February Fresh: Winter Moon Roots
Every week, Michael Docter delivers 2,000 pounds of root vegetables to stores and restaurants…by bicycle… in the middle of February. His farm, Winter Moon Roots, located in Hadley, Massachusetts, specializes in producing organic carrots, beets, parnsips, turnips and radishes from December to March. The farm shares land with the Next Barn Over CSA farm, which uses the land during the spring and summer. Winter Moon Roots also runs almost entirely off of solar electricity. Talk about energy efficiency!
Docter is a saving grace to vegetable lovers across Massachusetts who often are faced with a dearth of fresh vegetables past October. Docter plants his root veggies in August, harvests in November, and then stores them in a cool storage unit that utilizes natural air for refrigeration.
Docter started his farm 5 years ago, after stepping back from his work at the Food Bank Farm, also located in Hadley. A farmer at heart, Docter explained that he could never see himself doing anything else.
Docter delivers approximately 120,000 pounds of produce a week to local stores and restaurants. You can find his delicious veggies at Whole Foods Market, River Valley Co-op, Paul and Elizabeth’s Restaurant, Hope and Olive, Mag Pie, Serio’s Market, Cornucopia, as well as in the dining halls at Smith College and Mount Holyoke.
Docter’s goal of creating a carbon neutral farm by 2015 is certainly telling of his passion for our environment and the future of our food. And that’s something to feel good about.
Winter 2012 Amherst Food Warrior