Last Fall Stephanie Izard, Chris Pandel, Jared van Camp and a handful of other Chicago chefs traveled to Spence Farm for a weekend of sustainable farming education. The weekend included sessions on live butchering, soil analysis, beekeeping and tastings of sustainable vs industrially produced farm products.
Located in Fairbury, Illinois (Livingston County), Spence Farm is known for its wild harvested crops and commitment to organic and sustainable farming. Owners Marty and Kris Travis are uniquely connected to both the Chicago chef community and their farming neighbors. Paying it forward, they created the non-profit educational organization, Spence Farm Foundation and the Stewards of the Land farming co-op.
Such a group of passionate chefs gathered in one place sparked the formation of a community organization dedicated to bridging the gap between the city and the farm, for the future of both, Ground Up!
Ground Up is launching an Indoor Farmers Market at Browntrout (4111 North Lincoln Avenue). In order to host this incubation market for small family farms, Ground Up is holding a fundraiser April 9, 2012 at Spacca Napoli Pizzeria.
The evening will include food tasting stations, libations, Italian Folk Music, and a silent auction. Proceeds will go towards seed money for the organization and market, as well as the Spence Farm Foundation.