WOMEN-OWNED AND OPERATED
Spurgeon Veggies was founded in 2007 by Eloise Spurgeon as a small CSA business and outlet for her ever-growing backyard garden. In 2010, daughter-in-law Dusty (that's me!) joined on, and we began attending the farmers' market in Galesburg. Over the years, we've expanded the CSA to over 100 members, growing from a small garden to a ten acre operation with an open-daily farm stand, more than 100 laying hens, hundreds of seasonal meat chickens, and a growing number of local restaurant patrons. The two of us continue to manage every aspect of the farms ourselves; I run the primary Rio farm, as well as business management and marketing, and Eloise our livestock and basement greenhouse.
We take a lot of pride in growing 100% of our produce and animal products ourselves, right here in Knox County. Our primary farm just south of Rio sits on about 30 acres of beautiful rolling hills, a pond, and waterways. My husband John and I have about 8 acres under tillage here, which we rotate annually with production and cover crops. This is where the bulk of our veggies come from -- tomatoes, sweet corn, green beans, lettuce, and hundreds of other crops. The Rio farm is also home to our farm store, where our CSA members and customers can stop by during the week to grab local veggies and eggs.
Eloise's farm can be found tucked away on the edge of East Galesburg. Here she has around 50 acres of land, most of which is intentionally planted in native hardwoods, providing a unique habitat for local wildlife. We farm about three acres here, including perennial rhubarb and asparagus beds, a small number of fruit trees, as well as our main crop of potatoes. Eloise cares for a flock of over 100 free-range laying hens and, seasonally, our meat chickens. Currently, we also start all of our seeds indoors in her walk-out basement.
Sustainable farming is a way of life for us. What we put into our land impacts all of us, directly through the produce we consume or more indirectly through the environment. We keep our soil as healthy as we can by utilizing cover cropping and rotation, manure from our own animals and others nearby, and taking great care in timing our planting, tillage, and pest management. We utilize highly efficient small equipment, and do the majority of our harvesting and processing by hand.
As with any farming, pest management is a must; we keep our usage of controls to a minimum, only using them when absolutely necessary. We are not certified organic, but we do follow many of the guidelines, and limit ourselves to OMRI-certified pest controls that break down rapidly after application.
We believe eating locally matters. Our produce is grown, processed, and sold all within our little corner of western Illinois, which means we can harvest at peak ripeness and have veggies on your table within 24 hours of picking. This way, you get the absolute best-tasting, nutrient-rich foods that don't come from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Keeping our operation local allows us to grow a wide variety of specialty crops you'll never see in the supermarkets, like fancy heirloom tomatoes, purple beans, rainbow carrots, and a plethora of others.
The well-being of every life involved with our farm (our families, employees, customers, and livestock) is always a top priority for us. We make great efforts to maintain the safety of our food from planting to washing, and our animals are treated with respect and allowed to live normal lives on the pastures. Our crew members receive fair wages and plenty of farm perks (lots of food to take home!). We're all part of this farm because we love doing it, and want everyone involved to be positively influenced by what we do.