Ever since we first decided to move back to the country, our family has been throwing around possible farm names that we would sufficiently describe our farming enterprise. And over the past several months, we’ve come up with a lot of possibilities! (Some we’ve considered more than others!) ‘The Rusty Bucket Orchard‘ was a contender for quite a while. Nick’s favourite (‘Yaks and Snacks’) had some great marketing possibilities. ‘Boardwalk Farms’ was proposed in honor of the boardwalk we build through the swamp last summer. Even Uncle Mike’s suggestion of ‘Deerberry Farms’ was considered, but the logo for that one might not be good for marketing! But after much thought and careful consideration, we’ve finally landed on the name by which we want our farm to become known.

While we might be inclined to have a more ‘quirky’ name, in the end, Good Roots Orchard is the name that we believe summarizes well both what we do and who we are. Let me share with you the three ways that “Good Roots” reflect the essence of our family farm.

‘Good Roots’ Means Healthy Soil

We believe that healthy soil = healthy food! When you see all the life that is present in the soil and how each organism helps and supports the others, you can’t help but conclude that God’s design is incredibly effective! Over the past couple of years, we have increasingly become convinced that the best way to grow food is to grow it in the most natural way possible. Thus, the term ‘Good Roots’ reflect our desire to keep our soil naturally healthy. That means avoiding chemicals in herbicides and fertilizers, using no-till practices that disturb the soil structure as little as possible, and encouraging an abundance of bio-diversity in our orchard. I don’t know if there is a term that describes our practices exactly, but we have adopted a lot of our practices and principles from studying permaculture, regenerative farming, and organic farming. We may not subscribe fully to any one of those practices, but the bottom line is that we want to grow the best tasting food in the healthiest way while being the best stewards of the plants/land/animals in our care. We want to have good roots!

‘Good Roots’ Means Awesome Ancestors

We are incredibly blessed to have an amazing family heritage! Our children have the benefit of being the fourth-generation of God-honoring, hard-working Alberta farmers. On both sides of the family, their parents, their grandparents, and their great-grandparents have all farmed in Central Alberta – and they all loved, honoured, and served the Lord! What a heritage! We are so grateful for our amazing family! We would most certainly not be where we are today if it were not for help and support of our extended families. We have some very good roots!

‘Good Roots’ Means Faith in Jesus

Jesus Christ said in John 15:5, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” We believe that the most important thing in life that anyone can do is to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ – our loving Creator and eternal King. We strive to follow this verse and to ‘remain in him’ – that is, to develop an ever-deepening relationship with him. We don’t always do that perfectly, but that is our goal and highest priority. We desire to stay rooted in our relationship with Christ and to produce good fruit (both literally and figuratively) for Him. He Himself is our Good Roots.