Meet the Team
Rachel didn't come from a farming family. A love for learning about the natural world and an interest in food-as-medicine led her to working on small-scale organic farms after college. She interned at Apricot Lane Farm in California and spent time working on farms in Missouri, Virginia and Ohio as well. She helped manage crop production at Turner Farm in Cincinnati for several years, while developing a mushroom program and leading their interns in the field.
Rachel co-founded Southgate Farm with her husband Justin. Together they are working to build a diversified sustainable farm that is a center within the community.
Favorite crops to grow? Peppers and root vegetables
Favorite farm moments? Watching the chickens chasing after each other to get some prized poor little creature they've caught. Date nights picking beans (haha sorry Justin!)
Best part of being a farmer? Eating good food!
Engineer by day, Farmer by night
Justin never would have expected to end up on a farm if you asked him six years ago, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He knew he was marrying farming when he married Rachel. Over the last few years he has become increasingly interested in food production. He has always had a passion for sustainability, especially renewable energy. During 2019, he joined Rachel in working on several family farms around Europe, where they broadened their farming experience to include more animal and fruit production. At Southgate Farm, he is compost master, general fixer, and primary animal caretaker.
Favorite plants/animals to raise? All the animals. Fresh summer tomatoes with basil. Asian eggplant.
Favorite farm moments? Failing to move screaming pigs with a group of girl scouts, hatching the first baby chicks, and observing at our first row of planted onions together after breaking ground last year.
Best part of being a farmer? The Greens, the sun, living in a beautiful park, and the great community involvement.
Brooke is an incoming freshman at Kent State University and is a City of Green native. She started volunteering on South Gate Farm in early 2021 and developed a passion for organic agriculture. She plans on majoring in Vocal Performance in the fall and plans to be a singer. You will often find her staring at dirt, talking about plants, or bird watching for hours on end. Her hobbies include spinning yarn, quilting, knitting, and hiking. She hopes to someday farm in Ireland and learn as much as she can about sustainable practices.
Chief Technology Officer
Josie knows that she hit the pound dog lottery when joined the Southgate Farm family. She holds an impressive resume for her one year of age, bringing a broad skill set to the farm: napping in sunbeams, chasing geese away from the pond, and playing keep-away with her toys.
Josie's DNA test confirms that she is a true mutt's mutt and a "good brown dog". She's a big old tender-hearted chicken, so don't be too concerned if she gets her hackles raised over visitors on her turf.
Best parts of being a farm dog? Eating cracked eggs, pigs feet, everything's poop, and, on occasion, nasty compost. Swimming in the pond on hot summer days. Rolling in dead things. Digging holes where she shouldn't.