Stateline Farm Beginnings Graduate Profile Harvest Moon Farms
The Chicago Reader
The Food Issue: City Farm
From a Chicago couple, a Wisconsin organic farm that understands its urban customers
By Lisa Shames
Bob Borchardt's family goes way back with food. His great-grandparents owned a store that sold produce, meat, and dry goods in Pilsen in the 30s and 40s, and his grandparents ran a restaurant and bar where his grandmother made hearty midday dinners of braised meats and spaetzle for the truckers coming in and out of the nearby South Water Market. In the 90s Bob took over his father's company, which serviced restaurants with specialized tasks like maintaining professional stove hoods. And five years ago he started up Cuisine Populaire (cuisinepopulaire.com), a new-media and video-production company that makes DVDs on global food, wine, and culture. Some of them feature his brother, Bradley Borchardt, a Bangkok-based chef.
In 2005, watching one of his company's own videos about a organic farm in Argentina that has its own restaurant and packaging facility, Bob and his wife, Jennifer—who'd briefly attended cooking school but was working in textbook publishing—realized they were looking at something like their ideal business model. "We knew we wanted to help bring people back to a greater level of engagement with what they're eating," says Bob. "Understanding how and where it's grown... Read the full article here.
The Chicago Tribune
Organic farm produce to show up in unlikely spots this summer
Tollway oases among drop-off sites for expanding community supported agriculture movement
"Wisconsin farmer Bob Borchardt, a former Chicagoan, will serve the oases and the Aon building with his Harvest Moon Farms deliveries of seasonal produce along with additional shares of grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, eggs from pastured chickens and organic flowers. "We are big believers in the CSA model, but we also think this is a cool way to reach 6,200 people working in a building," said Borchardt, who has set up sign-up tables at the Aon Center. Ads for his service also are broadcast in the elevators. "We've never delivered to this kind of workplace, but we think it's great that co-workers can get to know each other by, say, splitting a farm share for the season." In places where CSA is much more common, like Madison, Wis., some health insurers offer stipends of up to $150 for signing up, on the theory that it will improve employee health. Slama is trying to organize a Chicagoland CSA network that would encourage local insurance companies to do the same. Whether these kinds of initiatives will produce more fruit and veggie eaters remains to be seen. "We're hoping that will happen," Borchardt said. "In the fall I hope I'll have some numbers on how many households we reached and how many trips to the grocery store we reduced with this new concept."" Read the full article here.