Welcome to The Good Dirt, Episode 5!
In this episode we talk with Arden Jones & Michael Grantz – co-owners of Great Day Gardens, a vegetable & herb farm and wood-fired bakery in Forest, Virginia. With backgrounds in regenerative agriculture, they prioritize gentle soil practices, planting pollinator habitats, and building soils rich in organic material.
Arden was raised in Virginia and grew up spending time with her family on the land where she now gardens, dreaming of the future possibilities. She honed her plant propagation and field culture techniques during an apprenticeship at Radical Roots Community Farm in Keezletown, VA in 2014. When she’s not working on her tan in the veggie fields, you can find her working at the pottery wheel or weaving loom. We actually interviewed her a while back – she was the subject of one of our Lady Farmer Friday features, which you can find here!
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Michael Grantz is the baker in the family and prizes his relationships with regional grain growers. In 2018 he became a founding board member of the Common Grain Alliance, a Virginia-based consortium of bakers, millers and farmers working to revive the mid-Atlantic grain shed. He has formal training in Permaculture and is currently learning about holistic livestock management on a nearby farm. He always keeps an ear to the soil and enjoys balancing the farm as an ecosystem, business, community gathering space, and workplace.
In this conversation, we talk all things farming, regenerative agriculture, grains, and what it means to go after something meaningful. In times of pandemic, we feel honored to know such great people doing the great work of bringing good food to our plates, and healing the soil while they’re at it. We find this conversation so inspiring, and hope you do too! Give it a listen via the links below, and follow along with Great Day Gardens on Instagram and Facebook.