Welcome to our Family Farm!
Sweet Roots Organic Farm was established in 2018 with a patch of sloping sand and a lot of prayers. Karen and son Tyler, started shaping the five acres into manageable sections, retaining an acre and a half in woods that surround the farm. One acre was divided into 14 fields specifically for an intensively planted market garden of mixed vegetables. Another acre was set aside for a future orchard that is just starting to take shape.
Building soil is our biggest mission. We want and need our plants to thrive - not just survive. We added tons (literally semi truck loads) of nutrient rich compost to the sandy dunes, the clay patches and the impermeable layers of rock that weave like rivers through the fields. After torrential rains ripped through the fields during our first season, that beautiful compost was gone and the crops were buried deep into the sand. We started to establish grassed walk paths and landscape barriers to help manage storm water more effectively, we brought in more compost, reshaped the fields and planted again. Learning curves can be rough.
In the middle of our second season, the "storm" of 2020 hit... COVID. As everyone's lives began to drastically change, we were blessed with Ryan (oldest son) coming home from NYC for a "few weeks while this passes". He jumped into farm life with both feet and helped us move our farmer's market business model into an on-farm drive thru model that allowed us to stay healthy while serving more people and meeting new neighbors. We stayed open into mid August - way later than was practical in this Florida heat - and then took a much needed break from market.
We took this "break" time (Sept 2020) to clean up the fields, plant fall crops, raise some chicks, and add additional water barriers in the form of shade rows. Once established, these fruit tree rows will help with the intense summer heat, produce delicious organic fruit, and give our fields nutrient laden leaves in the winter as mulch.
We are going into our third season three strong. The culinary industry in NYC is still struggling so we get to keep Ryan a bit longer. We'll temp him to stay with fresh produce to cook and a touch of cooler weather on the way. Tyler is a high school senior and is focusing on pottery and art with the dream of having his own studio some day. Look to see his pottery debut at our drive thru farm market in 2021.
Thank you for sharing in our journey!
Karen, Tyler, Ryan, 4 meows: Mooch, Fluff, Puff & Squish, a gaggle of guineas and 30 chicks