Sustainable Harvest Farm produces USDA-certified organic vegetables, pastured beef and pork products and value-added items such as tomato juice, salsa, dried peas and cornmeal in London, Kentucky. It is the culmination of years of dreaming, planning and praying by Ford and Amanda Waterstrat.
Ford was born in Seattle, Washington but his family moved often. The Waterstrats settled into more than 15 homes during Ford’s childhood in locations ranging from Lasqueti Island, British Columbia, to Maine, Mississippi and Washington. Although the Waterstrats were not farmers, they have always been champions of the environment. Ford credits his fascination with farming to her parents’ passion for protecting the environment and his mom’s ability to create beautiful outdoor spaces as a talented landscape architect.
Ford’s journey to Kentucky began in 1999. While he was competing as a professional cyclist in New England, he was recruited to the cycling program at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. There he earned a bachelors degree in education and met who he calls the love of his life: Amanda.
Amanda is a Kentucky native who was studying biology with plans to pursue a career in science. But the two would soon set out on an entirely new journey together as they began to dream of a life in rural Kentucky, farming and growing their own food. Sustainable Harvest Farm grew out of this dream and their mutual love of the outdoors, wholesome food, environmental stewardship and rural community life.
In 2005, Ford and Amanda married and settled into their first home in Georgetown, Kentucky near the school where Ford had accepted his first teaching position. Amanda continued her education at the University of Kentucky, pursuing a Ph.D. in Physiology. Their home just happened to be across the street from one of Kentucky’s premier organic farms — Elmwood Stock Farm. In the summer of 2006 Ford began working at Elmwood as a farm hand – eager to find an outlet for his energy and enthusiasm for the outdoors during his summer break from teaching. While working for the Bell family on Elmwood Stock Farm Amanda says Ford fell in love for a second time – this time with farming. Ford continued to work for and learn from the Bell family until the dream of establishing his own farm materialized in London, Kentucky.
In December 2009 the Waterstrats moved to their current home in London and began selling produce at the local farmer’s market the following summer. In 2011 they offered their farm’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmshare program and became the first USDA-Certified Organic Farm in the region. By 2013 they expanded their operation to include grass-fed beef and pastured pork. They continue to look for ways to innovate and expand their farm to provide quality, sustainable and delicious food to their family and community.
As the farm has expanded, so too has their family. Ford and Amanda welcomed the arrival of their oldest son, Finley in 2010, and were blessed again in 2013 with his twin brothers, Silas and Josiah. They enjoy teaching their children the joys of farming and rural living.
In addition to farming, both Ford and Amanda are professional educators. Ford is a member of the faculty at Model Laboratory School at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, KY and Amanda is an Associate Professor of Biology at Somerset Community College in London, KY.
The Waterstrats say they are sustained themselves by the loving support of their family and local church community. They credit their ability to survive the business of farm life, full-time careers off the farm, and parenting three amazing boys to God’s abundant love, expressed through the support of family and His extraordinary creation.