Location: 4979 Sheppard Lane, Ellicott City, MD 21042
I am Tom Cunningham and I own the farm along with my wife and family of hard working children. We are pictured above with Joel Saltan who is a guru of the natural farming we now undertake.
I was in the agricultural industry with my dad in the 1970s, but was away from farming until 2007 when I started raising layer chickens with my son as his first real job. We are assisted on the farm by Mike and Barb Haigwood, who have dedicated their lives to establishing healthy farms.
As a conscientious father, gifted with seven children, I became more and more aware and then more and more concerned about the impact of the environment on my children. This culminated with the birth and death of our seventh child who had Trisomy 18. The hospice nurse made a very casual and life changing comment. She said that in thirty years as a hospice nurse she never used to see a Trisomy 18 child. Today, even though many of these Trisomy 18 children are aborted, her practice has many Trisomy 18 children. She concluded, it must be something in the environment. John Paul, our seventh child was a gift and you can read his story here.
After his death, I began to pay more attention to the environment, but I didn't really know where to start.
The next year, my eldest son Luis and I started the egg business at our new house in Florida. Some of our health conscious customers would ask -- are the eggs soy free? Are they organic? These questions started waking me up to a larger gamut of health issues.
One bible verse hung with me and started to prick my conscience. Matthew 7:9 "Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?" Was I feeding my children stones? The truth is that I'd never put my children in an unsafe car or a house with mold or leaking roof. However, when I'd go to the supermarket I'd find the cheapest chicken. From reading Omnivores Dilemma and other books, I knew how bad that chicken could be, but I choose to ignore it. I wouldn't buy $10 organic chicken breast if I could find them for $1.50. This was wrong. I was handing my children what was worse than a stone when they asked for a loaf of bread.
Additionally, some of our children were running into minor health issues. We found many problems were fixable with diet and food. However, product labeling can be downright dishonest.
There was only one way to guarantee good food for my family. We had to buy a farm! I read over 100 books and made 100 mistakes. I am sure I'll make many more. However, every day we figure out a little bit more. We are now proud to share what we have built with you!