Farmers » Midnight Sun Farm
vegetables, plants, eggs
- Outdoor market
Nick Choate-Batchelder and Becky Stark own and operate Midnight Sun Farm, 53 beautiful acres of fields, woods and pasture where they farm and raise their son Ray. They grow over 40 different kinds of vegetables and herbs, and raise pastured laying hens and turkeys, as well as hogs in the winter. From May through December, they sell locally-grown produce, eggs, and meat to folks in the Chicagoland area through a CSA program and at farmers markets in Chicago. They grow beautiful vegetable varieties that are well-suited for propagation using organic methods, including many heirloom varieties. The farm is currently in its transition period and will be Certified Organic in 2017.
Becky and Nick say about their farming methods:“We use organic growing practices because we can produce large yields of high-quality produce without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers. As farmers, we have a unique capacity to affect the ecological health of the land we live on and work, and we take our responsibility very seriously. We don’t subscribe to the idea that all conventional or non-organic certified farming is categorically wrong, but many conventional farming practices can have severely detrimental effects on the environment. Also, we don’t particularly want to eat vegetables that have been sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, and hear the same from most of our customers.”
“We raise our animals with ample access to pasture because we have an obligation to provide them with the best life we can give them, which includes opportunities to engage in their natural behaviors like foraging, grazing, social interaction, and laying in the sun and feeling the weather outside; it is an ancient trust between farmers and livestock, who depend on one another for survival. Pasturing also allows us to use grazing animals to improve soil fertility, creating on our farm a more holistic system that turns our livestock and crop rotations into a regenerative cycle, improving the health of the plants and animals, as well as our local ecology.”