by Malcolm Jolley and Jamie Drummond

There are chefs who start farms, and wineries that start restaurants, but The Good Earth Food Co.’s Nicolette Novak has turned all that on its ear. The Niagara native started the Good Earth cooking school in 1998 on her family’s farm in Lincoln, Ontario after nearly a decade of farming it herself, following her father’s sudden death. This year, Good Earth has released their first wines, made with grapes grown on the farm under the supervision of Flat Rock Cellars’ wimemaker Ross Wise. This year, Novak also authored and published The Good Book a collection of seasonal recipes (tested on “Earthlings”) drawn from her life of food and wine in Niagara. Jamie Drummond and I traveled an hour south of Toronto to Good Earth in early August (just in time to pick a few late ripening peaches from the tree), where we had lunch on the winery patio, prepared by Chef Patrick Engel using ingredients from the farm, washed down with a fruity rosé made from 95% Cabernet Franc. Then, Novak led us on a tour of the property (where she continues to live and farm), including the cooking schools (indoor and outdoor for summer) and her vegetable gardens, where we filmed the interview below:

Find out more about The Good Earth Food and Wine Co. and The Good Book at

Malcolm Jolley is the managing editor of Good Food Revolution. Follow his twitty ramblings at