Meet our Plant Vendor: Good Dog Farm!
Organic farming? Dogs?! With a name like "Good Dog Farm" we knew there was a great story behind the newest plant vendor at our Baltimore stores. Read about this wonderful local farm and grab a few of their fantastic organic and heirloom variety vegetable starters at Federal Hill, Canton, or Waverly Ace!
Tell us a bit about your farm:
I own and operate Good Dog Farm with my husband Bryan plus our awesome crew. We started in 2016 on rented land and moved to our new land that we own in February 2021. Our farm is 25 acres and we grow using organic practices (no toxic chemicals ever.) We sell produce through out community supported agriculture program - it's like a vegetable subscription. You get to customize a box of vegetables each time you pick it up, and pick ups are available all over Baltimore City and County.
What led you to the farming and agricultural industry:
I'm from the Boston area and worked at a non-profit called The Food Project throughout high school. It brought together kids from the city and the suburbs to work together on organic farms. I loved the work so much and decided to pursue food and agriculture policy in college and my subsequent career working for non-profits I realized that I just wanted to be the one farming instead of talking about it, and switched to being full time on the farm in 2019.
What differentiates your farm and product from your competition?
To be clear, I don't see other small, organic farms as competition. We are all working to build a better, more just, more sustainable food system, and because the current system is not set up to support us, we all rely on and help each other. I view our competition as the industrial food system as a whole, which is definitely a big adversary to take on! So our food is different from supermarket produce because it is was fresher, lasts way longer, and tastes way better because it didn't have to travel across the country to get to your plate. It's packed with color, flavor and nutrients that always inspires me to cook more and better because of how good it is!
Describe how Good Dog Farm uses sustainable practices.
We never use toxic herbicides or pesticides on our plants. We use conservation irrigation practices to conserve water. We use cover crops and crop rotation to add nutrients and organic matter back into the soil once we've finished growing in it for a season. We add compost to our soil and aim to reduce tillage whenever possible to prevent erosion. We have been Certified Organic since 2017 but are considered "transitional" right now because we moved onto land that used to be in conventional production. But we're still using all of the same growing practices as we did when we were Certified.
How did you get the name Good Dog Farm?
We have three crazy dogs! Bryan and I both love dogs, but the name isn't always an accurate description of our dogs' behavior. We consider it an aspirational name!
What do you love most about your job?
Getting to work outside (especially when the weather is nice) and be around plants and people who share the same values as me.
List a favorite plant of yours- and any recipes or suggestions for what to do with it!
I love eggplant - the plants can be a little finicky because lots of different pests like to eat them, but I love their fruits so much that it's all worth it! We keep them covered with row cover to keep pests off of them and then open them up when their beautiful purple flowers emerge. I love roasted eggplant - just big whole slices smothered with olive oil and roasted at 425. Eggplant is a perfect vessel for so many delicious oils and spices!