A Trip to an Organic Farm

We live in the center of a huge city, but I still want to expose my kids to nature and the country. I grew up on a small farm in a rural part of Illinois surrounded by horses, dogs, cats, sheep, geese and chickens – not to mention a dairy farm across the street! – so I have a huge appreciation for the kind of work and love that goes into living the country life.  My kids should learn the same lessons.

So, earlier this month my dad and I took the kids to an organic farm about an hour’s drive from Chicago.  The farm, Creme de la Crop, is the first full-scale certified organic food production farm in Valparaiso, Indiana, and Leann, the woman who runs, it is passionate and devoted to the cause.  During our tour, she told us that the land has been in her family for generations, and despite lucrative offers from developers she remains committed to keeping it in her family’s name.  She now focuses on keeping her CSA (community supported agriculture) customers happy with high quality heirloom produce.

Leann lamented that the demand for her produce is so high that she has to limit the number of customers who may sign up.  Delivery is limited to a small part of Indiana, but with a hungry Chicago market just 40 miles away, it must be hard for Leann to turn down business.  I had a chance to spy on some boxes waiting to be filled – wish I could’ve taken some home with me!

We walked the grounds on a perfectly sunny early fall morning.  Spared from the heat of summer, we really enjoyed the tour and took in all the little sights – basil leaves rustling in the breeze, tissue paper-thin tomatillo husks, little bugs looking quite busy.  The farm hosts a hive of bees, and Evie and Mack were thrilled to get up close.  Fortunately, my dad kept a pretty tight grip on them!

Mack had his first taste of fresh basil.  Can’t tell if he reacted poorly to the taste or texture!  I know my dad liked it, though!

And, despite a bit of initial fussing about her shoes getting a little dirty, Evie decided it was a wonderful day after all.  She liked scouting around and exploring. I wonder what stories she came up with in her head as she wandered through the fields.

It sure is nice to take a deep breath of country air!

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