T H E   C H I C A G O L A N D   C S A   C O A L I T I O N

Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm

 

Member profile details

First name
Jody & Beth
Last name
Osmund
Phone
815-431-9544
City
Ottawa
State
Illinois
Logo
Name of Farm
Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm
Farm Bio
We didn’t become farmers because we are Local Foods activists.
We became activists because we are farmers making our living from local foods.

Our farming philosophy can be summed by respect: respect for the land, for the animals, and for our customers.

Animals are raised in humane conditions without the use of drugs, hormones, or antibiotics. Rotational grazing is practiced to keep the pastures healthy, and our customers are given the highest quality products we can provide.
 

Farm and Contact Information

Name of Farmer(s)
Jody & Beth Osmund
Primary Contact Person
Jody & Beth Osmund
Email of Primary Contact
Phone No(s) of Primary Contact
8154319544
Physical Address(es) of Farm(s)
1985 N. 3609th Road
Mailing Address of Farm (if different)
1935 N. 3609th Road
Number of Tillable Acres or Acres in Production
35
Number of Years Farming
14
Business Type
  • Sole Proprietorship
Website Address
 

CSA Information

Number of Years Selling as CSA
14
Number of CSA shares last year/season
150
CSA Share Types
  • Meat & Eggs
  • Meat/Poultry
Delivery Areas
  • Chicago North Side
  • Far West Suburbs
  • Near West Suburbs
  • Northwest Suburbs
  • On-Farm
  • South Suburbs
Explain "Other" or provide specific communities/neighborhoods served
IN CHICAGO:
Lakeview
Edgewater/Rogers Park
Logan Square
West Loop
Lincoln Square
Ravenswood

IN THE SUBURBS:

Blue Island
Evanston
Naperville
Oak Park
Ottawa
Are you interested in adding new pickup sites?
Yes
If Yes, how many customers would you require to offer a new pickup site? Any preferred locations?
15
CSA Seasons
  • Winter (Jan-Mar)
  • Spring (Mar-May)
  • Summer (May/Jun-Oct/Nov)
  • Fall (Oct-Dec)
Describe your CSA Share(s)
Monthly shares include a shifting selection of beef, chicken, pork, and eggs.

3 shares sizes

Regular
Large
Small
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
Black Angus Beef
Dennis and Nelda Kennel
Roanoke, IL
Drug, hormone & antibiotic free

Duroc & Hampshire Pork
LaPryor Farms
Ottawa, IL
Drug, hormone, & antibiotic free.
Other (non-CSA) business from farming
  • Farmers Markets
CSA Payment Methods
  • Check
  • Cash
  • Credit/Debit
  • Online
  • Monthly
Do you offer any add-on items from your farm or other farms?
No
Have you ever had a major crop/livestock loss? How did/would you handle it with your customers?
Yes, in July of 2007 our farm was inundated with 5 inches of rain that came in about three hours time. This resulted in significant flooding in about 2/3 of our vegetable plots - this is when we were a vegetable CSA.

We "bought-in" vegetables for several weeks from another CSA farm to continue our weekly share box delivery for our members. We were, also, able to replant quickly with shorter-season crops so we had vegetables to finish out the season.

Members missed out on some full-season crops, and we skipped a week of deliveries when there was not enough vegetables available (from our farm or to buy-in) to fill the box. Overall, members received about 10% less vegetables than in a "normal" season.
How do you build community between your customers and the farm?
Cedar Valley Sustainable hosts farm events each year spring through fall. They have included tours, pasture walks, creek walks, barbecues, nature photography lessons, hay-rack rides, pot lucks, and field days.

Beth and Jody are regular speakers a number of community venues: libraries, green fests, garden clubs, stewardship committees, churches, and schools.
Sample Newsletter
 

Farming and Production Practices

Describe your farming practices
We take a systems approach to farming. People (farmers, seasonal help, processors, suppliers, and customers/members), plants, soil, and animals need to be integrated so that each can help sustain the other.

Are we all the way there, yet?

The short answer is no.

We drive hundreds of miles (a seven hour round-trip) for each processing run to be able to put pasture-raised chickens in our shares. We do this because it is the closest processor that accepts birds from independent producers like Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm.

Is this sustainable over the long-term?

Again, no.

So why do it?

Over the past four or five decades, the intricate web of our local food infrastructure with overlapping supports, connections, and resiliencies(including producers, processors, aggregators, suppliers, sellers and buyers) has been lost. Either it's been actively dismantled, starved by neglect or proscribed by regulation.

It's been replaced by corporate structures more beholden to quarterly returns than long-term sustainability. This short-term outlook has been to the detriment of our soils, our farmers, our animals, and our health.

Rebuilding something that took decades to take apart doesn't happen overnight.

At Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm, we take the long-view, and hopefully our work will be a solid brick in the foundation of new, local food system. Providing well-raised meats to our CSA members creates demand for more. As demand grows, more farmers will step in to meet it, and new processors will build plants to make our work more sustainable.
Describe your pest control practices
We monitor parasites in our animals and treat accordingly. Beef, pork, and chickens have not required deworming, to date which we credit to regular pasture rotation/rest and using poultry as pest control for our larger animals.

Sheep are, generally, more susceptible to parasites, so we will monitor them closely as we go into our second year of production. We will treat them with a drench if fecal egg counts or other symptoms indicate that it is necessary for continued health.

Fly traps are used in areas where animals congregate (feeding and water stations).
Describe your weed control practices
We try to mow weeds prior to them going to seed. This is accomplished either with our regular haying schedule or spot mowing with a rotary brush mower.
Describe your efforts to prevent and treat diseases in your crops
Our rotational grazing system helps keep our pastures healthy and thriving. Long rest periods between grazing ensures stronger root-systems and energy reserves for plants to stave off diseases.
Describe your efforts at enhancing fertility
Chickens are the fertility engine on our farm. We buy-in many tons of high protein feed for our hens and meat birds which they deposit as high-value fertilizer directly on our pastures. Also, winter manure packs are composted and spread in the spring and summer onto the rapidly growing hay ground to further enrich the soil.

Our large grazing animal helping cycling these nutrients as well. We've found that since we've converted to all pasture on our farm the productivity and water-holding capacity over our sandy soils has increased dramatically.
Describe your seed/plant start sources and practices (including use/avoidance of GMO seeds)
Pasture seed is gmo-free.
 

Livestock (Meat, Dairy, Egg) Practices

What type(s) of livestock do you raise?
  • Beef
  • Sheep/Lambs
  • Pigs
  • Chickens
  • Turkeys
  • Eggs
Are your animals USDA certified organic?
No
For Beef Cattle, describe your animal husbandry practices, feed sources and use of growth promotants
Cattle are raised on grass and finished with grain. No hormones or antibiotics are used in raising our beef.
For Sheep/Lambs, describe your animal husbandry practices, feed sources and use of growth promotants
About the animals - Sheep

Our sheep graze rotated pastures, in season. They eat mixed-legume and grass hay in a smaller lot in the winter. Bedded shelters keep them dry and protected from our harsh winter weather.

All lambs are docked non-surgically (with elastic bands) to prevent issues with "fly strike" during fly season.

For better performance (faster growth and better feed efficiency) and more humane treatment, ram lambs are banded to give them a short scrotum (the testicles are pushed up close to the lambs body and the band is applied to scrotum to hold them there). This is the most humane method of castration. The rams become sterile eliminating the need to separate them from the flock to prevent unintended pregnancies while benefiting from the continued production of testosterone.

Lambs grown for slaughter (non-breeding animals) are supplemented with grains (oats and/or corn). When we can, we source GMO-free grain; however, this is not always possible due to availability, economics, on-farm storage capacity, etc. When we cannot source GMO-free grain, we purchase locally grown, conventionally raised grains from neighboring farmers.

Because sheep are especially susceptible to internal parasites (even with strict pasture rotation), we monitor for signs of infection and sample for fecal worms. When indicated we us a drench dewormer to control parasites.

Sheep are also shorn twice, yearly.
For Pigs, describe your animal husbandry practices, feed sources and use of growth promotants
Our pigs are pasture and dirt hogs. They are reared with shelter and outdoor access. Loose housing and farrowing are the rule. Piglets are weaned at between 6-8 weeks (as opposed to the 21 day industry standard). Feed is local conventionally grown grains along with hay and pasture.
For Poultry, describe your animal husbandry practices, feed sources and use of growth promotants
About the Animals – Chickens

Laying hens -

Laying hens free-range virtually year round on 6 acres of pasture. During extreme winter weather they spend a lot of time in their well ventilated hoop structure that has roosts, nesting boxes, and bedding for scratching.
Spring through fall the hens are are rotated (spoke and wheel) through the pastures surrounding the hoop.

Feed is a commercial laying mix purchased from our local farm store. It is milled with conventional grains and, although not labeled, probably contain genetically modified crops.

In addition to grazing and their grain mix, our hens eat the scraps from our garden and kitchen.

Meat Birds –

Growing season

Our meat birds are raised seasonally on pasture from late April through fall. We are able to deliver chicken in our CSA year round because we stock our freezer with enough birds to last through our long winter and inclement spring weather.
Where do you process your livestock?
Chickens are processed at Central Illinois Poultry Processing a USDA inspected facility in Arthur, IL.

Beef, Pork, and Sheep are processed at Bittner's Eureka Processing a USDA inspected facility in Eureka, Il
 

Band of Farmers Pledge

I agree to The Band of Farmers Pledge.
Yes
 

Member photo albums (1 Album)

                            


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