Young McDonalds' farm is Peasants' Plot

Date: 
06/26/2010
PeasantsPlotStand

Julia McDonald speaks with customer as an intern bags some produce.

Peasants' Plot has been part of the Wicker Park Farmers Market since 2007, the year that Julia and Todd McDonald got married; bought twenty farming acres from a family trust in Manteno, IL; found a trailer on the side of the road; moved it and themselves to the farm; and put in a septic tank.

Making a major change from urban dwellers to country farmers was something that they talked about prior to 2007 but the unexpected availability of the land catapulted them into action. Three years later, they are still pursuing their individual talents to keep financially comfortable. She is a massage therapist and yoga teacher and he is a carpenter and wood worker.  However, in addition they have twenty worker shareholders who work on the farm and two interns who live and work on the farm.

Along the way they doubled their production twice, added the Lincoln Square market to their schedule and started a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) offering.  Now they are preparing their remaining nine tillable acres for organic farming and looking to extend their growing year and products.  "We are not certified," Julia quickly states. "But our active five acres have not had pesticides used on them in four years. Our plan is to be mainly a CSA organic farm."

"Before we offered a CSA, we did research and found that there was a need for individual offerings instead of larger distribution, such as in bushels and cases, " Julia continued.  Their CSA offers individual portion deliveries for twenty weeks at the cost of $300.

Vandhana

Vandhana, a CSA customer, talks with Julia

"My sister and I split our weekly produce, " explains Vandhana, a Wrigleyville resident. " An article in The Reader inspired me to research CSA's. That is how I found Peasants' Plot. My sister and I split the produce each week. It's GREAT."

The large coolers at the Wicker Park market hold the CSA members deliveries and contain produce that is not necessarily available to the Sunday shoppers.  They are growers of cooking greens such as spinach and kale; lettuce and arugula; carrots; cucumbers; peppers; tomatoes; onions; broccoli; garlic and some squashes.

Be sure to tell them you read about them in Our Urban Times and be sure to come back to this story and leave comments about their products.

For more info: Iron Creek (another Wicker Park market vendor); Organic Consumers; Chicago Foodies; The Local Beet; The Reader (this 2008 list does not include Peasants' Plot)

 

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Comments

Peasant's Plot rocks!

Peasant's Plot rocks!

updated list of farms, including ours

Copy and paste the following to find the more current 2010 article in which Vandhana found our farm: http://www.chicagoreader.com/gyrobase/chicago-csas-community-supported-a... Editor's Note: Thank you for the added link.

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