Our 17-acre farm in Richfield, Ohio, is home to fruit trees, beehives, fertile land and vegetable crops. We purchased the property, which had been slated for new-home development, to preserve its historical legacy and grow nourishing organic produce for the Cleveland area.
The farm had been owned by the Sobecki family since the 1930s, when they bought a 100-acre parcel to grow potatoes and other field crops (wheat, hay, and more) using horse-drawn equipment. They also raised beef steer, sheep and chickens. For decades, the Sobeckis shared the property with Richfield’s original (mid-1800s) one-room schoolhouse, which they used as an outbuilding. Unfortunately, due to its dilapidated condition, the building was razed several years ago.
Although the farm has belonged to the Sobecki family for four generations, pieces have been sold off over the past 50 years. The Fawcett Foundation purchased the last 17-acre parcel for Cleveland Roots. Our goals for the farm are to preserve the land, renovate the remaining buildings, and grow fruits and vegetables — specifically to provide fresh produce for Cleveland’s food deserts. We are delighted that owner Bill Sobecki and his wife, Beth, continue to live in the farmhouse on the property and oversee the restoration of Bill’s childhood homestead.
These restoration efforts have included relaying and rebuilding the barn foundation (using original sandstone on a new cement footer), replacing all of the foundation sill plates and other failing beams, relaying original hand-cut sandstone in the barn’s lower level, updating the septic system, dredging out and restoring the old pond to its original ¾-acre size, and restoring the existing chicken coop.
Located in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood on the near West Side of Cleveland, our headquarters consists of greenhouses, a brick storefront, workshop and classroom space, a house and a developing urban growing space.
Prior to becoming part of Cleveland Roots, the property belonged to Berghaus Flowers, a family-owned business that served the community for 126 years. Four generations of Berghaus florists built the thriving business, which weathered two World Wars, the Great Depression and repeated economic recession.
The greenhouses provide space for starting crops for our farm in Richfield, as well as for our on-site raised garden beds. We also grow microgreens, which we sell to local restaurants and at farmers markets. The storefront is undergoing renovation and will eventually be open to the public. The Berghaus home, built in 1906, still stands next door on West 41st Street. Once restored, this building will be used for expansion of our educational programs.