When Local Food Hub opened in 2009, Dave and Lee O’Neill were among our first partner farms. Our relationship with Radical Roots Community Farm has grown bigger and stronger each year, just as their farm has grown to become one of our most diverse and reliable producers. When Dave and Lee purchased their farm in 2003, it was a hayfield with just a few species of grass. Today, it is a thriving, Certified Organic produce farm, and home to their family. Their swales, or low, moist tracts of land that help manage water runoff and filter pollutants, and plethora of fruit trees and other perennials offer a continual habitat for birds and beneficial insects, not to mention make for excellent soil for growing food!
Today, Radical Roots Community Farm offers an 85-member CSA program in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville, is an anchor vendor at farmers markets in both cities, and participates in countless plant sales and events throughout Virginia. In 2012, the farm became Certified Organic, and their wholesale business continues to grow each year due impart to this certification. While Certified Organic brings many economic benefits to their business, the most important part for Dave and Lee is the opportunity to educate consumers about the importance of growing organic. Radical Root’s entire supply chain is organic, so it is not just about the practices they use on the farm. They source organic seeds, potting mix, and amendments, and support organic agriculture throughout the growing process. The organic label allows Dave and Lee to engage with more people and share the importance of their work.