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.
With the average age of farmers in the United States pushing 60, growing a new generation of young farmers is a regional and national priority. One of the most encouraging recent developments in the Chicago area is the creation of Chillinois Young Farmers — the northern Illinois chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition — which is providing a much-needed voice to this important constituency. FamilyFarmed is pleased that “Chillinois,” representing the national organization, will be participating in our Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 18 at Chicago’s UIC Forum.
Chicago is home to some of the most innovative and inspiring urban agriculture projects in the United States. And FamilyFarmed is providing the opportunity to visit three of these sites on a curated Urban Ag Bus Tour — taking place on Saturday, March 18 during our Good Food Festival.
“Good Food movement” and “Local Food movement” are virtually synonymous to a lot of people. Yet the rising tide of consumer demand for Good Food is prompting more and more retailers, wholesalers and chefs to think globally while they act locally. This issue will be examined by the “Does Good Food Need to Be Local” panel at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference on March 16.
FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival — our big public celebration of the rising Good Food movement – is coming up on Saturday, March 18. And along with our typical lineup of great programs and features, we have new big incentive to attend: Admission is free!
FamilyFarmed is officially launching a Growing Young Farmers series on this Good Food on Every Table site. And we are crowd-sourcing for some of the great stories that we know are out there.
Urban agriculture in on the rise, in many cases providing jobs, opportunities and access to Good Food for residents of underserved communities. But the farm Jen Rosenthal manages on Chicago’s South Side has particular social significance: It is on a site once occupied by apartment towers of The Robert Taylor Homes, which had grown so troubled-plagued that its residents were relocated and the buildings torn down.
Frontera Farmer Foundation is a Chicago-based nonprofit that reflects the commitment of Chef Rick Bayless and his Frontera restaurant group to help local and regional farmers build their businesses and succeed. The foundation presents the lineup of its 2016 grant recipients, and we are very pleased to see many friends and associates of FamilyFarmed.
SAAGE Culinary Studio in the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, is a shared-use commercial kitchen providing startup food businesses with access to all the commercial grade equipment that they need to make their products. Owner Gayatri Borthakur discusses the philosophy behind the business, which will be a participant in FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference.
FamilyFarmed’s 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference is scheduled for March 24-26 at Chicago’s UIC Forum, and exhibitor registration is open. Robin Schirmer, project coordinator for the Chicagoland coalition of CSA farms, shares her experience working with and attending the event.
FamilyFarmed has launched a fundraising campaign — titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!” — to support the latest expansion of its extensive efforts to train farmers across the United States so they can achieve sustainable success. The campaign, staged on the IndieGoGo crowd-funding site, is titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!”
As always, the Farm Aid concert held Saturday in Chicago was one of the entertainment events of the year, featuring founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, fellow Board member Dave Matthews, and numerous other great performers. But as this photo essay by Good Food on Every Table shows, Farm Aid is about much more than the music.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off the 16th annual Farmers Market Week Sunday, announcing a 64 percent increase in customer traffic in markets open for at least two years.
Good Food on Every Table recently invited readers across the country to share their stories about the Good Food scene in their hometowns. We want to thank Patty Rubeck of DeKalb, Illinois — founder of “Eat Local DeKalb” — for being the first to accept the invitation.
You would be hard-pressed to find a business that is more local, more community-based, and more dedicated to revitalizing economically challenged neighborhoods than Chicago’s Urban Canopy.
The Band of Farmers Talent and Fashion Show takes place at The Hideout in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago tomorrow (Saturday, March 28). This show is the most fun a farmer (and a fan of farmers) can have without playing in the dirt.
We have been writing so much about FamilyFarmed’s 11th annual Good Food Festival & Conference March 19-21 that we want to make sure that the main events designed for the general public do not get lost in the shuffle. So here is our list of the top 10 reasons you should attend the Localicious food and drink tasting event and the Good Food Festival.
by Julia McDonald, guest contributor Julia McDonald and her husband Todd McDonald own Peasants’ Plot, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Manteno, Illinois that grows produce sustainably and sells it to subscribing consumers. In her contributed column, McDonald describes the rise of the CSA concept and its still yet-to-be-tapped potential; the emergence of the […]