Our Three Main Vegetable Farmers

Rootbound Farm,
Oldham County, KY

Rootbound Farm is owned by Bree Pearsall and Ben Abel, with children Sage and Hazel Grace. They are tenant farmers, dividing their 160 acres between sheep production and certified organic vegetable. Started in 2010, Rootbound provides nearly 50 percent of the produce purchased by New Roots’ Fresh Stop Markets, which provides 35 percent of their farm’s income. Although neither grew up on a farm, both caught the “bug” at different phases of their lives: Ben as a young man whose parents were avid gardeners, Bree when she was offered a summer job picking tomatoes between college semesters.

Barr Farm, Rhodelia, KY

Adam and Rae Strobel Barr operate an organic farm on land that has been in Adam’s family since 1835. In addition to raising delicious produce, they also are busy raising sons Cedar and Sylvan. As a seventh-generation farmer, Adam says,
“Caring for the land and soil for the next seven generations is in the forefront”
of their farming practices. Their farm produces 40 different varieties of vegetables, as well as pasture-raised chickens and grass-fed cows.

Valley Spirit Farm, Henry County, KY

Valley Spirit Farm began in 2015 when the Monroe and Fiechter families embarked on a shared farming journey. Living and working together on 118 acres in Henry County, they strive to grow exceptional produce, mushrooms and pastured meats. Their farm currently hosts a black angus cow-calf herd, and they custom-graze black angus cattle for other local producers like Ashbourne Farms. They manage their cattle based on rotational grazing principles and work hard to not only provide high-quality forage, but to build precious organic matter within the pastures through frequent moves of the herd. This keeps the grasses in a vegetative state and encourages root development, thus improving soil quality and quantity. Valley Spirit Farm also raises pastured pork as well as the seasonal produce and mushrooms with which shareholders at Fresh Stop Markets are familiar.

Hillview Farm and Orchards, Pleasureville, Ky

Paul Tokosh is not someone with a likely path to farming, but after the New Yorker was laid off from his job as an engineer from (Northrop) Grumann, he and his wife, a Kentuckian, were in the process of buying a piece of land here, decided to make the move in 1995. With only a background in gardening, Tokosh decided to take up farming, which he described as ‘just a bigger garden.’ He also took the harder route, using 16 acres of his land to mostly grow fruits instead of vegetables. He said it is a long-term investment, but one that after 20 years has paid off, with crops of mostly blueberries, blackberries and strawberries.

Festinalente Farms, Southern Kentucky.

Owner and Farmer of Festinalente Farms , Tim Kercheville says “This variety of hard neck garlic is one that I have grown out over several farming sites for over 3 years.  The garlic is planted along with young fruit and nut trees; the garlic yields quickly within the first several years; then the tree crops produce in subsequent years: this is a method of agroforestry.  In total, we are growing 10,000 garlic bulbs within agroforestry systems this year 2020, and 7,000 of these garlic are for sale.  These will be harvested this late June at the summer solstice, when the sun rises to the zenith of the northern hemisphere, at which point the garlic will be ready to eat and to store for several months.  We would be happy to collaborate in order to get some of this chemical-free garlic to the communities joined with New Roots.”

Hunts Berry Farm, Big Spring, Ky

Hunt’s Berry Farm is a 65-acre farm, 10 of which they use to grow organic blueberries, is owned and managed by Bob and Linda Hunt. Blueberries weren’t necessarily the original plan when the Hunts started their farm in 2000, but they let the soil guide them. Tests told them their dirt was acidic, which provides an environment where blueberries thrive. So, in 2012, they planted their first blueberries and waited, as it usually takes two years for the bushes to produce fruit, and six years for them to really hit their stride. The rest is history, and Fresh Stop Market shareholders get a little piece of their sweet success each summer during the brief, six-week, Kentucky blueberry season.

AppleWorks, Trafalgar, Ind.

The Apple Works began in 1989 when Rick and Sarah Brown planted trees on what is now the southern quarter of their orchard. Just as they do today, each tree was planted by hand with a shovel. Two years later, the trees bore their first crop. They pick their fruit when it is at the peak of flavor, rather than allowing it to ripen in storage, and sell directly to customers. This allows them to grow finicky varieties that are either too fragile or too difficult to be grown by larger orchards.

Stuckwish Farm, Vallonia, Ind.

Stuckwish Family Farms is a fourth-generation family owned farm operated by Vernon, Lonn and Ryan Stuckwish. The farm has expanded over the years to grow a variety of produce. In addition to growing delicious produce, safety is one of their top priorities, with the farm and its employees achieving GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) certification from the USDA each year.

GrassCorps, Perry County, Ind.

Grass Corp is a family endeavor, created in 2001 by Stan and Martha Steckler and their growing family, which now includes eight children. Stan and Martha grew up on small dairy farms in southern Indiana, which is where Stan’s passion for farming sustainably began. In 2005, they moved their young family to its current location to expand its growing direct marketing business of pasture-raised products, which includes the eggs shareholders can purchase at their Fresh Stop Markets.

Van Meter Family Farm, Clarkson, KY

Van Meter Family Farm, Clarkson, KY. They are a 5th generation family farm dedicated to providing quality home-grown produce. They start the produce season with strawberries and finish up with pumpkins in the fall. They offer both PYO (pick your own) and pre-picked strawberries with the season beginning as early as the last week in April.

Bray’s Orchards and Roadside Market, Bedford County, KY

Bray Orchard & Roadside Market has a wide variety of fruits and vegetables including: strawberries, grapes, peaches, apples, blackberries, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, peppers, cantaloupes, sweet corn, watermelons, pumpkins, squash.

We also have annuals, perennials, Indian corn, gourds, hanging baskets, jams, jellies. Of course, our homemade ice cream is a must to enjoy at any visit.

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