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Sandhill Family Farms

 

Member profile details

First name
Peg
Last name
Sheaffer
Phone
(608) 897-2209
City
Grayslake
State
IL - Illinois
Logo
Name of Farm
Sandhill Family Farms
Farm Bio
Sandhill Family Farms is a partnership of farms and farming families serving 475 CSA members in the Chicago area for over 15 years. Our farms are located in Grayslake, Illinois and Brodhead, Wisconsin and we offer a year round community supported agriculture (CSA) program including organic Vegetable Shares, Fruit Shares, Egg Shares, Dairy Shares and Meat Shares.

In 2017, our two farms will operate more independently. The Sheaffers will operate Sandhill Family Farms in Brodhead and the Millers will operate Prairie Wind Family Farm in Grayslake. We will continue to serve all our current CSA pickup locations between the two farms.
 

Farm and Contact Information

Name of Farmer(s)
Matt & Peg Sheaffer
Primary Contact Person
Peg Sheaffer
Email of Primary Contact
Phone No(s) of Primary Contact
(608) 897-2209 Farm Office
Physical Address(es) of Farm(s)
16228 Skinner Road, Brodhead, WI 53520
Previous Farm Name, Farmer, or Owner
Sandhill Family Farms is a partnership between the Sheaffer and Miller families. Peg and Matt Sheaffer started the original farm, Sandhill Organics, fifteen years ago in East Troy, Wisconsin. In 2004, Sandhill Organics found a new home at Prairie Crossing, a conservation community in Grayslake, Illinois.

In the spring of 2011, Jeff Miller joined as farm manager at Sandhill Organics. Prior to Sandhill Organics, Jeff and his wife, Jen, operated their own vegetable, poultry and pork farm for 5 years at the Farm Business Development Center located at Prairie Crossing.

In 2012 our two families formed Sandhill Family Farms. By working together, we have been able to expand production without compromising our commitment to quality.

In 2017, our two farms will operate more independently. The Sheaffers will operate Sandhill Family Farms in Brodhead and the Millers will operate Prairie Wind Family Farm in Grayslake. Our farms and families continue to collaborate on specific projects and to support each other in our farming endeavors.

Thank you for supporting local foods, healthy communities and family-scale farming. We couldn't do it without you!
Number of Tillable Acres or Acres in Production
25
Number of Years Farming
12
Business Type
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
Website Address
 

CSA Information

Number of Years Selling as CSA
12
Number of CSA shares last year/season
430
CSA Share Types
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits Only
  • Meat/Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Other
If Full Diet or Other, please provide details
Lamb Share
Delivery Areas
  • Far West Suburbs
  • North Shore Suburbs
  • Northwest Suburbs
  • On-Farm
  • Wisconsin (So.)
Explain "Other" or provide specific communities/neighborhoods served
Barrington
Bartlett
Buffalo Grove
Downers Grove
Glen Ellyn
Glenview
Hinsdale
Northfield
and on-farm in Brodhead WI
Are you interested in adding new pickup sites?
No
CSA Seasons
  • Winter (Jan-Mar)
  • Spring (Mar-May)
  • Summer (May/Jun-Oct/Nov)
  • Fall (Oct-Dec)
Describe your CSA Share(s)
We offer a variety of share options and seasons. Please find share information our website: www.sandhillfamilyfarms.com.
Is any portion of your CSA Share(s) produced on other farms?
Yes
If Yes, please itemize with the other farms' name, location, and growing/production methods
- Sweet corn from various farms (e.g., Didier Farms), conventionally grown
- Mushrooms from River Valley Ranch, organically grown
- Fruit Shares from Mick Klug Farm near St. Joseph, Michigan. The Klugs use a growing system called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Farmers who use the IPM approach conduct extensive monitoring of insect and disease problems to ensure that a synthetic pesticide or fungicide is only used as a last resort and only in the smallest quantity necessary.
- Dairy Shares include butter, yogurt and cheese made by a variety of licensed Wisconsin dairy artisans.
- Meat included in the share comes from our farms in Grayslake and Brodhead and from three other partner farms in Southern Wisconsin. Animals raised at Sandhill Family Farms and by our partner farms live in a healthy and humane environment. They have access to the outdoors (except in inclement weather), and they are encouraged to express instinctive behaviors such as rooting, grazing and nesting. Sheep, chickens, cows and pigs eat a mixed diet of pasture grasses, grains, and surplus produce from our vegetable operation. With the exception of the meat chickens, the feed our animals receive is not certified organic. All feed is free of artificial growth hormones, antibiotics and animal byproducts.
Other (non-CSA) business from farming
  • Farmers Markets
If Other, please specify
Oak Park Farmers Market, Sat 7 to 10
Mid-May through October
CSA Payment Methods
  • Check
  • Credit/Debit
  • Online
  • Installments
Do you offer any add-on items from your farm or other farms?
Yes
If Yes, which add-on items do you offer from YOUR farm?
  • Bulk Quantities for Canning/Preserving
Have you ever had a major crop/livestock loss? How did/would you handle it with your customers?
No. We would share this information openly and honestly with our CSA members, and determine options based on the loss.
How do you build community between your customers and the farm?
We host a number of events throughout the year. We offer CSA picnics and events, and work closely with others at Prairie Crossing to participate in community events, e.g., Spring Plant Sale & Fall Harvest Festival.
 

Farming and Production Practices

Describe your farming practices
All produce in the Vegetable Share, with the exception of sweet corn and strawberries, is certified organic by Midwest Organic Services Association.
What organizations, if any, monitor or certify your farming practices?
  • USDA Certified Organic
If you indicated USDA Certified Organic, are all of the products in your CSA certified organic?
  • Some, but not all
If Some, identify which are certified organic and which are not
Vegetable Share - All produce in the Vegetable Share, with the exception of sweet corn and strawberries, is certified organic by Midwest Organic Services Association.

Fruit Share - Our fruit is grown by the Klug family near St. Joseph, Michigan. The Klugs use a growing system called Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Farmers who use the IPM approach conduct extensive monitoring of insect and disease problems to ensure that a synthetic pesticide or fungicide is only used as a last resort and only in the smallest quantity necessary. This approach minimizes the impact on the natural environment.

Egg Share - The egg share consists of one dozen brown eggs per delivery. Our chickens are fed a wholesome, diverse diet of grains, vegetables and fruits. We encourage them to graze on grasses, green plants and bugs. They can move around freely with plenty of access to clean water, fresh air and sunlight.

Meat Share - All meat included in the share comes from our farms in Grayslake and Brodhead and from three other partner farms in Southern Wisconsin. Animals raised at Sandhill Family Farms and by our partner farms live in a healthy and humane environment. They have access to the outdoors (except in inclement weather), and they are encouraged to express instinctive behaviors such as rooting, grazing and nesting. Sheep, chickens, cows and pigs eat a mixed diet of pasture grasses, grains, and surplus produce from our vegetable operation. With the exception of the meat chickens, the feed our animals receive is not certified organic. All feed is free of artificial growth hormones, antibiotics and animal byproducts.

Dairy Share - Each dairy share includes butter, yogurt and cheese made by licensed Wisconsin dairy artisans located in the beautiful countryside surrounding our Brodhead farm. Your participation in the dairy share supports family-scale dairy farms and small creameries in southern Wisconsin.
Describe your pest control practices
We make every effort to work with nature rather than against. To do this, both farms have increased their biodiversity with developed and managed significant strategic areas as habitat for beneficial insects. On the Prairie Crossing (IL) farm, we have planted and managed native shrub hedgerows between production field and along internal farm roads. These provide both habitat for beneficial insects and a reduction in the micro level impact of wind on the growing crops. On the Brodhead (WI) farm, we have restoration program for oak savanna on a portion of the farm.
Describe your weed control practices
We control weeds through crop rotation, stale seed bedding, mechanical cultivation (i.e., tractors and implements), hand-weeding and flame weeding.
Describe your efforts to prevent and treat diseases in your crops
We prevent and control crop disease through variety selection, plant spacing, crop rotation, organically-approved inputs and appropriate application of irrigation water. We periodically consult outside resources (e.g. research universities) to identify and treat plant diseases.
Describe your efforts at enhancing fertility
In addition to fall applications of farm-made compost, we focus on winter cover crops (rye and hairy vetch) for soil cover and soil fertility. While continuing compost applications and a robust winter cover crop program, we refine their crop rotations to include summer cover crops including buckwheat, sunflowers, sunhemp, and sorghum-sudan grass. Over the past several years, the cover crops planted are highly diverse mixtures.
Describe your seed/plant start sources and practices (including use/avoidance of GMO seeds)
We source most seed from Johnny's Selected Seeds and High Mowing Seeds, along with a variety of other vendors. We grow our own transplants within on-farm greenhouses. We are a certified organic farm and as such, our seeds are organic whenever available and non-GMO.
 

Livestock (Meat, Dairy, Egg) Practices

What type(s) of livestock do you raise?
  • Sheep/Lambs
  • Eggs
Are your animals USDA certified organic?
No
For Sheep/Lambs, describe your animal husbandry practices, feed sources and use of growth promotants
We also raise sheep at our farm in Brodhead. Our sheep are rotationally grazed on grass pastures. Their diet consists of pasture grass, hay, and a small amount of barley.
For Poultry, describe your animal husbandry practices, feed sources and use of growth promotants
Our chickens are fed a wholesome, diverse diet of grains, vegetables and fruits. We encourage them to graze on grasses, green plants and bugs. They can move around freely with plenty of access to clean water, fresh air and sunlight.
 

Band of Farmers Pledge

I agree to The Band of Farmers Pledge.
Yes

                            


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