Notes from Northeast: Feature Farm – Hearty Roots Community Farm, Tivoli

  |  April 3, 2012

Lindsey and Ben Shute of Hearty Roots Community Farm are farmer’s farmers.

I mean that in the way that when talking about art, the highest compliment that can be given, is “so-and-so is a painter’s painter.” It’s the idea that regardless of one’s commercial or critical success, the work they’re doing is watched and respected by their peers, those also trying to make something out of nothing, and tackling age-old questions of how to do something relevant and meaningful.

Agriculture may seem more practical and less existential than Art, but the need to create new models of production, distribution and consumption can feel overwhelming and impossible for both. Lindsey and Ben offer a beacon of hope and possibility by modeling how to farm, share information and what it means to be part of a community.

Hearty Roots has grown from one acre and 30 shares in 2004 to 23 acres and 500 shares in 2011. They are thoughtful and conscientious about every step of their farming practice from how to maintain soil fertility to CSA distributions, upstate: mid-week, Brooklyn: Saturdays.

As Director (Lindsey) and members of the National Young Farmer’s Coalition, they work to change and help other young farmers navigate the world of ag. policy, funding and small business entrepreneurship. As a regular contributor to Farm Hack, Ben shares some pretty ingenious ideas and demonstrates the curiosity, smarts and problem-solving skills of a good farmer.

If you live near one of Hearty Roots’ distribution sites, join their Farmshare. If not, a little research (, can lead you to a farmer in your community.


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