Meet The Growers: ROOTS FARM
“The Roots Farm works to provide food that nourishes both body and spirit while caring for the land and the Earth that sustains us” -The Roots Farm Mission
Roots Farm embodies all that sustainable agriculture, community, and local food stands for. Only 10 miles outside of Athens in Winterville, GA, this beautiful, 13-acre farm exists as a truly holistic sanctuary. The grand project of Roots Farm was inspired and started by Chris Lutz, who frequently appears at the Roots market stand during AFM months. As Roots begins its fourth growing season, it continues to diversify its produce and directly involve the community.
Roots grows fruits and veggies year-round, and is committed to using natural and sustainable farming methods. As a market-focused farming project, their crop production is highly diverse. Roots wants to provide their CSA members and AFM buyers with a rich assortment of fresh, ethically-grown produce. Their produce is Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) - an alternative certification to the USDA "organic" and more applicable and beneficial to small, local farmers.
Sara D. Callaway and Patrick Boulger are the full-time, working hands at Roots Farm. These two are awesome. They are both young, dedicated farmers, and very much representative of agriculture's newest, talented generation. Sara has been part of the Roots team since its beginnings - her positive attitude and strong work ethic keep the farm in motion each season. Patrick, a patient and skilled worker, started at Roots this past January. He brings valuable knowledge from his experience at VISPI (Virgin Island Sustainable Farm Institute), where he completed the Ridge to Reef Beneficial Farmer training program. Check out their blog for the latest happenings on the farm.
Anticipating the busy spring season, Sara and Patrick have been busy with their hands in the dirt. Most recently, they have germinated rows of kale and chard in the greenhouse, direct seeded beets and broccoli raab (outside) and carrots into the hoop house, and seeded lettuce into soil blocks. They have hopes of increasing perennials - including blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries - and creating a market for value-added jams, jellys, and salsas. Roots is on its way to producing another bountiful harvest! Make sure to stop by their tent on AFM's opening day!
Roots Farm has truly evolved into a place of community - a place of connection between people and food. The Roots mission strives to bring people together and support healthy relationships with the land and others. Roots has a vibrant CSA program - they grow for more than 50 members - and they encourage their members and other locals to come out and volunteer at the farm. Every Wednesday the Roots home hosts a vegetarian pot-luck dinner - this is a wonderful way to enjoy good, local food with good people. Roots is now accepting CSA members for the 2010 season (April - September), see their website for an application.