About us

This Good Earth is a journal of our family's life on our farm in Ontario, Canada. Andy and I grew up in the city, but decided to move our family to the country so we could have a big organic garden and live a healthier life. We also like to make things with our hands...Andy's a woodworker and I like to sew, and we're also really into finding vintage treasures. These are our adventures in planting, growing and eating organic food while raising a menagerie of animals and children!

We also realize that it's not practical for everyone to pick up and move to the country, and we wholeheartedly support urban gardening initiatives. Many of the techniques that we try in our garden are universal and can be adapted to a small urban environment. More than anything, this blog is about learning how to live closer to the earth, discovering ways to escape our big-agro, petro-based way of life, and growing, creating and eating...not always in that order!

This is a daily learning process for us, and we're not experts! We hope that this blog can help us to connect with other like-minded individuals and will inspire dialogue and community connections. We hope you drop us a line with comments, ideas, gardening tips and share your story.

The name ' This Good Earth ' is inspired by the classic novel ' The Good Earth' by Pearl S. Buck, which won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel in 1932. The novel is the timeless epic of a pre-revolutionary Chinese family's ties to the land, and the importance of maintaining those ties from generation to generation. That's the journey we're on, trying to learn the importance of living close to the land and teaching our children what it's all about.

 Andy and I grew up in the city of Toronto, but have always loved escaping to the country. I'm a high school teacher and artist, and Andy's a woodworker and artist. A few years ago we moved to Honduras for four years, where we worked in education & community development and started a non profit called Healthy Villages.  Our first son, Daniel, was born there, and soon after we arrived back in Toronto, our second son, Elijah, was born.

 We love the city for all the wonders it has to offer, but our backyard in Toronto was tiny! We tried to eat organic food as much as we could, and felt like there had to be a better way than buying all our organic vegetables...and taking the kids to the park twice a day so they could run around. We're really concerned about the way non-organic food is grown today, and we're always on the lookout for new information about GM food and pesticide use, educating ourselves about the alternatives.

So we found an old Victorian farmhouse with a barn on 50 acres, about an hour and a half from the city...and we moved! The kids love having the room to run around, and we have the space to have an ever-enlarging garden. Our golden retriever, Tucker, was in heaven, and we added two Indian Runner ducks, named Nemo and Peep, as well as six chickens to the menagerie.

 The first summer our first garden was over 100 feet, the entire garden grown with organic, mostly heritage seeds. We all got in on digging the garden, planting each seed with the boys, watching them sprout, and walking out to the dewy garden every morning to see what had appeared. I loved watching the boys carry their baskets out to the hen house to look for eggs, walk out to the garden with our ducks at their heels, and pluck fresh snow peas from their vines and chew on them while they ambled through the garden rows with Tucker following faithfully behind.

We experimented, read a ton about gardening and tried new recipes. We discovered that flea beetles love our red mustard plants, that chickens love to poop in front of our front door, that kale is invincible and lives through blizzards and that little boys love planting seeds almost as much as munching on fresh peas right off the vine.

We have now had three wonderful years with our farm, growing lots of organic food, with our boys and our daughter Lily, who was right in the garden with us almost from the time she was born!
There's nothing better than growing as a family while we learn to live off the land.


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