The way food is grown impacts its quality, taste, and nutrition. This is what drives Dominic Carpin’s farming, as well as an innate respect and admiration for the land in which he grows his diverse bounty of veggies, fruits, and herbs.
In his early twenties, he had no way of knowing that his small Oregon Hill backyard garden he shared with his roommates would one day lead to a thriving 12 acre farm. Back then, Rodale’s Organic Gardening Encyclopedia and Elliot Coleman’s books served as initial educational resources. He gained additional experience by working in the Garden Center of the Great Big Greenhouse and did some landscaping work for them on the side.
He gratefully connected with multiple mentors through the years, including the staff of Great Big Greenhouse and later, Southside Nursery. He learned from books and seminars from farming experts like Jean Martin Fortier, Masanobu Fukuoka, and Pam Dawling. He eventually opened up a rare plant nursery in Bon Air while gaining farming experience by growing vegetables on numerous friends’ properties.
Upon starting a family, he left the farming field to work for about fifteen years at a number of large banking corporations. While he didn’t prefer working indoors at a desk, it provided financial stability and benefits that were critical to family life. The year 2014 marked a turning point. His three boys were grown, he had divorced, and he was laid off for the third time in his corporate career. This challenging time inspired him to return to his calling, but on a larger scale.
Dominic now farms on 12 acres and describes his farming practices by stating, “I plant by the moon and use the almanac religiously. I think having the lowest impact on the land leads to the most nutrition.” At delli Carpini Farm, he avoids using plastic and relies on a gravity-fed irrigation system. With no high tunnels, he grows seasonally and promotes the health benefits of eating with the seasons. He has implemented regenerative practices like cover cropping and no-till to support the soil microbiome. He’s intentional in his efforts to attract beneficial insects, devoting 10% of the farmland to meadows. He never uses pesticides or herbicides, relying on OMRI listed organic certified inputs to improve the soil and combat pests or disease. All of his seeds are GMO free and most are open-pollinated heirlooms.
When asked about his favorite crops to grow, the list quickly became lengthy! Dominic loves everything in the onion family, as well as red and blue potatoes, super-food purple sweet potatoes, mustard greens, carrots, and a variety of peas and beans. He likes Italian varieties of zucchini, squash, and tomatoes. He enjoys introducing customers to produce they’ve never tried before like Jerusalem artichokes, mustard flowers, broccolini, upland cress, and fava beans. He set aside growing space for what he affectionately calls his apothecary garden, where he grows herbs with diverse uses like wormwood, tansy, anise, hyssop, and nettles.
The trial and error aspect of farming appeals to Dominic, as he is always trying new growing strategies and crops. He also loves foraging among the plants that grow wild at his farm like elderberries and blackberries. Dominic prioritizes the health of his soil and plants, which translates into great tasting, healthy, naturally grown food for customers. Add his diverse summer offerings to your cart! The Best of the Farm Vegetable Box is a great way to experience a little taste of delli Carpini Farm!