This article originally ran in the spring issue of New Farm Magazine, the magazine of Organic Farmers Association. All OFA members receive a complimentary issue of New Farm twice per year. Click here to sign up!
Homestead Farms, Millington, Maryland
First year farming: 2002
Organic certification: 2005
Farm size: 400 acres certified organic, 200 transitioning
Products: Vegetables, grain, poultry
Why did you become farmers?
Luke: We don’t know what else we could have done. I grew up on a farm and always wanted to farm.
Why did you choose to become certified organic?
Luke: The price premiums that you receive for being organic provide a lot of needed cash flow for our enterprise as beginning farmers.
Alison: Economic advantages were a huge incentive, but now it’s important to us to have consumer confidence in what we produce.
What are your toughest challenges?
Alison: We knew the most we’ve ever known about farming in that first year. Each year we realize how much less we really know.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned since you started?
Luke: It takes three years to get the biology of the soil going. It’s actually fun to be an organic farmer because you’re always learning.
What’s most rewarding about being organic farmers?
Alison: We love the connection we have with consumers and the trust that they have in the organic label and in us.
Learn more about the Howards’ farm at freshorganicvegetables.com.