All Good Organics Farm, also known as the Cardinal farm, is the 2022 Anoka County Family Farm of the Year.
“I am honored that our farm is recognized,” said owner Butch Cardinal. “It’s quite an achievement, and we do work hard for the community.”
The farm is also celebrating its 150th anniversary.
“We also received the Sesquicentennial award from the University of Minnesota,” Cardinal said. “I remember getting the Centennial plaque back in 1983. I didn’t know there was one for 150 years until somebody from Anoka County called me and said we were the only farm in Anoka County that has ever qualified for that.”
The farm in Lino Lakes has been in the family since 1866. The original family owners of the farm came to the United States from Canada. Cardinal now runs the family farm with his sons, Hunter and Logan, who are the sixth generation of the family to farm the land.
“I was born a farmer and really didn’t have a choice,” Cardinal laughed. “When I was growing up, we had cows, hogs and chickens and worked every day on the farm.”
The family plants 38 acres of the 68-acre farm. It produces a variety of fruits and vegetables, and includes 40 fruit trees. The produce is sold through more than 100 memberships in the farm’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, in which individuals pledge financial support to the farm operation.
“Prior to my dad, we were organic,” said Cardinal. “Then my dad started using synthetic fertilizers and chemicals.”
According to Cardinal, the farm was certified organic in 2010 and continues to go through the requirements of certification for the health and well-being of the farm’s customers and land.
“I started with just a small garden, and then people started coming in and knocking on the door to get more organic vegetables,” he said. “I did a talk once about tomatoes on how you spray the chemicals on them and then the rain washes the chemicals into the soil. So, then it goes into your tomato, not on your tomato. The soil does break some of the stuff down, but it makes people think.”
The Cardinals operate an on-farm store that’s open year-round. It sells a wide variety of locally produced honey, eggs, meats and fresh produce during the summer. During the off-season, the store carries canned, frozen, dried and dehydrated produce.
The farm offers certified organic ripe Summer Kiss pears, Athena melons and fresh tomatoes. People can also purchase homemade salsa made with organic peppers from the from.
Customers can order produce online and pick it up at the farm. Delivery is also available if you contact Cardinal. All Good Organics delivers to Lino Lakes, Centerville, Hugo, White Bear Lake, Blaine, North Oaks, Vadnais Heights and Shoreview.
The farm raises about 500 broiler chickens each year.
“My chickens are not organic, they’re free range,” Cardinal said. “They’re moved on fresh grass every day, and I’m constantly moving them.”
Goats are used on the farm for brush control. “I think we have 16 of them here now,” he noted.
The farm also grows popcorn corn and seeded watermelons. “I won’t grow seedless watermelons because the seeded watermelons taste better,” Cardinal said.
The Cardinals are members of the Minnesota Grown Program. They have been part of the University of Minnesota potato trials over the last couple of growing seasons.
Hunter works on the farm full time. Logan works on the farm part time and whenever he is needed.
Cardinal hopes the farm will stay in the family for future generations.
“I don’t need a million-dollar home or take trips around the world,” he said. “If I can pay the taxes, pay the utilities, and can fix the stuff when it breaks, I’m good.”
The farm store is open from 7 a.m. until just past sunset, seven days a week. It is located at 6657 Centerville Road in Lino Lakes.