March 19, 2023
What a mess!
We are currently excavating a one-acre water reservoir (13-Ft. deep) to address detention issues and effectively grow forage and pasture to diversify our current livestock program. This project also establishes an ecosystem that supports the farm system by benefitting pollination, pest control, soil retention, fertility and nutrient cycling. The reservoir will have tree, shrub, and plant groupings called guilds that will assist in purifying the water run-off from surrounding farms. This water reservoir will serve as an oasis for wildlife, a system to clean water and air, bolster nutrients in the soil and an opportunity for production via aquaponics.
In addition to its ecological benefits, the water feature will mirror our incredible sunsets and frame the expansive vista to the west, overlooking thousands of acres of Midwest agriculture: “spacious skies and amber waves of grain.”
I can see it all - in my mind. Still, right now, we’ve got a serious mess on our hands! I could totally lose hope and gumption to open this season and begin laying out Plan B - push back our opening date, create an alternate gathering space, move to Australia - but then, I look back to a year ago, March 2022.
We had just closed on this site and around mid-month received news that the county was requiring us to operate solely at our new location and that no licenses would be issued for events on our original five-acre site. We had 116 days to transition a non-commercial site to a county and state-approved venue, as well as begin the foundational work of creating a productive, biodynamic farm from a property once conventionally farmed. The odds were against us. The mess got messier and by May there was no parking lot or drive, no concrete poured in the barn, no rough-in inspections complete, no walls or ceilings, no paint, no windows or trim, no bathrooms, no kitchen and we were a month away from opening day.
These types of predicaments prevent many from making messes to begin with: What if we fail? What if we make fools of ourselves? That’s why vision is so important. Vision sees beyond the mess; its vista is the promised land - a place of provision and opportunity for others made possible by the lessons learned from the battles - and the risks - along the way. The mess is worth it.
Last season, by miraculous provision, incredible support from family, friends, carpenters, lenders, excavators, plumbers, electricians, painters and more, we opened on time with a sold out dinner and national coverage from ABC News.
Today in the mess, we remember, “Thus far the Lord has helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12), so we will continue to trust that God will establish the labor of our hands (Psalm 90:17) and help us open in 97 days for our eighth season.
Until next week,
Mrs. Farmer Jones
New International Version
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
This massive reservoir project is a generous gift by P.T. Ferro Construction (Joliet, IL); owned by a family who participated in our annual kids camp last year and learned about our overall farm plans. Thank you, Marketti family -
this is a gift for generations to come.
This past week, Mrs. Farmer Jones was interviewed by a content contributor for National Geographic on a radio program that airs in 28 states around the country. The segment will be released later this month. We’ll send out the link; you'll want to tune in as a new development for the farm is revealed in the interview.
24-WEEK FARM BOX PROGRAM
SECURITY, VALUE & NUTRITION
Our Weekly Farm Box Subscription spans 24-weeks, May 25 through October 26. For $65 per week, your Locavore box includes:
One whole pasture-raised chicken is a heritage-bred, slow growth, antibiotic-free, raised-on-pasture, free to roam and graze with a non-GMO and organic scratch grain for additional nutrients. The average bird size is 4-5 lbs. (average bird is 4-5lbs, value $20-$25/whole bird).
We harvest 7-8 different vegetables. We pack an average of about 12 - 14 pounds of produce in each box. Vegetables are grown without harsh chemicals and in soil, meticulously managed to support the delivery of nutrients to each plant. (value range $38-$52).
Depending on the week, we add to each box an organic grain item, pasture-raised eggs, local honey, flowers or shop item (value range $7-$25).
Our subscribers enjoy free admission for their entire family and the friends they bring to our Thursday Night events ($15 per person/excludes food & drink).
We have a limited number of spots each season. Learn More
REGISTER FOR KIDS FARM CAMP
Two summer sessions are offered, featuring five consecutive days for kids ages 6yrs. through 16 yrs. When we curate our groups, the age ranges are generally grouped 6-9yrs., 9-12yrs., and 13-16yrs. Camp hours are 9-2 PM each day. All camp activities lead up to a family feast on Friday. Kids learn how a farm operates, solely motivated by the guests gathered at the table. They participate in the preparations and experience the good work of sharing a meal. Learn More
NEW! PARENT WORKSHOP TOO!
Each day during kids camp, through story and discussion, participants will enjoy a refreshing conversation on gardening, cooking, nutrition and the posture of a simple, self-reliant and slowed down lifestyle. With an opportunity to apply what’s learned, participants will make and take something home each day. Register today!
FARM-MADE RAISED BED!
DELIVERED & INSTALLED
Begin your dream garden this season with our farm-made raised bed system. Each bed is 12’-long by 4’-wide and 27” high. This dimension makes gardening easier on your back and will support the soil-building practice of hugelkultur. The bed size offers 48-square feet of growing space. Learn More.
2023 DINE ON THE LAND
All our dinner dates are entered and from our pre-season sale, some are over 50% filled up already. Join us for another season. Bring new friends. Come for a special occasion. Experience new additions to the evening, including an expanded farm tour, covering all the new animals and projects of the season. Join the Table!
UPGRADE WITH A STAY-OVER
Extend your Dine on the Land experience and stay over after dinner in a newly remodeled farmhouse or in our glamp tent. Book Now!