What could be more important than feeding our community clean, fresh, healthy, real food? Such is our motivation. Owned and operated by Janet Aardema and Dan Gagnon, Broadfork is a small family farm providing the metro-Richmond area with Certified Naturally Grown vegetables, herbs, and flowers. We use traditional European methods of biointensive, raised bed production while maximizing soil and plant health for nutrition and sustainability. We currently grow enough vegetables to feed 150 families each year – on less than 2 acres of cultivated land, just 10 minutes from suburbia. No synthetic/chemical fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide is ever used in any part of the process of growing your food or flowers. (And luckily we are better at farming than we are at getting a family photo with everyone smiling pleasantly.)
Janet and Dan both hold Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology from Davidson and Lafayette Colleges, respectively. Janet holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. We both thrive on putting our biology backgrounds to use in a farm setting and share a passion for farm education.
We worked on farms in the Northwest and Northeast regions of the country before moving to Chesterfield, where Janet grew up, in order to be near her extended family. We have four young children, Sylvie, Joren, and Elletta, and Beckett Zephyr (born October 16, 2014!). The “big kids” love to try their hands at farming and are getting incredibly smart about soil microbiology.
Growing practices at Broadfork utilize ecological methods: compost, cover crops, organic fertilizer, and minerals are used to feed the soil that feeds our plants. Raised beds are used to allow close-spacing of plants and to prevent soil-compaction, allowing for happier plant roots! We use organic potting soil and fertilizer, as well as things like fish emulsion and earthworm castings. No chemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides are ever used on your food and we are Certified Naturally Grown (which follows the same national standards used for Organic Certification). We are also proud members of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming.
Please visit us on Saturdays at the South of the James Farmer’s Market and the Brandermill Green Market and see what we have to offer. You may also purchase our produce and bread through Richmond’s online farmers’ market: Fall Line Farms or stop by our Self Serve Farm Stand. See also our Where to Buy our produce page, including directions and details for our on-site farm stand. We look forward to serving you!
“The most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil.” -Abraham Lincoln