CANTERBURY, CT (WFSB) - Farm land as far as the eye can see.

Libby Tarleton and her partner, James Russo, moved to Canterbury to grow in more ways than one.

"We had some losses in our family and we were further away than we would've liked, so we were looking for a location where we could still be in touch with them, still be able to get there in plenty of time if we needed to, and just an area that was still rural enough for some farming, so Canterbury seemed to fit the bill for that," Tarleton tells us.

Russo's Roots was created in 2015 and it's a unique farm in the area, because they only grow vegetables.

"There's a reason there's stone walls, but you don't really realize it until you're working it, but we've learned a lot about our property too. We've expanded our production, we do only vegetables, so we did have to increase some of the vegetable land, so over time, we've been able to increase the number of fields, we've been able to rotate crops, we've added in cover cropping, and we're going to be putting in a new greenhouse this year, so we've really been able to expand the whole vegetable production while we've been here," Tarleton explained.

Tarleton says everything is certified organic and they have all the staples, lettuces, and carrots, but also like experimenting with more unusual produce you won't find in grocery stores.

"We'll grow things like kohlrabi, which you won't find at the grocery store. We grow a lot of the chicories, one called puntarelle, which is pretty interesting, and then some tropical plants, like ginger and tumeric that you wouldn't expect to find in Connecticut, but we're able to grow it," Tarleton continued.

And they're able to sell it!

They set up shop at two farmers markets, one in Willimantic and one in Mystic, and they have a CSA for families.

"We have about six shares left and it starts the first week of June so we'll take, until we fill it, we'll still have people who can sign up," Tarleton said.

She says the CSA model is not only great for families looking for fresh produce, but it's also great for the farmer, because it gives them the money needed to get through the season.

More than that, it gives them a connection to their community.

She says she loves being able to share her passion with others.

"I've been farming since the late nineties and I just really enjoy growing things, and having that tangible aspect of it. I love to be outside. I've tried to work in an office and I just can't, so I've always worked outside and I really enjoy having something that I can show with what I've done," Tarleton added.


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