Delli Carpini Farm
delli Carpini Farm is a biodynamic farm located on a 12-acre property near the Beaverdam district northwest of Richmond, about 30 miles from downtown. The farm gets its name from the Italian heritage of Dominic Carpin. He started the farm in 2015, pursuing a passion he’d had for decades while working in other careers, mostly in the financial sector. He currently leases the property and has 9 acres in production.
The farm grows a wide variety of legumes, leafy greens, root vegetables, and fruiting crops, specializing in hard to find GMO-free, open-pollinated heirlooms from all over the world. Dominic strives to follow all the rules of an organic farm (although it’s not certified) and aspires to a closed system with minimal external inputs. The farm does not use any chemical fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide. Dominic keeps the land in cover crops as much as possible and strives for biodiversity by nurturing native perennials, wildflowers, and wild forage. Dominic plants by the moon and follows the almanac. He does not bring in third-party compost and relies on cover cropping and fish emulsion, along with rock powders, to build soil fertility, which he protects with minimal tillage.
Over the years, the farm has sold its produce at local farmers markets in the Richmond area and has also developed a strong wholesale businesses with numerous Richmond restaurants. It has also sold produce to Hanover County public schools. In summer 2019, after a waiting several years on a waiting list, the farm was added to the line-up for Fall Line Farms, a very successful online farmers market in the Richmond region.
Dominic Carpin is a graduate of the University of Virginia and also a professional musician, having composed over 150 songs and published several albums. His career also included several years working in the financial industry, mostly at Capital One. But organic farming was something he’d always had in the back of his mind after reading the works of Eliot Coleman and J.I. Rodale. After getting laid off from Capital One a second time, and with his kids grown, he decided to pursue organic agriculture. He leased a few different pieces of property around Richmond, before finding his current property, which he’s been renting since 2015.
Dominic is proud of his self-taught skills and his commitment to biological farming and the diversity it not only creates on the land, but for his business. Here are his words: “One of the unique things about my farm is that it is a haven for many beneficial wild forage plants such as elderflower, elderberries, rambling roses, Joe-Pye weed, yarrow, chamomile and Goldenrod. I sell these items to the restaurant and herbalist trade. I'm actually gifting some elderberries to an herbalist who is going to make some elixir for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation as a gift to them for the upcoming cold and flu season. I also intentionally plant spring oats and Mammoth red clover to provide herbalists with milky stage spring oats and clover flowers. These items also work well with my existing cover crop program.”
Dominic is active in Real Local RVA and gives lectures on topics such as low-input sustainable farming methods with limited working capital. He was also recently featured on Virginia Currents , an online PBS program. Click here for link to the video.
The 0% SOIL Loan received by delli Carpini Farm from Slow Money Virginia in August 2019 helped purchase a used tractor, and some parts and attachments for another tractor he owns. Dominic relies on tractors to manage his fields from cultivating to bush hogging cover crops, and he hopes the additional assets will make his farm more productive and competitive.
Please check back to this page soon with photos of Nurture Capital at work on the farm.