Good Dirt Garlic
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Aimee Good and her father, Tom Good. (courtesy photo)

Aimee is pictured with her husband, Josh, and daughter, Matilda

Aimee and Max, her nephew, who has proven invaluable to the organic farm operation.

(courtesy photo from the Good Dirt Garlic website)

(courtesy photo from the Good Dirt Garlic website)

(courtesy photo from the Good Dirt Garlic website)

(courtesy photo from the Good Dirt Garlic website)

Name:           Good Dirt Garlic

Address:        Aimee Good

                      Good Dirt Garlic

                      518 Fletcher Road

                      Monticello, Maine  04760


Email:           a

Phone:            718-797-3693

Products and Services:

-German White garlic

-New York Extra Hardy garlic

-German Extra Hardy garlic

-Ambition shallots

-organic sweet peas

-MOFGA- certified organic seed grade

-MOFGA-certified organic table stock

-Common Ground Fair

-Brooklyn Flea Market

-Crown ‘O Maine

-wholesale to restaurants

-wholesale to other farmers

What Makes Good Dirt Garlic Unique?

The story of Good Dirt Garlic is the story of  a farmer who has developed a knack for building community. This farmer lives happily and productively in two worlds that are often quite separate.  This is a story of a farmer who is a collaborator, and at the same time, an artist who is extremely skilled at bringing people together.

Aimee Good has introduced the organic produce grown at her farm in rural Monticello, Maine, to the streets of Brooklyn in New York City.  She has encouraged her father, a conventional potato farmer of over fifty years, to consider turning forty acres into organic production.  She has mastered the challenging task of achieving a sense of balance between very rural and very urban worlds.  At the same time that she has been able to establish an organic farm operation, she has remained vibrant in the world of art.

As Director of Education and Community Programs at The Drawing Center in New York City, Aimee has directed, curated, and produced The Big Draw and Draw Now. These are artist-led art events that involve the participation of the public at various locations.  These events welcome individuals of all races, genders, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, and occupations. They have been coordinated with various New York cultural institutions such as Brookfield, Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, River to River Festival, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, South Street Seaport Museum, and Wave Hill.

Aimee grew up on her family’s potato farm in rural Monticello in Aroostook County with her brother and sister. She graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor of Arts, and then from the Massachusetts College of Art where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture.  At the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, she completed a Masters in Fine Arts.  

It is quite remarkable to reflect on Aimee’s ability to successfully straddle two worlds that are outwardly so different.  Her artwork has been exhibited in Boston, Los Angles, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and in New York.  She worked as a museum educator at four different highly-regarded museums and was employed as a web producer at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.  She has also dabbled in several art-related careers and in various non-profit ventures.

A major focus of Aimee’s life has always centered on her family.  Aimee and her husband, Josh Margolis, a musician, composer, producer, and teacher, keep busy raising their daughter, Matilda.  Like Aimee, both Josh and Matilda have adjusted to living in both the city and the country.  Marada Cook of Crown O’ Maine Cooperative commented, “Tom Good is a clever, studied, and accomplished Aroostook County potato grower.  Aimee is an artist, and a teacher.  The combination, peppered with input from Aimee’s mother Ruth and Aimee’s 9 year old daughter Matilda, flavors the landscape of 600 acres of potatoes and oats in rotation.  They remind us that beyond our ‘stereotypical farmer’ is always the story of a family.

Possessing a willingness to try new things has always been a part of Aimee’s approach to living.  Realizing that organic practices were being embraced in Aroostook on a larger scale, she engaged in a conversation with her father, Tom Good of Good Farms, Inc.  He agreed to experiment with converting forty acres of fallow fields to organic production.  Two of the acres are home to organic garlic, sweet peas, and shallots.  The remaining thirty-eight acres of the land that Aimee leases are planted in tillage radish to improve the soil.  Tillage radish is known to increase air and water circulation, as well as microbial activity.

Tom Good, who is enjoying semi-retirement after fifty years of farming, presently manages 800 acres of farmland in the Monticello area. His ancestors settled there in 1850, and the land had always been conventionally farmed. Tom must be quite an an open-minded individual to agree to Aimee’s proposal to experiment with organic production when one considers that he was a third-generation conventional farmer. The first crop trial that was attempted involved planting one-half acre of organic sweet peas.

Jim Gerritsen, a highly-respected pioneer in organic farming and co-owner of Wood Prairie Farm with his wife, Megan, in Bridgewater, commented, “I think Aimee brought a new organic/environmental ethic into Good Farms, Inc., especially because of her exposure from living outside of Aroostook and outside of Maine.  As a mother and purchaser of organic food, Aimee sensed first hand the strong demand for high quality organic food by her circle of friends in New York and Boston.  Organic then became the perfect fulfillment of a food centric vision of first, how to live, then, second how to grow.  Tom is a widely-respected top notch potato grower in Aroostook County.  He got that way from

being progressive and open-minded.  His receptiveness to Aimee’s new ideas is testimony to both of them in their partnership and a great symbolic story for the development of organic farming in Aroostook County.”

Aimee always loved garlic and realized that growing it had proven quite profitable for farmers, so the Goods planted two hard-neck varieties including German White garlic and New York Extra Hardy garlic. German White is a porcelain (hardneck) variety of garlic.  It is prized for its strong flavor and the fact that it stores well.  

Aimee realized early on that growing garlic for the seed business can have its ups and downs.  Its success can be influenced heavily by pathogens and fluctuations in weather.  Some challenges arose with a big washout in the field and the unpredictable weather patterns of freezing and thawing temperatures that caused the bulbs to heave out of the ground.  Several individuals proved to be great sources of assistance during the early years including Steven Johnson from Maine Cooperative Extension and Mark Fulford from Teltane Farm.  Eric Sideman from MOFGA also shared his expertise.  Aimee commented that Jim Gerritsen of Wood Prairie Farm was “my first and main mentor in regard to organic production.” Good Dirt Garlic has undergone all the necessary requirements to have their crops certified by MOFGA.

The Goods have harvested the garlic scapes. They are the long, winding shoots that grow in the spring from the hardneck varieties of garlic.  When the scapes have reached the stage that they curl around in a circle, it is time for them to be harvested.  Picking the scapes enables the garlic to grow much bigger. Scapes have a mild garlic taste and they are often used for making pesto or being added to salads, potatoes, or vegetable dishes.  

In 2010, Aimee was able to sell the first crop of garlic for table stock.  She braved the ten-hour ride and sold the garlic at the Brooklyn Flea in New York City.  Good Dirt Garlic was also sold to several restaurants in the New York City area including Saul’s, Vanderbilt Restaurant & Bar, and Lunetta.  In Maine, her garlic is marketed by Crown O' Maine Cooperative.  It is also purchased for use at Francine's Bistro in Camden.

Aimee and her father have explored experimenting with different organic crops.  Besides continuing with some garlic, they are looking into planting barley for malt and for baking and for organic feed.  Shallots and peas will continue to be planted. Aimee’s nephew, Max Good, has come on board to help with the organic farm operation.  When Unique Maine Farms visited Good Dirt Garlic in August, Max had just finished plowing a substantial amount of land.

The sense of community that has been so vital to Aimee in her interaction with the art world is equally apparent in the way that she is approaching her organic farm operation.  She is hoping to introduce an artist residency program at the farm in the future.  When you view the photos that appear on the Good Dirt Garlic website it is obvious that quite a farming community has been formed at Good Dirt Garlic farm during harvest time. Several local elementary and middle school students were invited to participate in the harvest. Aimee employs twenty-one people from the local area annually ranging from ten to seventy years in age during the harvest.

Art and nature are totally intertwined in the way that Aimee views her farm and the world.  She praised her father for the way that he has sculpted the land and logged it selectively and thoughtfully.  She has always felt a deep spiritual connection between land and place.  

The balance that Aimee has achieved in the art and farming world has not gone unnoticed.  She was the recipient of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design’s 2013 Alumni Award for an alumnus who exemplified outstanding creative achievement.  Good Dirt Garlic seems like such an appropriate choice for the name of Aimee's farm.  Besides the fact that Aimee and her Dad share the last name of "Good" there is the genuine focus that they have placed on building up the soil at the farm.  And then there is all that goodness that goes along with the amazing balance of family, farming, art, and community that Aimee has so graciously achieved.

photo coming soon!