Revolutionary Roots Farm
The Farm: 20 acre homestead farm + 20 acres of pasture and forest and 50 acres to grow feed
What They Seed:
non-GMO, pasture raised beef, pork, chicken and eggs. “Sustainable and self reliant, start to finish. Beyond organic, back to the way it was.”
Where You Can Find Them:
On Farm: Mom & Pop store & cafe on Cople Hwy
Online: See website for information and contact.
Feeders They Supply:
Restaurants: Relish Restaurant (Warsaw, VA)
Revolutionary Roots Farm all began with a Craigslist posting for a 20 acre farm in Kinsale, Virginia. Kimberly and Josh Zabec had grown up outside of Baltimore, MD and been best friends since they were six years old. They married at 21 and six years later they both felt an overwhelming desire to change the direction of their lives and get out of the “rat race”. While neither had had any experience in farming, they loved food and decided they wanted to start raising our own, with hopes to make enough money off of it so they could do it full time. One thing led to another and they jumped headfirst in farming in 2014. Before long they were carting home their first baby pigs in their Prius.
The farm has grown quickly. Kimberly works full time on the farm, while Josh still spends a few days a week traveling for work. The young couple raise heritage hogs. cattle (angus & hereford), chickens (for both meat & eggs), turkeys, ducks, rabbits, goats, guinea fowl and geese. In addition to their 20 acre homestead property they lease another 20 acres down the road with forest and pasture.
The Revolutionary Roots hog farrowing operation is on their homestead property. They breed and raise Hampshire, Berkshire, Old Spot, Large Black, Tamworth, Landrace and American Guinea Hogs. After a few months, when the pigs are big enough they are moved onto the pastured land. Through trial and error they experimented with the pigs in the woodland forest but it soon became too hard to rotate them through the woods. So it was decided to switch to mostly pasture. Kimberly and Josh are gaining knowledge and experience along the way.
Recently Josh and Kimberly started incubating their own chickens. They have a mixed breed flock that includes Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Egyptian Fayoumis, Polish, Houdan, Orpingtons, Marans and Brabanters. Peafowl eggs are incubating currently so they hope they can add that to the constantly increasing flock of chickens.
Both Josh and Kimberly are unwavering on their values. All of their livestock is raised on pasture with true free ranging abilities. Josh and Kimberly also lease 50 acres to grow organic oats, corn and barley for feed. They grind and mix the supplemental feed themselves, then purchase an organic fertrell mix that is added for nutrient balance. Peanuts are substituted for soy to add protein.
Revolutionary Roots Farm is currently in the process of getting Animal Welfare Approved.
A lot of the wisdom and knowledge the couple has learned is from Joel Salatin. His approach to rotational farming has been invaluable. They follow the silvopasturing method on their land, which involves forestry and grazing animals in a mutually beneficial way that enhances soil protection and pasture.
Despite not having any experience before delving into farming, Josh and Kimberly have made it to the point that the farm is paying off. Never did the young couple imagine being this far along so soon. A lot of hard work, sweat, trial and error have helped them grow. Other farmers and CSA farms have given guidance to the young couple as well.
Revolutionary Roots sells their meat to their favorite local restaurant called Relish in Warsaw, VA. Direct to consumer sales online and through their on-farm store is the majority of their business. While they grow vegetables for themselves, they plan to build a high tunnel so they can produce more vegetables and hopefully start a CSA.
Neither of their families thought this would be the career path for Josh and Kimberly but they absolutely love it. The two are thoroughly committed to the farm. It is their goal that Josh will be able to farm full time alongside Kimberly. To create additional revenue, Kimberly now also serves lunch three days a week through their Mom & Pop farm store and cafe.
Josh and Kimberly have shown that with a lot of determination and hard work the path forward can be rewarding and full of small victories.
Advice to New Farmers:
“Don’t be afraid! We were complete newbies when we started. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. But it’s easy to learn and be happy when you are doing something that feeds your soul. Don’t ever let someone tell you that your dreams are crazy.”
What Seeders & Feeders Inspire You?
“We would love to have an amazing CSA like Working Hands Farm. They are amazing. We also got a lot of our knowledge from Joel Salatin. We met him and talked to him for a few hours and it was priceless.”
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