Common Good Farm is mom and pop family farm—small, sustainable, certified organic and Biodynamic— located in southeast Nebraska, just 15 miles northwest of Lincoln located near Raymond, Nebraska.It is owned by Evrett Lunquist and Ruth Chantry. Common Good Farm is NOP Certified Organic and Demeter certified Biodynamic®. We have a CSA as well as produce, plant starts, eggs, pastured pork and grass-fed beef on this diversified family farm.
At Common Good Farm, we are committed to sustaining a family farm in Lancaster County, Nebraska to provide delicious, healthful food for our community, however defined and feel we are called to tend the soil, grow the food and love the land, and to help create a healthful community. We grow over 45 different kinds of produce, annual & perennial herbs, vegetable and herb plants for our annual spring sale, as well as pastured pork, beef, and eggs. Biodynamic and organic seed stocks are a priority for planting, with an eye towards open-pollinated & heirloom varieties. Prior to farming in Nebraska, we worked on a community farm/CSA in Wisconsin and Evrett worked on market farms in Minnesota and Nebraska. Ruth hails from Nebraska, so the Nebraska roots and commitment to the area run deep. Our impulse for farming with Biodynamic methods comes from the experience of observation—observing plants as living things, not merely as passive recipients of soil-based nutrients. With Biodynamics, farming is about creating a whole farm as a vibrant entity through the farmers’ impulses. Through it, we, as farmers, develops ourselves as individuals towards serving the land and community through agriculture. Farming this way provides that which is uplifting nutritionally and spiritually for us and for our customers. It is the work we do and our way of life. It is often an unglamorous hard-scrabble way of living, but something we feel called to do—grow good food, pure and simple.Through our farm and how we practice our farming stewardship, we feel strongly that we steward our human, animal and plant communities, while growing and providing the most local, delicious, nutritious foods possible; that we preserve and create wildlife habitats with farmer as land steward; that we maintain a family owned and operated farm that is supported by the community and in turn supports the community with good food and good farming practices and that we are engaging, supporting and helping to sustain the most local food system we can which creates some level of personal sovereignty that isn't part of any industrial food system. At Common Good Farm, we fear transgenic contamination of the crops we grow. This could happen by way of pollen drift, transgenic trespass and seed contaminated with GMO traits. We grow several crops that that could be contaminated in such a way, including beets, Swiss chard, winter and summer squash, alfalfa, and previously flour corn grown for seed. Significant effort on our part has been made to prevent contamination including purchasing organic, Biodynamic seed and non-GMO varieties from companies that abide by the Safe Seed Pledge, as well as purchasing farm land that is relatively isolated from conventionally farmed cropland. With the recent release of RoundUp Ready alfalfa, we fear that alfalfa in our pastures will become contaminated by bees and wild pollinators as some of the alfalfa produces seed in any given year due to long rotational grazing rest periods. We feel strongly and unequivocally that our ability to provide clean, healthful food for people and our own family is impaired by the threat of transgenic contamination and trespass; this trespass cannot be controlled once released, just as wild seeds travel, as bees fly and cross-pollinate plants, dust blows, pollen spreads. We feel that despite every good and conscientious effort on our part, it is undeniable that we are connected within pollen-drift’s reach to those growing transgenic crops. Without the assurance that a corporation’s rights are no greater than (the farmers) our rights to grow as we do, and without solid and real assurance from those purveying transgenic seeds, farmers such as ourselves, farming organically and Biodynamically, cannot farm, grow and live in an environment of oppressive fear of transgenic contamination and trespass. Our first choice would, of course, be no possibility of transgenic trespass at all, but we feel we had no conscionable alternative but to step forward as plaintiffs in the OSGATA et al. v. Monsanto suit in pursuit of the correctness and rightness towards assurances that should transgenic trespass happen on Common Good Farm, no legal action can be taken against us.
“The damage done to our farm and livelihood, should we have transgenic trespass, would be devastating to us. As a certified organic and certified Biodynamic farm, it would be no gain or benefit to us, and truly a great detriment, should there be transgenic trespass on our farm in any way. Our growing food the best way we can and the cleanest way we can, it is no less important, and no less a right, than a corporation’s right to protect their interests that have unleashed themselves against the greater good in an uncontrolled and unmanageable way against humanity and nature.”
—Ruth Chantry, Co-owner, Common Good Farm
“When America's Founders established the U.S. Patent Office, patents were for inanimate inventions. Patent law has been applied so universally that we now have living plants carrying patented technology in their seed, plant tissues and pollen. Patent law needs to catch up to the present reality when patented, transgenic inventions can replicate and spread themselves to places and people that do not want to use or be impacted by the technologies. Ethically, how can I be held liable for patent infringement when I had no hand in acquiring the plant technology, when I do not want to use it, when it came in on the wind or a bee?”