Meet the Farmers
Here at Wild Roots, its all about family. We started as a husband and wife team, and our family has grown a little each year since.
Ethan and I met working on an organic farm right here in Upstate SC. I had studied agriculture in college after taking an interest in food production and its impact on our health. What was simply an investigation after I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at 18 turned into an all out obsession. As a child, I had never really thought of being a "farmer". It wasn't a world I grew up in, and yet, as an adult, it was a world I wanted to know everything about.
While studying agriculture, I gained experience working on many different farms. I worked on dairy farms, flower farms, cattle ranches - I even did some work for an olive grove in Tuscany. The thing that kept me coming back was the profound influence farmers had on our health and the environment. Food was the medicine that everyone needed.
Ethan grew up right here in Spartanburg. He had always been a nature lover and animal ID expert. His studies and work in environmental studies led him to the same occupation in agriculture as me. Luckily, he was enthusiastic enough about really delicious and quality food to buy into my crazy idea. Since then, he has worked in greenhouse operations both large and small, working on our farm in the extra hours after work and on weekends.
We moved onto our farm in 2019, and many things have changed since then. We now have a small homestead that allows us to be self-sufficient, producing our own eggs, chicken, pork, beef, and dairy. Our 1.5 acre garden has transformed many times in the few years since we began building it. It allows us to grow a number of crops for sale and our own larder. And, probably the biggest change - having three wild babies running around. But, one thing has not changed at all - our desire to raise and produce the best quality food to ensure the health of our family and our community.
We grow food to nourish, to build community around the table, and to protect natural ecoystems.
Food As Medicine
Food was meant to nourish our bodies, not poison them. The conventional food system produces high volume, but not high quality food - genetically altered to tolerate high amounts of chemical sprays, ripened with gas, and transported miles away. We grow using organic (or better) methods. At our farm, we rely on the soil to give our crops the highest nutritional quality. Our no-till system increases fertility and ensures that the soil is protected. We embrace natural pest and weed management to avoid the use of chemical inputs. And, our vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness. We always grow with health in mind to produce nourishing foods, giving our community access to the best medicine.
Stewardship of the Land
This land provides for us. As stewards of the land, we want to protect the natural ecosystems that exist on our farm. We focus on building the soil, regenerating microbial populations and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. We plant a variety of fruiting and flowering plants in our gardens and in the surrounding landscape to increase biodiversity. We avoid synthetic chemicals as well as naturally-derived chemicals that can have a negative effect on the surrounding environment. At our farm, animals are integrated into the system to encourage nutrient cycling (think grass to manure) and manage the surrounding pastureland. We use permaculture practices whenever we can to ensure this land will be productive long into the future. We want this land to provide for our community now and for generations to come.
We want our farm to be a place for our community to come together in support of a healthier system. It is our goal to give you the opportunity to see where your food comes from - to be a part of where it comes from. We hope to model a local food system that is possible. Local food economies are only going to become more crucial, and we need community support to get them established. If you want them to be there when you need them, you need to be there when they need you.
Our intent is to create a place for educating a more health-conscious community - to create memories and wild experiences in nature just outside a growing city. We want to create a space where everyone is welcome to the table - where we can be open to learn about food and share our relationship to it with one another.
"The people who give you their food give you their heart"
- Cesar Chavez