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Stuff we Love

Some of our favorite things in and around the world of food, farms and the environment

Local Food Cooperatives
A critical mass of small food co-op grocery stores are in progress, joining our existing favorites, Dill Pickle Food Co-op (Logan Square) and Green Grocer Chicago (Noble Square) (ok, not technically a co-op, but still a favorite local-sourcing grocery store). Coming soon--but only with your upfront support--are the Sugar Beet Co-op (Oak Park), Shared Harvest (Elgin), Prairie Food Co-op (Lombard), and Chicago Cooperative (North Side location TBD, 312-493-9572). Check them out!

Cornucopia Institute
Watchdog for all things organic, The Cornucopia Institute works for economic justice at the family farm level. They have scorecards for dairy and eggs, and their Organic Industry Structure Chart shows how large corporations own many of the technically organic companies that we often see in stores. - Robin

Graze Magazine
In their words,"A food-oriented lit mag dedicated to the food on your mind and the thoughts on your plate." Based in Chicago, Graze is published twice a year. They also run semi-frequent events in the Chicago area to promote discussion on all of the important food-related topics of our times, from relationships and peace to old traditions and new artforms. Check their website for their creative upcoming events! - Sean

Kinkoona Farm
This sweet, woman-owned sheep farm is about 20 minutes from Tomato Mountain.  Suellen and her three children raise and shear the sheep, handwash the fleece, and create amazing bedding--comforters, mattress toppers, and pillows--stuffed with the lofty wool.  They also operate several 3-day summer day camps for elementary school aged kids to share the wonder of their farm world (I see a family getaway on the horizon...explore nearby Spring Green and New Glarus by day while the kids are shelling peas at camp). - Robin

Patagonia provides one of the best examples of responsibly using resources and developing relationships via business and commerce, living the motto, "if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem."   - Chris

Arnolds Farm
This family-run farm in the rolling hills of Northwest Illinois offers pasture-raised poultry, pork, and lamb, and both grass-fed and grain-fed beef.  All animals are raised without chemicals, antibiotics, growth hormones, and GMO feed.  The farm delivers to the Chicago area bi-monthly and will be found at the Mundelein and Glenview farmers markets as well. - Robin

The Local Beet
Home to some of the freshest ideas in the world of local food. The most complete information in the Chicagoland area about farmers markets and CSAs.  Join the conversation! - Sheila

Organizers of the annual Good Food Festival (formerly FamilyFarmed EXPO) and tireless advocates for small family farms and the local food and good food movements. - Robin

Earth Policy Institute
Founder Lester Brown breaks down the relationships between our planet, its resources, and human use of these resources better and more clearly than anyone.  Check out Plan B 4.0 or the shorter version, World on the Edge, to bring yourself to the edge of despair from the "parade of horribles" he details--and then take heart from his prescription for turning things around, many of which are underway in the U.S. and elsewhere.  Tomato Mountain views itself as a small part of the solution. - Chris

PEW Campaign on Human Health and Industrial Farming
CSA member Kerri M does outreach and research for this campaign, which is working to phase out the overuse of antibiotics in food animal production so that these drugs remain effective for people and animals. - Robin

Winter Farmers Markets
Currently coordinated by Faith In Place, it was organizing these markets that move around to faith communities throughout the Chicago area where Robin cut her teeth in the local food and farms movement.  When Robin undertook the effort in Fall 2007, they were the only indoor winter markets anywhere in the Chicago area from January through March.  We'd like to think that they proved to farmers, consumers, and farmers markets alike that "if you build it they will come." - Robin

Chicago Rarities Orchard Project
CROP is working to reclaim unused urban space for unique fruit crops. It could be a wonderful attribute for the city, and the process takes a long time, but I'm excited to see it slowly coming together. -- Sean


Photo(s) added: November 15th, 2018

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Photo(s) added: , Another New PhotoNovember 6th, 2018

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Photo(s) added: September 17th, 2018

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