Good Life Farm: Farming for Resilience
Good Life Farm is our home and our work and our way to say YES. Melissa Madden and Garrett Miller bought these 69 acres in 2008 when the fields were all in corn, wheat and soy. Over the past years, we’ve created a diverse ecological farm. We’ve planted grass, bushes and trees, built buildings, put up high tunnels, fenced the property and brought in turkeys, geese, beef cows and draft horses. Our business is built for maximum positive impact- instead of focusing on doing “less” harm, we seek to do the most good for our community. For us, this means growing abundance, resilience and diversity every day. Good Life Farm is now a certified organic farm; a full diet CSA+; and home to Finger Lakes Cider House, our collaborative multi-cidery Tasting Room.
In common with many of our compatriots, our farm is based on the vitality of our soil. We largely focus on growing perennials- grass for livestock, long lived vegetables like asparagus and our orchard of peaches, apples and Asian pears. Our interplanted orchard makes for both agricultural and natural diversity, sharing of soil resources like water and fertility and a complete cycle of give and take to meet human needs. While there are certainly challenges with managing and evaluating this complex system the end result, year after year, is a habitat-rich farm full of songbirds, beneficial insects, amphibians, happy farm animals and nourished people.
Nutrition and flavor are products of our healthy soil. The unique Finger Lakes terroir (or flavor of place) is expressed right here in our soil (where else), and comes through in our food. Through both Finger Lakes Cider House and our CSA+, we offer full access to Finger Lakes foods, grown with full attention to this place.
Beauty is found in flavor. Join us in loving the ugly apple. Our apple trees are managed for flavor, not aesthetic quality, fitting with our organic, low input management. This means freckles and smudges on your apples, and high quality cider from complex and unique fruit. Apples are a defining expression the unique terroir (flavor) of the Finger Lakes, well adapted as they are over the generations since John Chapman. Finger Lakes Cider House features cideries who know and farm their own fruit, with great intention and care.
Towards the Good Life…
…News… We have lots to share about the farm, and love your feedback! Our Good Life Farm blog is updated with farm thoughts every month.
…Visiting… We welcome visitors to both the farm and the Finger Lakes Cider House for our regular Tasting Room hours and special events! We love to see families here and we want to share. Please visit our Good Life events page and the Finger Lakes Cider House schedule for more information.