After receiving a Political Science and Art degree from the College of Charleston in 2004, Rita began her career in agriculture as an apprentice on a bountiful family farm in the Catskill Mountains of New York.
She worked with an inspiring couple and their children pulling weeds, planting lettuce, thinning beets, and delivering freshly harvested produce to restaurants in New York City. Because of her experience Mountain Dell Farm she became devoted to the ideal of organic, sustainable, locally-grown food. A subsequent internship on Towani Organic Farm in central California added to her passion and knowledge.
Rita returned to Charleston in 2006 to apply her newly developed farming skills in the Lowcountry. She began by starting a small, organically certified farm on Johns Island and quickly began to develop a following amongst area chefs.
Over the next several seasons she partnered with several established farmers on Wadmalaw Island to found Rita’s Roots and shared with them the value of organic farming and marketing through CSAs. Rita was a regular figure at the Marion Square Farmers’ Market and spent some time working at a hydroponic lettuce greenhouse in Huger, SC.