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John Good on Farming and Life

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Oct 02, 2017 07:05 AM |
Since the summer of 2000 John and Aimee Good have been growing food for themselves and their community. They currently farm certified Organic vegetables on 18 acres in Germansville, PA in northern Lehigh County. Nearly all of their produce goes to their 200 member CSA, with the remainder going to one farmer’s market as well as a few wholesale and restaurant customers. Having recently moved to a new farm site, John noted that this year “many crops, yields and quality are the best we have ever seen.”
John Good on Farming and Life

John Good hard at work

Since the summer of 2000 John and Aimee Good have been growing food for themselves and their community. They currently farm certified Organic vegetables on 18 acres in Germansville, PA in northern Lehigh County. Nearly all of their produce goes to their 200 member CSA, with the remainder going to one farmer’s market as well as a few wholesale and restaurant customers. Having recently moved to a new farm site, John noted that this year “many crops, yields and quality are the best we have ever seen.”

Aimee Good of the Good FarmJohn and Aimee began their farming careers as apprentices with the Food Bank Farm in western Massachusetts during the summer of 2000 and with Caretaker Farm in the summer of 2001. Their work in sustainable agriculture stems from their interest in environmental stewardship and sustainable living as a lifestyle and moral commitment.

The Goods are often best known for working to set a reasonable work-life balance. They emphasize developing and using efficient farming systems and marketing methods to work (roughly) an eight hour day, starting at 8 am and never working beyond 6 pm. Their ground is used lightly - it is only single-cropped for vegetables with the balance of time spent in cover crops, which provide most of their soil fertility.

Kale at the Good FarmSince moving onto their new site the Goods have spent a lot of energy developing the infrastructure and cropping systems for the new land. This has included new buildings, a new greenhouse, a new high tunnel, a new wash-pack area, and new marketing avenues, as well as becoming familiar with the particular quirks and needs of their new soils. John notes that while there are thousands of potential obstacles and challenges on any farm, it is important to view them as “stepping stones to long term improvement and that a good farmer knows that he or she never really knows that much.”

The Goods attended their first PASA Conference in 2001 at the suggestion of the farmer at Caretaker Farm, Elisabeth Smith. They have been PASA members ever since. The main things they gain from being a part of the PASA community are education, inspiration, and community.

Parsley at the Good FarmThey will be participating in the development of the Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship (DVA) Program this winter, lending their experience and expertise to the program. “We are excited to be able to work in the DVA framework to attract high quality apprentices to our farm,” John notes. Learning to farm in western Massachusetts, the Goods were part of the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) Collaborative and are excited about the potential of a formal training program in Pennsylvania. He also highlighted the nature of farm apprenticeships saying, “apprentices are so much a product of their farm, that we need a more formal approach to make our future farmers and their farms the best possible stewards of our soil and natural resources and to grow the best food possible for their communities.”

By Dan Dalton, Three Rivers Sustainability Hub Manager

 

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