In recent years, the First State has seen a steady increase in its number of small farms, such as The Organic Farm of Delaware in Georgetown, which produces broiler chickens, eggs, vegetables, fruits and more. When Carolyn Berl-Donald decided to open the farm in 2006, she set out to develop a product based on the ideals of animal welfare and soil conservation. Berl-Donald says being kind to the animals and the land provides a balance that keeps her farm healthy and productive. She runs the farm with husband George Donald and sister Lois Berl, who is the vegetable grower.
Q What is your farm’s specialty?
A We are a pasture-based, certified organic farm. We use an intensive pasturing system, which means our animals are raised with their feet on the ground in a much more natural atmosphere. Our farm is about balance. We never produce more than our land would allow us.
Q Why did you become a farmer?
A I started researching nutrition and food 25 years ago when I had my daughter, out of necessity. What do I feed her? What are GMOs? It changed the way we ate and it changed the way we looked at the earth. Honestly, the path was given to me. I followed what I felt I was supposed to do morally. It’s a passion and it’s a drive. We feed quite a few people, some who are ill and are extremely chemical sensitive.
Q What’s your favorite thing about farming?
A The perspective that it gives me about life and balance. When you rise with the sun and fall with the sun, you never know what day it is and you usually don’t know exactly what time it is. You live your life differently from the rest of the world, and it’s a wonderful way to live. It’s the way our bodies are supposed to work.
Q What’s the most difficult part about your job?
A Being so vulnerable to the weather. It can be devastating. Last year, we had rogue winds come through and take out two of our lair houses, killing our birds. It was heart breaking because they depend on us.
Q What’s one food you produce that everyone must try?
A We’re very well known for our fresh eggs.