Natalie McGill and Stewart Lundy founded Perennial Roots Farm in 2010 as both a business and a home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. They began as homesteaders, concerned foremost with reducing waste and providing enough food for their own needs. Over the next few years, a garden grew up into a farm.
Natalie and Stewart share a passion for animals, ecology, alternative farming methods and homesteading. Most days on the farm Natalie can be found working in the vegetable garden, checking in on the animals, or tending trees. Stewart’s enthusiasm centers around managing the pasture and soil fertility, composting and forever researching new farm methods. Natalie likes to think about this year’s yields. Stewart likes to think about next year’s yields. Together, they make a pretty good team.
“Even the weeds are an integral part of this process of healing the Earth.”
Their goals and practices are a synthesis of biodynamic rhythms and principles of permanent agriculture. They are committed not only to nominal “sustainable” practices but to regenerative practices that increase fertility with every season. They are Certified Naturally Grown.
Perennial Roots’ use of intensive multi-species rotational grazing keeps their animals healthier and nurtures the soil. They use cover crops to “enliven” the soil, build carbon, and provide habitat for beneficial insects. They compost as much as possible. “Even the weeds are an integral part of this process of healing the Earth,” says Stewart. “We grow exclusively non-GMO open pollinated heirloom plants and raise heritage breed pigs, sheep, geese, ducks, chickens, rabbits, and turkeys. Most of our vegetables and animals that we raise are listed on the Slow Food Ark of Taste* for their unique history and superior flavor. Most of the animals we raise are part of an effort to preserve the genetic heritage of heritage breeds listed as “at risk” or “critical” by the Livestock Conservancy. We are an agri-artisan on the Virginia Eastern Shore Artisan Trail, a certified Bee Friendly Farm and a mentor farm in the North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program
The Ark of Taste is an international catalog of endangered heritage foods which is maintained by the global Slow Food movement. The Ark is designed to preserve at-risk foods that are sustainably produced, unique in taste, and part of a distinct ecoregion.
Consumer Access Information
Perennial Roots Farm
Natalie McGill and Stewart Lundy
P.O. Box 538
Accomac, Virginia 23301
Visit them at the Onancock and Cape Charles Farmers’ Markets in season
Added Value Products
Preserves, sauces, relish, cut flowers, herbal teas, salves and herbal bath salts are just a few of the “extras” that are on offer at Perennial Roots. These popular products always sell very quickly, so please make sure to contact the farm regarding availability. They offer a wide range of sauces, preserves, relishes and canned goods, made from fruits and vegetables grown here on their farm. Rose petal jelly, catsup, marinara sauce, pumpkin puree, and fruit jams and jellies are just a few of their yearly offerings. These are available at the booth at the Onancock or Cape Charles Farmers’ Markets in season, or at the farm, but please contact them first for availability.
Email the farm at or give them a call for more information or if you’d like to schedule a visit to the farm to buy some meat, eggs or veggies.
More About Perennial Roots Farm
Perennial Roots is a permanent agriculture farm that employs biodynamic methods and rhythms. They employ a distinctly modern approach to farming while at the same time utilizing historic heritage breed animals and cultivating heirloom vegetables.
Biodynamics, Regeneration, and the Perennial Roots Philosophy
Biodynamics is a special way of looking at the world without prejudice. It means taking the time to listen to plants–even “weeds”–to learn why they grow where they grow and what their unique needs are. Biodynamics does not accept the modern superstition that you have to buy expensive chemical inputs every year. Instead, biodynamic farmers labor to create a farm that has a life of its own–one able to regenerate its own fertility from its own resources. This is a concrete way of engaging nature that is neither sentimental mysticism nor callous materialism. Biodynamics is both environmentally sound and economically profitable.
We use no synthetic chemicals because the one-sided attack against any aspect of an ecosystem invariably creates a one-sided ecosystem. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction and farming is no exception. Extremism fosters extremism. Only dynamic moderation perpetuates a living equilibrium.
We believe that a healthy thriving soil is our first line of defense against pests and disease the same way that a healthy thriving gut is our first line of defense against infections. Rather than trying to eliminate the weeds, we integrate them into our system of regeneration. We plant and tend our plants according to the moon. We are mindful to tend our plants in accordance with cosmic rhythms and the movements of celestial bodies because nothing exists in isolation. Everything is connected in ecology, and everything is connected in astronomy.
Cover crops, perennial grasses, interplanting, complexity of plant life are guiding principles of our farm. Recycling, sheet mulching, composting and giving back more to the land than we have taken from it are all key in our efforts toward a vibrant ecosystem and a sustainable permaculture farm.
We are committed not merely to nominally “sustainable” practices, but to actively regenerative practices that improve fertility with every passing season. We use intensive multi-species rotational grazing which maintains the health of our animals and of our soil. Behind our livestock rotation, we spray special biodynamic sprays to help accelerate the process of healing.
In keeping with this impulse towards long-term fertility, we raise heritage animals on our farm specifically selected for their good foraging traits. Our goal is to feed as little grain as possible to all our animals and continue to develop a perennial grass-based diet. Even the weeds are all an integral part of this process of healing the Earth.
All of our energy originates in the dying light of stars: our sunlight, our moonlight, and even the starlight at night. Plants materialize this light into sugars, and from these compounds come the fuel for all of our existence. Sugars are condensed sunlight. We build humus by encouraging better photosynthesis because humus itself is more than sixty percent carbohydrates. In biodynamics, the quality of the light reflected by the moon or released by the sun varies from day to day, and therefore, what plants crystallize out of that energy varies from moment to moment too. We are partners of the earth and the earth is a partner of the cosmos.