Farmer & owner: eric Houppert
I began farming in 2014 at Mud Creek Farm in Victor, NY. I joined the crew the same year that the owner, Ruth Blackwell, had purchased the farm business from its founder and moved onto new land, all while serving a 200-300 member CSA. My 4 years of farming under Ruth at Mud Creek gave me invaluable experience in all aspects of vegetable production, from managing a CSA experience to building out a new farm infrastructure from the ground up. My academic studies in community development paired with the tangible experience of vegetable production have framed what I intend to be a life long pursuit in small scale organic agriculture. In 2017 my wife, Megan, and I were fortunate to find a house and 5 acres in the town we both grew up in and started building Deep Root Farm where we produce organically grown vegetables and raise our two wild and inquisitive girls, Emmy and Hazel.
Nelson Leenhouts: partner and advisor
Nelson is Megan's grandfather and grew up on a small dairy farm in Ontario, NY. Grounded in their agricultural roots, in the 1970's Nelson and his twin brother Norman built a real estate company with the mission-driven focus of building strong communities that truly improved the lives of their residents. One of the lasting and cornerstone projects for the brothers was the creation of Gananda, a community of thousands of families within the towns of Walworth and Macedon and where Deep Root Farm is located. Nelson still has to spend most of his days indoors running his company, but he prefers the days when he can be on the tractor maintaining his land and sugarbush, Dancing Rabbit Hill, or helping out a few miles down the road at Deep Root. Nelson provides the farm with a wealth of financial experience and wisdom in building a strong and sustainable business.
Our growing practices
Growing vegetables for us begins and ends with building healthy soil. This starts with the use of organic growing practices that avoid harmful pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers or genetically modified organisms. We believe that if soil is healthy, not depleted of nutrients or over worked, that it does not require such interventions. In order to produce vegetables on just under 2 acres for hundreds of families we must intensively manage and care for the land. Certified organic compost applications, minimal tillage, cover cropping and use of green manures all integrate into a system that focuses on building organic matter. The extensive biodiversity that comes along with growing over 40 different crops also lends itself to consistent crop rotation which is the most fundamental method of pest suppression, nutrient balance and resistance to soil borne diseases. Soil rich in organic matter, and with healthy structure from minimal disturbance, grows nutritious, flavorful and more resilient vegetables.