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July 2, 2014

It might seem like an ordinary box of produce this week. Lettuce and broccoli and other produce you see all the time in the grocery store. Does it really matter if you buy from a local farm (Chicago’s Best, by the way), or Whole Foods, or Aldis? We think it does.

There is nothing at all that’s ordinary about produce from Montalbano Farms. Here’s why.

Read More »July 2, 2014

June 28, 2014

Congratulations to the crew and families who make up Montalbano Farms! Named the 2014 “Best Local Farm” in Chicago by the Chicago Reader:

June 25, 2014

Being a farmer is kinda like being a rock star these days. Except for the huge piles of money and the loud music and I’m reluctantly short on the wavy locks of long hair. Anyway, everybody is interested in local food and getting back to the land. People want to know why their farmer chose to farm and what our days are like. They want to hear stories of quiet evenings and the hustle of the harvest. There’s a good deal of romanticizing about farming and I try to emphasize the positive aspects as much as I can.

Read More »June 25, 2014

June 18, 2014

Tim and I were walking our fields the other day and I was explaining our weed fighting strategy. It’s rather simple, really. Get the weeds when they are young and small.

For starters, the work is a lot easier. Have you ever tried pulling out a weed that’s over 2 feet tall? It isn’t easy, that’s for sure. If we can dispatch the weeds when they are small, we save ourselves a lot of work. A lot. And not only that, but our crops thrive in a weed free environment. The goal, ultimately, is to take care of our crops when they are young. Raise the crops in a healthy environment, give them the nutrition and water they need, and they’ll turn out just fine.
Read More »June 18, 2014

June 14, 2014

June has brought some wonderful weather to the farm in Sandwich. The cool, wet days of April and May and behind us (well, mostly). The days are getting long and the skies are full of sunshine. All of this makes for some fantastic growing weather.
Read More »June 14, 2014

June 5, 2014

It is an exciting time on the farm. Harvest season is beginning in earnest. Our CSA program starts next week. We have been busy planting and the fields are starting to green up. The weather is absolutely amazing. Our crew is in place. It’s all coming together.

We know that many of us are interested in food and food issues. It’s probably the reason you signed up for this newsletter. Me? Of course. I read articles all of the time on growing food, on eating food, and on selling food. An article came across my screen the other day, as a matter of fact, that I wanted to talk about today.

Read More »June 5, 2014

May 29, 2014

Montalbano Farms donates 10% of proceeds of all CSA shares sold on Saturday, May 31st  Purple Asparagus is a Chicago not-for-profit that educates children, families,… Read More »May 29, 2014

May 28, 2014

We are gearing up for the start of our CSA program and that means a little bit of craziness on the farm right now.


We are planting all sorts of things. Basil, peppers, hot peppers, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, lettuce, beans, sweet potatoes and more. All of these crops need to go in the ground as we’re fairly certain (!) the last frost is past. Many of these crops get planted by hand and we use a mechanical transplanter to put in the rest. It’s a big job and the entire crew plays a role.

Read More »May 28, 2014

May 14, 2014

We had a wonderful outpouring of interest in our CSA program in the last couple of weeks. Over 40 families signed up, pushing us much closer to our goal of 100 more shares by early June. The crew at Montalbano Farms is working hard to make this another successful year and we truly appreciate your interest and financial investment.

Read More »May 14, 2014

April 29, 2014

We are getting real close to putting this farm on solid financial footing. 2014 marks our seventh year farming organic vegetables and we’ve made lots of progress bringing fresh produce to many, many families in the area.

It does not come cheap. We’ve made many investments in equipment to help us farm. Tractors, potato diggers, seeders, and much more.
Read More »April 29, 2014

April 10, 2014

Even vegetable farmers hit the town once in a while.

Last weekend, Christina and I put on our cleanest and least dirty clothes and headed on over to the Paramount Theater in Aurora to see “Rent”. According to the Interweb, “Rent” is a rock musical that tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive in New York City under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. A backstory like that will put even the grumpiest farmer in a good mood. We were excited to see the show.
Read More »April 10, 2014

April 1, 2014

How does the weather this year affect farmers? Lots of ways.

First, planting is delayed this year. Farmers cannot plant in cold, wet soils and we’ll need Mother Nature to cooperate a bit more before that situation changes. While it is still very early in the season, and there is plenty of time for soils to dry out, it has delayed plans for many .
Read More »April 1, 2014