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Deep Roots Farm owner Thomas Hart accepts the Snail of Approval award at Slow Food East End’s community potluck. (Credit: Slow Food East End)

Deep Roots Farm is the latest North Fork business to earn Slow Food East End’s Snail of Approval award.

The Snail of Approval recognizes restaurants and farms that make a commitment to good, clean and fair food through the support of sustainable agricultural practices. The family owned Southold farm, founded by Thomas Hart and his mother Michelle in 2013 through the Peconic Land Trust’s farmland leasing program, specializes in pasture-raised pigs, chickens and eggs as well as produce.

The award process begins with a nomination of the restaurant or farm stand, followed by an interview with the Slow Food East End Snail of Approval Committee, which ultimately votes on the application.

“When we met Tom and Michelle from Deep Roots Farm, their practices checked all the boxes right away,” said Slow Food East End chair Pennie Schwartz. “It is a great, sustainable family farm that represents what a Slow Food farm should look like.”

Everything sold at the stand is grown or raised in Southold. And, though not certified organic, the farm’s agriculture practices are environmental, social and economically sustainable, so no label was required for the Snail of Approval Award, Schwartz said.

Deep Roots Farm in Southold. (Credit: David Benthal)

“In additional to sustainable farming, we’re also looking for places that have a relationship with the community,” she said. “Deep Roots does so much for the community, donating to Community Action Southold Town (C.A.S.T.). We’re huge fans of what they are doing.”

Hart was presented with the Snail of Approval award during the non-profit’s community potluck dinner at Treiber Farms in Peconic on Wednesday, Aug. 21. Deep Roots Farm is the second North Fork farm stand to earn the badge. Sang Lee Farms in Peconic was the first, receiving the award last year after Slow Food East End expanded the Snail of Approval program to include farms. It was previously limited to restaurants. The Green Thumb organic farm in Water Mill also holds the designation.

Deep Roots joins other North Fork and Shelter Island foodie destinations, such as Love Lane Kitchen, 18 Bay Restaurant, Noah’s and North Fork Table and Inn as having received the award.

Deep Roots Farm is located at 57685 Main Road, Southold