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Three Plaid Farmers

 

Member profile details

First name
Joe
Last name
Pisciotto
Phone
6303909582
City
Winfield
State
IL
Logo
Name of Farm
Three Plaid Farmers
Farm Bio
We are a couple of dedicated farmers with 20collective years of small farming experience who grow a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. We run a CSA in the western suburb of Winfield that also serves Chicago, Evanston, and Glen Ellyn. All of our crops are heirloom/open pollinated because we believe in promoting genetic diversity, strive to increase our knowledge of seed saving, and hope to grow plants that are well adapted to our specific Midwest climate. We don't use chemicals of any kind, and try to have as little impact on the land as possible. CSA is our main focus and a philosophy we truly believe in. Anytime we have a bumper crop, it goes to you. We aim to have happy, well-fed members.

We plant more than 200 cultivars, ranging from common vegetables that everyone loves (like tomatoes, potatoes, and cucumbers) to the rare and delicious (like shungiku, Malabar spinach, and wrinkled crinkled crumpled cress) and everything in between. Our CSA is for people who like variety and trying new things, but also for those who love getting loaded up on some staples (in an average season you might, for instance, feel the need to learn how to preserve tomatoes in our CSA).

We believe that choosing what you eat is one of the most important decisions you can make for yourself and your community. Which is why we also believe in growing clean, healthy, and delicious food in the most transparent way possible.
 

Farm and Contact Information

Name of Farmer(s)
Carolyn Cismoski
Primary Contact Person
Joe Pisciotto
Email of Primary Contact
Phone No(s) of Primary Contact
6303909582
Physical Address(es) of Farm(s)
1S164 Indian Knoll Rd, Winfield, IL 60190
Number of Tillable Acres or Acres in Production
6 tillable, 3 in production
Number of Years Farming
6
Business Type
  • Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
Website Address
 

CSA Information

Number of Years Selling as CSA
6
Number of CSA shares last year/season
50
CSA Share Types
  • Vegetables
  • Flowers
  • Other
If Full Diet or Other, please provide details
We try to also include an herb/herbal tea each week.
Delivery Areas
  • Chicago Loop
  • Chicago North Side
  • Chicago South Side
  • Far West Suburbs
  • North Shore Suburbs
  • On-Farm
Explain "Other" or provide specific communities/neighborhoods served
Glen Ellyn
Evanston
Winfield (on-farm)
Are you interested in adding new pickup sites?
No
CSA Seasons
  • Summer (May/Jun-Oct/Nov)
Describe your CSA Share(s)
We offer a full, equal share of veggies, herbs, fruit, and herbal teas to our members each week for 20 weeks starting in mid-June. We grow seasonally and harvest our crops when they are at their peak, sharing the bounty with you. Our shares are packed in insulated bags (about the size of a paper grocery bag) with ice packs. An average share contains 8-12 different items and feeds a family of four on a mixed diet or two vegetable loving vegetarians. Each share comes with a detailed newsletter describing and identifying (with a photo) each crop in your share. The newsletter also has updates from the farm and plenty of recipes for everything in your share. $720/year. We offer payment plans.
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
Very rarely, we will supplement our CSA shares by trading items of which we have great abundance for items we are short on with other local farms who share our growing philosophy. We always let members know when this happens and where the crops are from.
Other (non-CSA) business from farming
  • Farmstand/Farm Store on-site
  • Farm Dinners
  • Other
If Other, please specify
We grow some crops specifically for seed production. The farmstand is pending.
CSA Payment Methods
  • Check
  • Cash
  • Credit/Debit
  • Online
  • Installments
  • Post-Dated Checks
  • Other or Worker Share
If Other or Worker Share, please explain
We accept a limited amount of workershares to help on the farm in exchange for a weekly share (4-5 hours commitment per week from late April through late October). Contact us for availability.
Do you offer any add-on items from your farm or other farms?
Yes
If Yes above, which add-on items do you offer from OTHER farms?
  • Eggs
  • Meat/Poultry
If you selected Other or any of the above items, please itemize farms, locations, production methods
Meat, poultry, egg CSA from Mint Creek Farm, Stelle, IL. Available at certain pickup locations. Please check out Mint Creek's BOF profile to learn about their production methods.
Have you ever had a major crop/livestock loss? How did/would you handle it with your customers?
We've lost crops in the past to weather/pests, but we grow enough varieties that something is always thriving and filling out the CSA shares. If a catastrophic event ever did occur, we'd skip weeks and make up for them later in the season, if feasible.
How do you build community between your customers and the farm?
We are all about transparency, and we welcome visits to the farm. If you want to volunteer for a few hours to see what it's like on our farm, we'd love to have you. If you just want a tour, we'd love to show you around. Please email us to arrange a visit. We also supply veggies and participate in farm dinners at Mint Creek Farm.
 

Farming and Production Practices

Describe your farming practices
We don't use any synthetic chemicals. We don't even use organic approved pesticides. We grow everything in concert with nature, using cover cropping, compost, and manure to feed our soil. We farm mostly by hand, and use a small walk-behind tractor to work our soil.
Describe your pest control practices
We do our best to grow healthy plants that utilize their innate natural pest-fighting abilities. We also companion plant to encourage beneficial insects and discourage the crop eaters. We plant specific varieties that certain bugs don't like. If our crops have a few holes in them, we don't think that's such a big deal. When an insect infestation does occur and threatens the survival of a crop, we mostly remove the pests by hand. Deer are repelled through a combination of barriers (row cover, deer netting) and ultrasonic motion sensors. We practice crop rotation, which moves crops from place to place every year, helping to somewhat disrupt pest reproduction cycles.
Describe your weed control practices
We use hoes and hands to destroy weeds. We plant densely to discourage weed growth in the first place. We do a limited amount of mulching with straw and biodegradable film. We also cover crop when possible.
Describe your efforts to prevent and treat diseases in your crops
We add compost to our field and grow and incorporate various cover crops, all of which help improve the soil and create stronger plants that are more resistant to disease. We walk the field daily to identify diseased plants. We will remove the sick plants if they pose a threat to the rest of the crop. Our thorough crop rotation plan also discourages disease persistence. When possible, we plant varieties that have disease resistance. In the case of powdery mildew, which is an airborne fungus that weakens many crops each year, we are experimenting with homemade, harmless to plants and animals, anti-fungal sprays.
Describe your efforts at enhancing fertility
We grow cover crops that, when incorporated into the soil, become a green manure. These crops either fix nitrogen from the air, or use their incredible roots to scavenge nutrients from the depths of the soil. These nutrients become available to the succeeding vegetable crop after the green manure breaks down. We also add compost and aged manure to our field. We enhance fertility for our seedlings in the greenhouse with fish emulsion.
Describe your seed/plant start sources and practices (including use/avoidance of GMO seeds)
All our greenhouse seedlings (we start all our own crops aside from sweet potatoes) are grown in a soil mix that is organic approved and consists mostly of composted cow manure. All our seeds either come from our own stock or are sourced from companies who do not knowingly sell GMO seeds. We are aware of which seed varieties are grown by the big GMO companies and double check to avoid those varieties. All our plants are heirloom or open pollinated.
 

Band of Farmers Pledge

I agree to The Band of Farmers Pledge.
Yes

                            


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