On Our Urban Ag Radar: Freedom Farms Makes Farming Cool Again; Verdura Designs for Eating; Bright Agrotech Starts Blogging

Industry News

The Farm Kings Make Me Want to Move to Pennsylvania – Today
There are a lot of things I’m envious about at Freedom Farms, run by a family of Kings.

Let’s start with Lisa:
single mother of 10 kids (nine boys, one girl) and every one of those kids adore the heck out of her. Love her to pieces. Would do anything for her and respect everything she says. (There’s a book idea here somewhere and I’d read it front to back time and time again). Can you imagine the endurance it would take to raise that many kids (most still in school) and run a successful cut-flower business? What an idol!

Next: The Kings Cover a Lot of Ground
Currently the King men farm over 150 acres to support three retail locations, several farmers markets and a flourishing CSA program. I’m in love with their CSA program. They offer two packages — $1,000 or $500 — you receive a card with your purchasing credit to be used at ANY Freedom Farms location. ANY location. How many times have you thought about joining a CSA program only to retreat not knowing if you will use all the produce you receive? {hand-raised}. With their CSA program, you go buy fresh produce at their Freedom Farms Market (daily farmers market) one day, and get yourself a pastry at Boldy’s Homemade Goodies the next day. Genius!

PS: The King men are striving to sustain a farming model similar to Joel Salatin’s. You remember him right?

Quick confession: I’m completely envious of their farm life. Yes I know it has to be really hard — working 7 days a week, sun up to sun down. But dammit if you wouldn’t learn a lot about farming, a lot about life and how to appreciate everything in between. I miss the feeling of working the ground and enjoying the satisfaction at the end of the day that you really accomplished something. That’s just my take. Some people just like working in the dirt.

Want to Learn More?
See the day-to-day happenings at Freedom Farms on GAC every Thursday evening (that’s how I got hooked). Be a fan on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. And of course you know I’ll plug their tees! I like their “Know Your Roots” tee.

And speaking of fresh produce…..


Verdura: Design/Build Company for Edibles
I’m quite smitten with Sara Gasbarra — owner of Verdura. She’s a young gal who’s rocking the Chicago culinary scene by consulting, designing, implementing and managing some of the most edible gardens for the most hippest restaurants in the Windy City.

In my opinion, Sara has a pretty sweet gig. Chicago is her garden! Check out a few of her projects:

Earthbox “Farm” at 550 St Clair Building

verdura’s First Spring Visit to Floriole 2012

See more Verdura goodness on Sara’s Facebook page.

And lastly, just when you thought the guys at Bright Agrotech couldn’t get any more social (ahem…have you seen their videos?)

Bright Agrotech Showcases Their Expertise in a New Blog

Their most recent post tackles the first question in a series: Why you should build a greenhouse. Have you been teetering on this issue? They recently built a new greenhouse so you know the knowledge is fresh on their tongue and personal — but in true urban ag fashion — they’re sharing! Don’t be afraid to ask them questions — I have!

You can stay connected with Bright Agrotech on several social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and now — Google+ Page for their blog! Of course, check out their website — lots of goodies there. Lots.

If you enjoyed this post — subscribe via email along the right-hand column to receive the next one, right in your inbox.

About Katie Ketelsen, Urban Ag Products Blogger and Advocate

Katie is a jack of all trades: Co-owner of Maverly Lands, a hydroponic grower of herbs and greens; contributing online garden editor for Better Homes and Gardens; board member for National Green Centre. If you’ve got something to share with Katie, please contact her here.