Boulder Belt Eco-Farm
If you’ve driven U.S. Route 127 between Eaton and West Manchester, OH, you’ve seen Boulder Belt Eco-Farm. You’ve probably wondered what’s inside that little store as you whizzed past. Maybe you have stopped in for some farm-made onion- and garlic-seasoned salts. Or you could be among the thousands who visit during the annual 127 Yard Sale.
Lucy and Eugene Goodman have been growing on this 9-acre property since 2005, though their sustainable-farming venture started 11 years earlier on a rented property. It’s just the two of them—and sometimes a volunteer—working the gardens all year and the high tunnels, low tunnels, and what Lucy Goodman describes as “miles of row cover” through the winter.
The Boulder Belt Eco-Farm CSA is one of the smallest—six members for this year’s winter CSA and a cap of 25 for the summer season—and also “one of the oldest winter CSAs on the planet,” says Lucy, noting that they started their community-supported agriculture program in the late 1990s. At their on-farm shop and at the Richmond, Indiana, Farmers’ Market, the Goodmans offer more than 50 types of seasonal produce —garlic, beets, spring mix, rutabagas, and strawberries are their favorites—plus Freedom Ranger chicken, and chicken and duck eggs year round (usually with a little break in February).
Lucy describes Boulder Belt Eco-Farm’s practices as “local, sustainable, and formerly certified-organic.” They stopped pursuing organic certification in 2003 when the Goodmans believe the U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations for organic growers became too burdensome for a farm of their size.
The next time you’re on that stretch of Route 127, stop and ask about scheduling a tour. The Goodmans will tell you all about their local, sustainable roots.