by Donna Lehrer, Big Rock Organics at Lamb of God Farm, guest contributor
Donna and Scott Lehrer gave up corporate work for organic farming near Chicago nearly two decades ago. Their Big Rock Organics at Lamb of God Farm not only provides the food products for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscribers, but also wool for daughter Natasha Lehrer Lewis’ Esther’s Place fiber studio.
The farm is a member of Band of Farmers: The Chicagoland CSA Coalition, and will be participating in the CSA Pavilion at FamilyFarmed‘s Good Food Festival at Chicago’s UIC Forum on Saturday, March 18. The Festival is free (pre-registration is requested — click here), so enjoy Donna’s story here and then drop by to meet her at the Festival.
For additional information about the three-day Good Food Festival & Conference, please visit the event website by clicking here.
We are a small family farm in Big Rock, Illinois, that we established 17 years ago on a heritage farm site settled in the 1840’s. The soils have never been touched by sprays, so the vegetables and lamb we produce are pure and authentic. We pride our selves in providing the Chicagoland community with seasonally produced heirloom vegetables, all naturally raised lamb and fiber products.
Our farm is in a small farm town one hour due west of Chicago. My husband Scott and I had a life transition from corporate life to farm life almost two decades ago. Our two children, Eric and Natasha, grew up raising sheep, growing vegetables and participating in 4-H programs.
Our selling niche was at the French Market in suburban Wheaton early on, and then we transitioned to a CSA vegetable delivery program.
Along with our food production and CSA sales, our business includes Esther’s Place: A Fiber Studio, Learning Center and Community of Fiber Enthusiasts. Our daughter, now Natasha Lehrer Lewis, has owned and operated Esther’s Placw for 11 years. Natasha is an accomplished fiber artist, who teaches at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and offers a large selection of fiber art classes, tours and demonstrations both on the farm and at schools (www.esthersplacefibers.com and www.natashalehrerlewis.com).
Esther’s Place offers many classes in spinning, weaving and fiber arts, as well as canning, cheesemaking and farm camps.
Real Farm Fresh Foods
As spring approaches, we look forward to providing your family with fresh heirloom vegetables and all naturally raised lamb this season. We offer artisan created lamb sausages (sun-dried tomato and feta, garlic and onion, kickers and regulars), all created by a local German chef.
On our family farm, Scott, Eric, Natasha, Jonathan and I strive to work in harmony with the land and weather bestowed on us each season. In our operations — whether in the barn with our Cheviot sheep, Shetland ponies or our barn chicken Maude, or out in the pastures or in our heirloom gardens — we do all things naturally. This means that our soils are healthier, products are tastier, and the environment remains safe.
If you yearn to experience a farm in a personal way and desire to taste the freshness and flavor of all naturally grown farm products, we invite you to become a CSA subscriber.
Big Rock Organics offers a “Boutique” CSA experience by crafting unique offerings, such as the Culinary share (three full meals and a bushel of veggies), the Paleo Box (adding a meat, a dozen eggs, and nuts and grains to the bushel box of veggies), as well as the traditional Full Bushel and Half Bushel Boxes.
Your family is offered the ultimate in flexibility by being able to sign up on a week-to-week basis and select home delivery in designated areas. Each season, Natasha and I carefully select the heirloom vegetables that will be planted. Each box has a newsletter with creative recipes and tips on how to preserve the bounty. For the non-vegetarian customer, we offer a lovely selection of all naturally raised lamb patties, ground lamb, cubed and artisan created lamb brats!
So, as you sit down at your table each evening, you can feel good about eating healthy and supporting a local small farm right in your own backyard! Each season we celebrate America’s rural heritage through the innovative use of antique equipment, sustainable farming methods, and a firm reliance on God.
SEE YOU AT THE GOOD FOOD FESTIVAL IN THE CSA PAVILION!