Chicago Market Owner Katie Lopes, #917, is pretty connected to where her food comes from so we’re bringing you her story of a recent farm visit. Our vision is a store that helps shoppers stay connected to their food and farmers.
Matt and I are members of a CSA share at Gray Farms that helps us eat healthy, local and organic during the spring and summer seasons. On a sunny Saturday, we decided to visit our friendly farmer Marty and his farm dog Duke in Watseka, IL.
It was my first time on a vegetable farm, and I left feeling connected to a land that has such an important historical meaning to Marty. Marty is a 4th generation farmer on the same land his family used. While touring the plots of land that are being prepped for the next harvest, we could see his family’s houses in the distance. The fields and landmarks came to life as Marty shared stories of his grandfather’s morning routine, how he came to obtain a greenhouse as a gift from his uncle who passed shortly after having it built, and as he described the value and pride of a John Deere tractor amongst the farming community.
All these stories reminded me of my grandmother’s family corn fields in Coban, Guatemala. It’s been over a decade since I’ve visited, but being in Marty’s farm brought back memories of getting lost in corn fields and reconnecting with nature. Although the majority of the seedlings were in greenhouses since it’s too early to plant outside, it made me appreciate the work that farmers go through to harvest fresh food for us. The beauty of a harvest cycle is wonderful!
Becoming CSA shareholders is the best investment we’ve made to a local farm in Illinois and to our health. Although our CSA share is not available year round, our household is committed to fostering relationships with local businesses, which is why we became Chicago Market owners. We’re excited that Chicago Market is another way we can support our local growers. How well do you know where your food comes from?
Gray Farms is a USDA organic-certified vegetable farm in central Illinois. You may have met them at one of our Pop-Up Markets and they’re also at the Andersonville Farmers Market every week. Join Katie and Matt as CSA shareholders of Gray Farms today!