It started out as a dream. Years and years ago. We wanted to leave the city and start a farm. Just the two of us. And our family. Now, years later, we consider everyone in our farm circle part of our farm family. Employees. Neighbors, Customers. Farm Guests—especially the weekly, revolving, posse of kids who pull on their boots, jump onto the feed wagon, and help Farmer David with farm chores.
Thank you all for being part of it...by visiting us here, at the markets, or on the farm.
David and Susan Cleverdon started Kinnikinnick Farm in 1994 when they planted a small half acre organic garden on some rolling farmland overlooking the north branch of the Kinnikinnick Creek. Today it’s a 114 acre, intensively diversified, livestock and organic produce farm that has become a destination for families who want to experience the summer rhythms of small farm life.
“Our farm has been a collaborative effort from the start,” says David. “It’s been a collaboration between the people who work here--their ideas and abilities and passions—and the land itself. More recently, the animals that live here have become part of that collaboration as well. All I do is preside over it all, respect the imperatives and limits of the place, and nudge the farm in the direction that it seems to want to go. But it has worked. Everything that we produce—from our nutty strap leaf arugula with a hint of heat to our dry cured Berkshire hog bacon that melts in your mouth—is a distinct product of that collaboration and is uniquely ours.”
“We try to capture the flavors, textures and smells of the farm in everything that we grow,” says Susan. “We follow organic standards and have been certified organic produce growers since 1994. We also follow the Animal Welfare Approved standards for raising all our livestock on pasture. Our laying flock of 350 heritage hens is AWA certified.”
Over the years, Kinnikinnick Farm has provided organic produce to the top chefs in Chicago and been a fixture at the summer and winter Evanston Farmers markets and at Chicago’s Green City Market where David was a founding Board member.
David’s background was in Illinois politics and trading and Susan’s was in marketing and sales. “It’s been a good mix of talent and experience for the small farm business that we do,” says Susan. “It also helps,” she added, “that we both share this insane passion to create a life and a livelihood on a small farm.”