Alison and Alex started their farming journey with the idea to make a difference in the food system and make a positive impact within a community.  After studying permaculture and volunteering on several CSA farms, they completed multiple full-season organic farm apprenticeships in Texas, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Alison also spent three years studying medicinal herbs at three different places: Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine, Chicago College of Healing Arts, and Herb Pharm's Work/Study summer program.  

After getting married during their last farm internship in Wisconsin, they set off to WWOOF (volunteer on organic farms) in Costa Rica.  Returning to the states, they decided to go for it and start their own CSA and market business near Chicago, and in 2008, Radical Root Farm was born.  Beginning with a small plot of land,  they "incubated" at Prairie Crossing's Farm Incubator Program in Grayslake, IL for five years.  

Since 2014, they have been renting a historic farm in Libertyville, IL, owned by a conservation organization.  Here, they run a successful CSA and market farm in Lake County, growing tons of food on several acres for their customers, wholesale accounts, their farm dinners, and for their local food pantry.

Today they are very busy at the farm, implementing permaculture and regenerative agriculture in the fields. They strive to farm “beyond organic”, working alongside nature and within the ecosystem, growing pollinator habitat and protecting the farm’s natural areas. They concentrate on soil fertility, using lots of cover crops, low or no-till methods, animal rotation, compost, mineralization, and more. Other projects they are consistently working on are their food forest, pasturing their farm animals, collecting grass-fed chicken eggs, milking their goats, giving tours, talks and workshops, and being obsessed with soil health, the farm's biodiversity and the nutrient density of their vegetables. Additionally, they are also homeschooling their two young sons, while also dreaming and researching what more they can do to make the world a better place.  

Instead of simply being careful not to harm the environment, we want to farm in way that benefits and contributes to the earth and to our communities.
— Alison Parker & Alex Needham, Radical Root farmers