A gardener with a passion for sustainable agriculture

Jeff King

Jeffrey King 1987 –

Jeffrey was working in the paint room of the community’s metal shop and running a seed-saving project on the side, as a hobby, when someone noticed his passion for gardening. He’s now been running a farm on the Bruderhof for eleven years – and collaborating with Hudson Valley Farm Hub, a nearby learning center for sustainable agricultural practices.

In his teens, Jeffrey read whatever farming literature he could get his hands on: material from the Rodale Institute, Masanobu Fukuoka’s One-Straw Revolution, Suzanne Ashworth’s Seed to Seed. Mostly he got the books through his father.

Dad studied conventional agriculture but saw the problems it causes. Long-term, it destroys the land. And over time, he became passionate about sustainable agriculture. I remember going to different farms with him and looking at their techniques, and then trying them on our fields.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir, naturalist

In our house, Monsanto was always the bad guy. Dad saw their technology, which is marketed as something that will help people, as an affront to the way God designed plants. But it was also obvious to him that this technology doesn’t improve agriculture: it’s a means of controlling it in order to make a profit. He pointed out the injustice of that.

Dad used to say, “You can’t get rich farming. If you are, you’re either exploiting the land, or the animals, or people, or all three.” He taught me that farming is not about making money. It’s about serving people – about feeding them.

A family watches the hay being mown on a summer afternoon.

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