackers is the lone duck on the farm who came to us as a trade for some roosters. For 6 months we thought Quackers was a boy then one day she started laying eggs. She insists on living with the chickens and Claire. Our attempts to put her in the pond have fallen short and only result in her having to run with her little duck legs back to the coop.

The Rabbits

White rabbit and Grey rabbit are the two remaining rabbits on the farm. They live in harmony with the poultry and cats. I half expect to see them walking around with tuxedos and top hats soon.  

Harriet and Charlie

Harriet and Charlie are the latest additions to the farm and are easily the most unruly. Harriet was a three week old piglet someone found running down the interstate. There was no way we could resist her charms! A few weeks later, Charlie came to us and made our farm animal family complete. Buck was extremely relieved as Harriet finally realized that she was a pig and not a dog. Soon they will both be full grown and be able to break down our front door.  

 

 

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Membership

In an effort to keep our sanity our 2017 CSA is extremely limited. We are planning a small CSA which will allow us time to work off the farm and enjoy the summer. If you are still interested in getting involved email Nancy@thegoodearth.us for more info.

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FAQ's

 

How do I get my hands on my veggies?

We will have two locations for the 2017 season–Cleaver’s Market on Wednesdays and The Natural Foods Co-Op on Saturday mornings.
 

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

We know that there are just some vegetables that people don’t like but will get in their box anyway. You can give them away to another person, animal, compost pile-or leave them with us at the location and we will do it for you.

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

We are just a little farm, so cash or check works out just fine.

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 2017 we’ll plant a great variety of different fruits and veggies and about 6 herbs. Expect lots of varieties of tomatoes, peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, beans, beets, winterr and summer squash, sweet corn, pumpkins, popcorn,  cabbage, 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.

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BLOG

Pile of Shame

December 15, 2015 News

Before I became an organic vegetable farmer I had vision of what  that lifestyle would look like: Walking through perfectly manicured fields of abundant tomato plants on a sunny day with a blue bird on my shoulder–and for some reason I’m dressed like Maria from the Sound of Music carrying a wicker basket full of my harvest for dinner. Total fantasy–who does fieldwork in a dress? Actually, we did have an employee who worked in a dress. That ended poorly for most of us.

Anyway, while most days on the farm are wonderful–there is the harsh reality of growing vegetables: It’s really hard, dirty work. Perfectly manicured fields only appear on the cover of seed catalogs–kind of like a super model–for all I know the fields have been airbrushed too.  As an organic grower there are a few options that I have to manage the weeds: Flame weeding, tilling, hoeing, pulling, and laying plastic mulch. Each type of weed management has it +’s and -’s–which is where the pile of shame comes in. Plastic mulch is great for weed management. Black plastic also helps to warm the soil in the spring so your little plants will grow a little faster. We have a large piece of equipment that enables us to put down rows and rows of plastic mulch in a pretty short period of time. The machine covers the sides of plastic with soil and also lays a line of drip tape at your desired depth  for irrigation. The rows end up being about 3 feet wide and anywhere from 150-250 feet long. Having several miles of plastic mulch is the field is no big thing. Then, you poke a hole in the plastic and plant your starter plant or seed. The plant is free to grow without having to compete with weeds and it gets the right amount of water from the 99% efficient drip tape. It is pretty much a win, win for the farmer. That is until the season is over and you have to tear out not only all of your plastic mulch, but also all of the drip irrigation that goes along with it. This can take weeks. It is easily the worst job on the farm. Then you are left with a giant pile of plastic or what we call the pile of shame. It can’t be recycled. It will go up in flames some time this winter when the weather conditions are right negating all the good we did for our environment this past season.

The pile of shame will burn in effigy and we commit to ourselves, our land, and our environment to be better stewards. This may mean a few more weeds and dirtier hands, but sometimes the easy way is not the best way.

 

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