James is a first generation farmer who at a young age started working on farms in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts. Whether it was spending his summers picking cucumbers or picking off tomato horn worms he always had a keen interest in how plants grow. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts James worked on farms in the Hudson Valley and then on Long Island where he partnered with another farmer and ran a successful 65 acre, 2000 member CSA for 11 years. Ready for his own land and new opportunities, James and Libby purchased the farm that is now Russo's Roots LLC in the winter of 2014.
Libby realized her love of farming after college by working on vegetable farms in the Hudson Valley and Long Island and then working with vineyards for 13 years on Long Island. Enjoying the orderliness, creativity and beauty of vineyards, but ready to get back to the seasonality and diversity of vegetables she was completely on board when James was ready to start fresh in Connecticut.
What we grow & how we grow it
Everything we grow is USDA Certified Organic by Baystate Organic Certifiers. We grow a wide range of vegetables from the most common ones such as tomatoes and carrots to the more unusual ones like Kohlrabi and Puntarelle. We also like to try out new varieties of these more common veggies like red napa cabbage, Oriental eggplants & shishito peppers. But pushing the envelope is what we do best with things you wouldn't normally find in our northern climate like ginger & turmeric.
We also spend a lot of time and effort to farm sustainably and responsibly by using Certified Organic growing practices . As the lifeblood of the farm we know that if we are going to have healthy plants we need to start with healthy soils. Through compost, cover crops, soil testing, organic fertilization, reduced tillage and other techniques we have worked out soil management strategies that help us nurture a healthy and active soil environment for our new plants going in each spring.