The Jones Family —
a note from the farmers & owners of Locavore Farm & Sumac Creek Farm
Compelled to leave the comforts of suburban living, we wanted to actively participate in the quality and availability of our food. We were also hungry for community. A true experience of community, shaped by experiences common to all. We wanted to engage with our neighbors in very authentic and practical ways. Urban living made us super independent - isolated. As we looked for examples of communal living, we saw numerous examples in rural settings. We knew that ‘place’ for us would be a rural setting where land is vast and ideal for growing food and where the farming community would serve as a guide on how to connect and collaborate. So, we set out to find a home in the country for our soon to be beginner-farmer family of six: Chris, Rachael, Haylee, Nathanael, Evelyn, and Sharon Jones.
Our journey led us 43-miles south of downtown Chicago to Grant Park, IL in Kankakee County - a farming community with fewer people than acreage. We knew that our lifestyle would be different from those moving to the country to get away. We would be moving to the country to collaborate and commune, inviting others to join us in the nurturing and sharing of food. Our place would be bustling within the quiet landscape of rural living and would interrupt the practices of conventional farming with a climate-friendly approach to agriculture.
— Christopher & Rachael Jones
The Jones family manages every step in the journey from plant to plate and the entire operation and marketing strategy involves celebrating the labor of farming, gathered around a table with 100 guests. The experience is a registered trademark, Dine on the Land. The first event was held on June 20, 2015 when 100 guests were served a one-course feast served 12n, 2pm, 4pm and 6pm for a total of 400 diners that day. The event kicked-off six successful seasons of sharing good food with a community sitting at the table, sipping bourbon lemonade and feasting on the food grown on the land. To date, approximately 10,000 people have dined at Locavore Farm. Over 65% coming from downtown Chicago, and the remaining from Northwest Indiana and surrounding Chicago suburbs, including tourists that have heard about Locavore from the Illinois Tourism Bureau who has featured the Dine on the Land experience as one of Illinois most unique, must-do, experiences for visitors.
In 2022, the Jones family realized a long-time dream since opening Locavore Farm by purchasing a 30-acre estate just 1.8 miles down County Line Road. The name of the new farmture (farm-adventure) is Sumac Creek Farms and will host all the Dine on the Land events and educational experiences as well as overnight retreats, glamping, and extended farmstays in a historic farmhouse.