New Roots is a partnership of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Cultivate KC

About Us

Training and Empowering

New Roots is a four-year training program that began in 2008 as a collaboration between Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas and Cultivate KC. Both organizations work to provide farmer training and market support at the Juniper Gardens Training Farm to help farmers develop and maintain small businesses after graduation.

Play Video

For over a decade, New Roots has empowered families to start farm businesses by growing and selling produce through farmer’s markets, wholesale and the New Roots Farm Share. At the Juniper Gardens Training Farm, farmers are given a quarter-acre plot to grow vegetables such as tomatoes, beets, spinach, green onions, lettuce, eggplants and more. Farmers bring agricultural expertise from their home country and continue to learn more about growing sustainably in the Midwestern climate.

New Roots is designed to remove the initial barriers to start a small business. These include systemic challenges like economic mobility, language, networking and access to education and support. Divided between the growing season and winter classes, farmers at the New Roots program are involved year-round. Staff provide lessons in English and weekly farming workshops in the off-

season to sharpen farmers’ skills in growing in the Midwest and developing a small business. 

Over four-years, farmers are assisted with crop planning, farm troubleshooting, farming equipment, business finance, record-keeping, markets applications and customer recruitment. Each year, the program passes more responsibilities to each farmer to maintain their business. By the fourth year, farmers have taken on the totality of the business expenses and gained practice in maintaining their customer base. 

Since 2008, New Roots has had over 45 farmers graduate from the program, 31 of whom still operate a farm business today. You can support New Roots farmers at a local farmers market, restaurant or by subscribing to our Farm Share program

2023 STATISTICS
3
Crop Varieties
3
Farm Share Customers
1
Training Farmers
1
Wholesale Partners

Sustainably-Grown

Everything grown at the Juniper Gardens Training Farm abides by strict organic principles. We are committed to creating a sustainable, healthy food system and never use genetically modified or treated seeds, synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides or anything else that is forbidden on certified organic farms. Apart from annual tillage, and the use of small walk-behind tillers, New Roots farmers generally cultivate the earth relying primarily on their own physical strength rather than petroleum powered machinery.

Our Growing Principles

While participating in the New Roots program and growing at Juniper Gardens, farmers agree to follow the New Roots Growing Principles. These principles allow farmers to minimize the impact of agriculture on the environment while providing healthy produce to Kansas City.

Our farmers agree to:

Build Healthy Soil

Use farming practices such as crop rotation, cover-cropping, natural mulching and composting and manual removal of weeds.

Follow USDA Organic Guidelines

Only use inputs approved on the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) List of Accepted and Prohibited Substances

Practice Food Safety

Maintain safety and nutritional value by using potable water for crop washing, sanitizing washing and storage areas and making use of cold storage as needed.

Reduce Losses to Pests

Mitigate pest damage through crop rotation and diversity, the use of row cover, encouraging presence of beneficial insects and using USDA organic-approved pest controls.

In addition, our farmers do not use GMO seeds or raise GMO crops.

Land Acknowledgement

New Roots acknowledges that the land on which we grow is the cultural inheritance of the Kickapoo, Kaw/Kansa and Osage tribes. As a program that supports displaced peoples, we recognize the initial forced removal of Native peoples from these lands. We honor the Native peoples who came before us and honor the excellence of the Native community today. We ask for accountability and we strive to be good stewards of this land as we foster systems of love, justice and equity.

Click here to learn more about the history of indigenous people in Kansas.

Not everyone knows about Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA's, so we thought we'd drop a little knowledge. 

CSA's are vegetable subscription services offered by small farms who value selling directly to their customer base. The farmer will provide deliveries of fresh produce weekly throughout the growing season, or sometimes throughout the year. New Roots' CSA is called the Farm Share, and is offered from May through October every year.

There are a variety of consumer benefits that come with subscribing to a CSA.

1. Access to Fresh, Local Produce:
 - Consumers receive a regular supply of fresh, locally grown produce, often harvested at peak ripeness, which can result in higher nutritional value and better taste.

2. Diverse and Seasonal Produce:
 - CSA shares often include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and sometimes other products like eggs, honey, or dairy, exposing consumers to a diverse range of seasonal items.

3. Support for Local Economy:
 - By participating in a CSA, consumers contribute to the local economy and help sustain local farmers, fostering a stronger sense of community.

4. Transparent and Sustainable Practices:
 - CSA encourages transparency in farming practices. Members often have the opportunity to learn about how their food is grown, fostering a connection to the land and promoting sustainable agriculture.

5. Educational Opportunities:
 - CSA models often include educational components such as farm visits, newsletters, or workshops, providing consumers with insights into farming practices and a greater understanding of food production.

6. Reduction in Food Miles:
 - Consumers can reduce their carbon footprint by supporting local agriculture, as the food travels shorter distances from farm to table, resulting in lower transportation-related emissions.

Overall, CSA models contribute to a more sustainable and resilient food system by connecting consumers with local agriculture, promoting environmental stewardship, and supporting the economic viability of small and mid-sized farms. Check out the link in our bio to learn more about the New Roots Farm Share!

#newroots #urbanagriculture #kansascity #CSA #2024 #educational
Save the date! The New Roots Transplant Sale will be on April 27, from 9:00am-12:00pm at Juniper Gardens Training Farm. Come pick up some sweet starts for your home garden! See you then!⁠
⁠
#newroots #urbanagriculture #kansascity #spring #2024 #garden
Heaters up in the makeshift greenhouse! Under the white covers are the seedlings New Roots farmers-in-training have been tending the last few weeks. These wild swings in temperature are hard on plants, but the climate resilient farmer knows to expect the unexpected. #newroots #kansascity #urbanfarming #2024 #climatechange #thewarmestfebruaryinmemory
📅Mark your calendars, New Roots for Refugees' transplant sale is coming down the pike. April 27th, 9:00-12:00 at Juniper Gardens Training Farm, 100 Richmond Ave, Kansas City, KS.⁠
⁠
Come shop some plants, meet your CSA farmer, and treat yourself to some goodies from local vendors. ⁠
⁠
#newrootsforrefugees #urbanagriculture #kansascity #eatlocal

Share in the Harvest