We bought a farm
On a cold wintry day more than a year ago, I took a snapshot of a snow covered farm that was for sale in La Fox, IL., about 30 miles west of Chicago. This idyllic image has inspired me as I dreamt about starting a working farm, replete with livestock, orchards and 5 acres to grow produce for Big Bowl. Last week, the dream came true; this week, my partner and I start moving in.
Anyone who’s ever embarked on a journey of the unknown knows exactly how I'm feeling right now - joy and fear, trepidation and excitement all churning in one pot. I helped my father with his greenhouse and my mother as she tended a garden that fed us during the summers growing up in Western Massachusetts. But a barn ideal for a couple of hogs, chickens for eating and laying eggs, and growing produce for the restaurants? Gulp.
But, yes! Because for me, a chef who can grow food for his guests is the ultimate in hospitality. As a family, it’s important to me to be self sustaining on our farm, which means we've got to have all the aforementioned factors in play to achieve it.
two honey hives and be a part of a plan to help Bron Weaver at nearby Heritage Prairie Farm with
her queen bee breeding program. It’s Bon’s (of Bron’s Bees) attempt to
breed by natural selection healthy queens that winter better in our
We also planning a small orchard of apples and pears. We'll grow raspberries, blackberries and elderberries, too.
If you’ve gone down this path, maybe you’re smiling and shaking your head, thinking this poor guy has no idea what he’s getting into. Or perhaps you’re simply excited for us. I'm grateful for the support I've received so far, exhausted from the whole process, and looking forward to new phase of life for us. I'm planning on chronicling this new adventure here, and my hope is you'll chime right in, give your input and thoughts, and sometime in the not-too-distant future, you'll drive out to our yet-to-be-named farm, and perhaps pick your own apples or buy some truly farm fresh eggs.