Hearty Roots is a family farm using sustainable and organic practices to grow the freshest, healthiest, tastiest food for our community.
The farm is run by Ben and Lindsey Lusher Shute along with a great crew of ambitious and hard-working young farmers. Based on 70 acres in Clermont, NY, the farm currently grows about 25 acres of vegetables per year, cares for a flock of laying hens, and manages another 25 acres of pasture and fallow fields.
Read more about Ben, Lindsey and our entire team here.
Our goals in farming are to create a product that is healthy for you, for our community, and for the land. Our fresh produce is certified organic by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC.
In addition to strictly adhering to the organic standards, we also set a high standard for ourselves in other aspects of our farming. We seek to improve our soil’s health and fertility in the long term; we aim to play a positive role in our ecosystem rather than fighting against it; we hope to train a new generation of farmers who gain experience by working with us; and we pay our workers a fair wage and maintain worker-friendly employment policies.
Honoring our land
Hearty Roots began as a farm that was not tied to a specific plot of land. In 2004, Briana Davis connected with Pete and Alice Bulkeley on their multi-generational farm in Tivoli. The Bulkeleys offered a small plot of land and a great amount of wisdom as Briana got the farm off the ground, and Ben helped out in the first season before joining full time in 2005. As Briana moved across the river to her current operation Greene Bee Greenhouse, Ben ran the farm with farming partner Miriam Latzer for several years as the farm moved to rented fields owned by the Greig family. Finally in 2012 Ben and Lindsey were able to buy our current 70 acres just a few miles north in Clermont, and we were able to settle in, just in the nick of time for the birth of our first daughter.
For thousands of years, our land was inhabited by the Mohican tribe. Our property stretches all the way to the Roeliff Jansen Kill, which was sold by the tribe to Robert Livingston. The land was owned and managed by the Wilson family for over a hundred years, and then sold to the Hettling family who operated a thriving farm store for decades. Neighbor Dianne O'Neal bought the land in the early 2000's with the goal of preserving it as farmland, working with Scenic Hudson Land Trust to put a conservation easement in place to protect the farm as open space before selling it to us. We have since amended the conservation easement to ensure the future affordability of the land and ensure that it will always be owned by working farmers.
According to family records, there were likely slaves that worked these very fields. This is a difficult history, but one that must not be forgotten. We offer our respect and love to the many hands that have played a role in tending this ground. We are proud to be its stewards today, growing food for our community while caring for our soil, air, water and ecosystem.