We are a small, family produce farm of 6 years located 20 minutes southeast of Raleigh and the Triangle where the Piedmont meets the Coastal Plain. The farm is owned and operated by us, farm & life partners, Patricia Parker & Benjamin Shields, along with our toddler, Elliott. We strive to farm in an ecological way that is not only sustainable for the planet & our communities but sustainable for us too. We work to make a living & have a life as we farm. Currently we grow year-round on about 6 acres of rented land. Rotation, cover crops, and farm-made compost are central to our production philosophy of feeding the soil biology to feed the crops. We grow a little over 100 different varieties of vegetables, a few different small fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries)as well as annual cut flowers. We grow and sell year round by using various season extension tools, proper variety selection and a few different marketing channels, namely our CSA, farmer’s markets and restaurants. We also participate in a local program we helped found, called Farm It Forward, to provide our produce and cooking classes to families with children at risk of developing type II diabetes.
Our mission is to strive for healthier people, community, agriculture and planet by growing and sharing the best tasting food we can. Our farming practices meet and surpass organic guidelines but we choose not to be certified because we are confident the reflection of our practices in the quality of our produce as well as our relationship with you speaks to our commitment to healthy food and holistic agriculture. 2015 will be our sixth year farming independently, though we have been farming with family and friends for many years.
In Good Heart has a lot of meanings, but we decided on the name based on the Old English use of the phrase. To say that the soil is in good heart is to say that it is healthy, in good cultivation, and in good spirit. To say that a person is in good heart is to say that they are cultivating wisdom, courage, and good spirit. Ben and I felt that our farm name should represent our vision and we couldn’t think of a better representation of what we want to do and what we want to be in our world than In Good Heart.