Meet your farmer.
Howdy. My name is Mike Record. I’m the one you might see lugging bins of veggies into the barn, or enjoying a catch-up chat with a customer-friend in the shade of the big red barn. I’m married to my amazing wife Lisel, who helps keep the tomatoes picked and the farm stand full and beautiful. We have 3 kids in various stages of leaving the nest, but who still occasionally find time to help with transplanting and other chores. This will be my 13th year of growing fresh produce for my community, the last 9 of them here on East Bethel Lane, 5 miles from downtown Bloomington, IN. My father and grandparents farmed in Morgan County, and I’m proud to be able to continue the family farming legacy.
Why I farm.
I started farming back in 2008 because I was pulled towards work that felt like “right-livelihood”, and that connected me and my family more closely to our community and the earth. It didn’t help that sitting behind a computer for my software engineering job, fun as it was, had started taking a toll on my physical health! I read a book called It’s a Long Road to a Tomato by Keith Stewart, and was hooked.
The joy of working in nature was the initial reward. But as my skills grew and I produced more food, I realized there was some deeper value to be had: the joy and fulfillment of connecting people with good food and its source. Feeding family, neighbors, friends, and soon-to-be-friends is a privilege, and serving as a conduit for them to reconnect with real food and how it’s produced is why I continue to farm each year.
Real Organic Food: a catalyst for change?
When you eat the veggies we grow, you’re not getting just USDA Certified Organic food, but Real Organic Project certified food as well. And not organic food grown on a large industrial farm, but organic food grown on a small, regenerative farm that is deeply invested in stewarding the land and caring for the community. The industrial food system can’t offer that. It never has and it never will. But industrial food has become the predominant system in the US. Can we change that?
We think we can – at the local level, simply by choosing to buy from small, local farms. When you purchase from farms like ours, you’re opting out of the industrial food system, and are choosing to exercise your right to clean, nutritious food; to farming practices that protect our soil, water, and air; to businesses that foster community connections. And that’s something to feel good about: effecting change one meal at a time.