At City Roots, we strive to plant the seeds of sustainability to take root throughout our community.
We come from humble beginnings in 2009, with a mission to produce clean, healthy and sustainably grown products. To this day, we aim to create a culture that enhances and educates our community about the benefits of locally grown food and environmentally friendly farming practices.
We keep bees not only for honey but for pollination, and raise chickens not only for eggs, but for the fertility they add to our soil. We do extensive crop rotations and cover cropping for soil fertility and pest management. We have a large scale composting operation which we use to amend our soil and by doing so have diverted hundreds of tons of material destined for the land fill into rich, fertile soil. We produce microgreens year round and operate an aquaponic system which is the combination of aquaculture, the production of commercial fish (tilapia), and hydroponics, the growing of plants in a water medium, that mimics a stream and pond ecosystem. We operate our farm in a holistic fashion with each part playing an integral role in the overall system.
Our 3-acre farm has established a perennial part of community life for the residents of Columbia. While we only started out with the goal of putting plant roots in the ground, we are delighted with our added role of providing a fertile place for people to become rooted to.
why sustainable farming?
Your health is important to us! Eating fresh local vegetables is not only one of the best things you can do to improve your health, but it's great for your tastebuds, too. Local, sustainably-grown food tastes better because it's fresh and there are no added preservatives. City Roots is a USDA-Certified Organic farm, which means our products are the safest for our customers because we grow them naturally without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
BENEFITS the community
As a local business, we keep your dollars circulating in the local economy instead of sending them elsewhere. Several of us grew up in Columbia, SC and we are committed to making it a better place for everyone, residents & visitors alike! We employ locally, use local companies where we can and engage volunteers and civic leaders. Supporting us means that we can continue to engage and support our community.
BENEFITS THE ENVIRONMENT
We avoid polluting the land by avoiding synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Also, our produce is grown right here in town & not shipped thousands of miles, which saves energy and keeps CO2 out of the atmosphere. We practice environmentally-friendly farming practices such as cover cropping, vermicomposting, aquaponics, and using solar panels. Ultimately, we are constantly working to steward the land around us, cultivate the soil, the culture and the built environment that we call home.
Some of our sustainable farming practices at work!
Barn Structure and Event Pavilion – designed to meet LEED standards, engage audiences and house some of our farm operations
Vegetable Fields – approximately 3 acres in cultivation in crop rotation with cover cropping
Apiary – for pollination and honey
Compost – for soil amendment and recycling leftover wood chips otherwise destined for a trash pile
Perennials – Blackberry, Asparagus, Muscadine, Blueberries, Figs
Free Range Chickens – chicken tractor, egg production, cultivation, soil amendment via manure
Herb Garden – Medicinal, culinary, fragrance, dye, cutting
Tilapia – 3,000 gallon tank with 1500 tilapia raised in an aquaponic system
Aquaponic Sytem – close loop symbiotic system that serves as biological filter for Tilapia
Microgreens – year round microgreen production
Propagation/Plant starts – allows us to begin our seedling early for the season
Agritourism – promotes organic and sustainable farming education and engagement within our community
Oyster Shell Recycling Station– to the left of the farm's entrance is an oyster shell recycling station where community members can drop off used oyster shells. After letting the shells dry for 6 months, the Department of Natural Resources will pick them up and haul them out to the state's estuaries, where the dumped shells provide a surface for free-swimming larvae to clamp onto, ensuring future oyster harvests! .