At the supermarket, $450 might get you a few week’s worth of groceries. At Harmony Farm in Goshen, NY, $450 will get you organic vegetables and produce for twenty-two weeks straight.
Dominican Sister of Blauvelt Didi Madden, OP has been working on Harmony Farm since its inception twenty-five years ago. For her, the farm is a place for not just food, but also for justice and spirituality. She can tell you just as much about heirloom tomato seeds as she can the “desire” of the land of the farm.
“I cooperate with God’s design by being part of allowing the land to grow and give of its fruit,” she says. “I don’t own land, I have a capacity to steward land in a way that can help its mission.”
In this case, that mission is connecting people to healthy, whole foods. Harmony Farm expanded in the last five years to focus on community building through potluck suppers, education days, and study groups. They donate to local food pantries. And, they don’t have interns, but they seek to target people who are exploring the possibility of farming as a vocation, especially women. In an industry that too often undercuts farmers, those employees are paid a prevailing wage (what does prevailing wage mean? I’ve never heard that).
“We grow a really great product. It’s not pretty, necessarily. But we grow a great product and we make it affordable to people.”
Dominican Sister of Hope Mary Feigen, OP also spends time on Harmony Farm and sits on the Board. Twice per year, she goes on retreat at the farm and spends her days in the greenhouse and roaming the fields. For her, spending time on a Dominican-run farm is collaboration as its best.
“I believe that, as a Dominican family, we are called to support things that we see as beneficial and useful,” she says. “The issue of food justice should be a collaboration of Dominicans. It’s a blessing for all of us.”
This post is part of our Hope Is series to commemorate Hope’s 23rd birthday. Follow along and see all of the posts here.