Dean Leith planted the seed.
His gardens helped us grow.

Capital Roots started in 1975 as a community service project of Garden Way, the former manufacturer of Troy-Bilt Lawn and Garden Equipment.

Take a walk through our history…

For over 45 years our organization has been fighting for environmental wellness and health equity.

1975 – Began The Community Gardens program. 56 Community Gardens now feed 4,000 families in Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady and southern Saratoga counties.

1989 – Formed The Urban Greening program. Thousands of trees now beautify Albany, Cohoes, Rensselaer and Troy.

2004 – Launched The Squash Hunger program. More than two hundred thousand pounds of fresh produce has been donated to soup kitchens and pantries throughout the region.

2005 – Established The Taste Good Series. Thousands of inner-city children have discovered that fresh fruit and vegetables are tasty and nutritious.

2007 – Developed The Veggie Mobile®. Thousands of elderly, low-income and disabled residents have fresh produce delivered directly to their housing facilities.

2009 – Cultivated The Produce Project. Dozens of high school youth have access to educational and employment opportunities each year because of this year-round urban agricultural training program.

2011 – Organized theHealthy Stores program. Thousands of inner-city residents have daily access to fresh food in local convenience stores.

2011 – Expanded the Veggie Mobile operation by adding The Veggie Mobile® Sprout. Even more elderly, low-income and disabled residents now have fresh produce delivery directly to their housing facilities.

2012 – Launched theVeggie Rx program in partnership with local physicians who treat patients with nutrition-related illnesses. Physicians are able to issue coupons for fresh produce on the Veggie Mobile® to patients with diabetes and hypertension.

2014 – CreatedThe Virtual Veggie Mobile an online farmer’s market providing access to our Veggie Mobile® produce as well as local farm products for wholesale buyers and individuals.

2014 – Announced name change from Capital District Community Gardens to Capital Roots at the grand opening of the Urban Grow Center, our new headquarters and regional food hub. With this new facility, by 2017 our produce distribution capacity will triple to one million pounds.

2016 – We formed a partnership with the Department of Health to create the Healthy Schools and Communities initiative with St. Peter’s Health Partners to manage a $2.5 million, five-year grant aimed at creating a healthier Capital Region.

2018 – This was the first full year of two new Capital Roots’ programs: Smart Vending and Farm-to-School. Both programs moved leaps and bounds this year, paving the way for what will no doubt be a 2019 to remember. We have fostered new relationships with businesses, schools, and community centers. We have addressed formerly unmet needs in our communities in the realms of healthy snacking and school nutrition. And in the process, have supported other sectors in our community: local small businesses and our farmers.

Looking Forward – The next phase of Capital Roots’ Urban Grow Center will be a project unlike any other in the region or state. The nearly 32,000 square foot expansion, spread across two full city blocks, is focused on strengthening and elevating the Capital Region community. The Center will empower the next generation of food-based businesses and drive local farm purchases through its Incubator Kitchen. It will offer new and necessary opportunities for hard-to-employ adults through Greenhouse-based job-readiness programming. It will provide neighbors access to a wide variety of fresh, local and affordable food through an expanded Produce Market. And it will serve as a model of Capital Roots’ commitment to safe and accessible streets for all.