Farm Profile: Taproot Farm

Taproot Farm has only been in business for one year, but farmer George Brittenburg has been growing much longer than that. While attending college in Pittsburgh, he was an impassioned advocate for urban agriculture and community garden projects. “For me, the local food movement became very important,” he says. “This farm was a dream we’d had for a long time.”
The Bethlehem, PA, native had actually been itching for a more rural life for a while, but his wife—a New York City native—was resistant. “We traveled a lot in the years we were in Pittsburgh,” he recalls. “We spent almost two years in Guatemala, mostly in the countryside. When we moved back to the United States, it didn’t feel right to be in the city anymore, for both of us.” So, they headed back east, settling in Berks County, close to Brittenburg’s family.
The farm grows a wide variety of produce and is home to a flock of pastured chickens, moved every other day onto fresh pasture sown with cover crop.
“Basically, I like to grow what I think is delicious,” says Brittenburg. “Something our customers really like is our spicy salad mix, a custom blend of baby Asian and mustard greens. We do a lot of Japanese turnips and radishes. The other thing that has gone really well is our continuous supply of different roots—we had carrots and beets throughout the summer.”
Brittenburg’s grandparents and great-grandparents on mother’s side were farmers. “I feel most at home outdoors,” he explains. “I’ve always been passionate about understanding my immediate environment. I like
to watch the birds migrate, and notice the trees and the weather patterns. Farming, you’re always out there. Even in the winter. And then you’re part of the circle as well. You plant a couple seeds, and it’s work that grows beyond your power.”

Taproot Farm, 66 Kemmerer Rd., Shoemakersville, 610-926-1134, taprootfarm@gmail.com, growtaproots.com

Taproot Farm offers a CSA in their region; they also sell at the Chestnut Hill Farmers’ Market (Saturdays) and the South St. and E. Passyunk Farmers’ Market (Tuesdays); Fair Food Farmstand carries their produce, and will soon stock Taproot’s eggs.