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Tom Hart of Deep Roots Farm. (Photo credit: Lee Meyer)

Love of all things local runs deep in the owner of Southold’s Deep Roots Farm

For Tom Hart, farmer and owner of the 8-acre Deep Roots Farm in Southold, sustainability is a way of life. No synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides or pesticides are ever used on the farm, where he prioritizes earth-friendly practices in producing pasture-raised pigs, chickens and eggs, along with spectacular fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers and herbs—all of which are available in season at their self-serve farm stand on the Main Road. Hart started Deep Roots in 2012 with his mother, Michelle, after apprenticing with local growers Browder’s Birds and Biophilia Organic Farm. This season, he’s secured more land for his animals, which translates to more room for crops like greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers, berries and squash. “We only sell what we grow,” Hart says, a practice that gently leads his loyal customers to eat seasonally. Deep Roots also sells to a long list of local restaurants and caterers, like Bruce and Son, The Halyard, North Fork Table & Inn, 1943 Pizza Bar, and Grace and Grit. 

Here are a few of Tom Hart’s favorite things:

Favorite coffee spot North Fork Roasting Company (55795 Main Road, Southold, 631-876-5450). They are right down the street from us. The staff over there are amazing and they use our veggies in their kitchen. They have great baked goods, great food—just an awesome place to hang out.

Favorite beach In the earlier part of the year, South Harbor Beach on the bay. I can’t sit still very well on a beach — they have an awesome little inlet there and those back bays where you can go chase hermit crabs. When it starts getting warmer out and the jellyfish show up in the bay, then we go to the Sound—Kenney’s beach or McCabe’s beach. The water’s cooler over there and they have the best sunsets.

Favorite local drink A gin and tonic that’s nice and cold. I also like a lot of the local wines—Anthony Nappa’s whites are our favorite (online only,, 508-439-1174). He’s the winemaker at Raphael and they have a great wine club. 

Favorite place to see a show I don’t see many shows out here, but we do like to go to the brewery in Peconic for live music (Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., 42155 Main Road, Peconic, 631-477-1100). The kitchen has been fantastic these last couple of years. They started buying a ton of local ingredients — they’re one of our biggest customers. They’re doing a great job with the menu.

Favorite meal made with your products Homemade chicken Parmesan. We raise almost all the ingredients for it—we have our own tomatoes, our own garlic, our own chicken—if we could only plant a mozzarella tree! Sometimes we get mozzarella at the Country View Farm Stand (57995 Main Road, Southold, 631-903-1335).

Favorite restaurant We usually head out to Greenport. Our first stop is Little Creek Oysters (37 Front St., Greenport, 631-477-6992) for drinks and some delicious broiled oysters. After that it’s Brix and Rye (308A Main St., Greenport, 631-477-6985) and 1943 Pizza (308D Main St., Greenport, 631-477-6984). Brix and Rye has a beautiful bar downstairs. It’s nice and quiet. Usually, we go for one of the special pizzas. They buy a ton of our stuff, so we’ll have something with some vegetables on
it depending on what’s in season—it’s amazing to see what the chefs do with our vegetables. 

Favorite local attraction The historical society in Southold (Southold Historical Museum, 54325 Main Road, Southold, 631-765-5500). I went there with my son’s third-grade class last year for a field trip. They have a beautiful barn filled with old farming equipment and pictures of how the farms used to look out here. I’m very lucky to be farming in the 2020s rather than the 1820s, with horses and kids walking a mile to school. It definitely puts things into perspective, and the people are so nice over there! 

Favorite breakfast I’m really into bagels—I’m good for 10 bagels a week. We go to Black Sheep Bagels (31000 Main Road, Cutchogue, 631-735-9998) and make a bacon, egg and cheese at home using their bagels and our bacon and eggs—a great combination.