Producer of the Week: Jack’s Farm

Jack's Farm“We’re USDA Certified Organic,” said Dan Heckler. “It’s just the right thing to do when it comes to producing food.”

Dan and his wife, Deb, own and operate Jack’s Farm. Over 15 years ago, they started their Pottstown farm from scratch to offer certified organic, non-GMO vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Their children provided the impetus to follow these strict farming practices. “Having children really  made us both stop and make more deliberate choices in how we’re farming,” Dan shared.

A commitment to organic agriculture is a commitment to preserving the environment. In order to abide by this commitment, farmers who seek the USDA Certified Organic designation must adhere to a number of organic standards. These include avoiding chemical fertilizers, using organic seed, welcoming regular on-site inspections, keeping detailed crop records, and much more.

“It’s really the only farming method where the rules are public and the standards are routinely checked by a third party,” Dan said.

Dan credits his crew of dedicated farm hands with the growth of Jack’s Farm. “You know, the myth of the ‘dumb farmer’ isn’t true,” he said. “There’s so much planning and foresight, plus physicality, needed in this business that it’s not for the faint of heart!”

Dan learned this himself from a very young age. “I grew up in a farm situation,” Dan explained. “My Dad raised antibiotic-free turkeys for Whole Foods. It was a large-scale agriculture operation.” Dan’s Mom also grew up on a dairy farm in central Pennsylvania.

Despite its name, Jack’s Farm isn’t named for a specific “Jack.” Instead, the name is meant to signify a farmer’s need to be a “jack of all trades” to farm successfully. Dan is one of these “jacks,” using his multiple skills and talents to grow the farm business.

“For me personally,” Dan said, “I am using virtually every one of my talents from planning to mechanical inclination to research and customer service.”

You can find Jack’s Farm at the UM Farmers Market every Saturday. All of Dan’s products are popular among market patrons. Be sure to check them out and see this commitment to sustainable farming practices for yourself.

“We love our customers!” Dan said. The feeling is mutual!

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