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. The farm is a mix of cultivated land and forest, in addition to a small orchard of 30 fruit trees. 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. Broadfork is adjacent to the land on which Janet was raised, and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all live next door; the farm is truly a family affair. We have three young children, Sylvie, Joren, and Elletta, who love to try their hands at farming and are especially good at gently holding the chickens.
Growing practices at Broadfork utilize ecological methods: compost and cover crops 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.
“The most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil.” -Abraham Lincoln