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CSA: Esther’s Place / Lamb of God Farm
(June-October 2014)

Thank you for considering joining our farm’s All Natural Vegetable Delivery Program this 2014 Season! We have been farming for 14 years and have experienced  many varied seasons…from too much rain to the severe drought.  Despite the challenges, God has provided and we want to be able to share the bounty and the life lessons from the farm. We will be selecting heirloom seeds, starting the transplants in our greenhouse. Then we will be planting and tending the crops as well as finalizing plans to include creative recipes and canning and preserving tips in our weekly boxes!

Each box is packed full of the freshest variety of farm goodies. We offer two shares: full and half. Full Share boxes are about 24” Lx18”Wx 7”H (heaping…a generous  bushel’s worth) so you will be sure to get good quality produce that didn’t get damaged in packing. It is recommended for 4-5. Half shares are about 12” L x 9” W x 7” H and a half bushel, recommended for 1-2. We’re growing more variety of your everyday favorites this year- lots of potatoes, super sweet corn, broccoli, cabbage, heirloom tomatoes, onions, peppers, winter squashes, beets and more! That’s in addition to the diversity of lettuces, spinach, chard, kale, scallions, kohlrabi, radishes, cucumbers, zucchini, patty pans, eggplant, melons, string beans, turnips, herbs, and lots more.

 We recommend a 20 week share for your family or split the cost with another couple who wants to can and preserve a bit, or have a high veggie diet).  We guarantee that the produce is picked just hours before you receive it. We also dedicate our production to our members… we don’t go to farmer’s markets or wholesale any of our produce!  You never have to be concerned that we will cut you short on your investment.  You can extend the investment thru the winter with produce you can freeze and can!!
    
This year we are offering  the 20 week full share for $795 the 20 week half share for $600. Payment in full (cash, check or charge card) is very much appreciated so we can fund the start up costs such as fuel fills, seeds, and other needed supplies. You can also use our payment program which involves an initial payment of $397.50/ $300 prior to June 3rd and a second payment of $397.50/$300  no later than July 8th (with your card on file or a pre-dated personal check).

The following is a list of dates and locations for drop offs. Optional this year is a door-to door delivery, within a 10 mile radius of our drop offs. This is an additional $5 a box per week. You can always get in touch with us at the farm (630-556-3476), or shop (630-556-9665). Please call 24 hours ahead if you need to arrange alternative dates/location due to vacation or other scheduling conflicts. We can always arrange a box at Esther’s Place if you are unable to meet your normally scheduled time. 

Our family wants to sincerely thank you for believing in our farming efforts and investing in the 2014 season. We promise you the best that we can grow and provide from other local farms. As a new addition, each week we will be providing easy to follow and quick recipes as well as tips for preserving the bounty in our e-newsletter. Thank you for your support and here’s to a great season of terrific foods!

Sincerely,
The Lehrer Family


Download the Lamb Of God Farm CSA form here


Pick Up/Drop Off Points:

Wheaton
Monday 4:00- 4:30 pm
East Parking lot up against railroad tracks
Billy Graham Museum, Wheaton College, 500 College Avenue, Wheaton  60187
June 2,9,16, 23/ July 7,14,21,28/ August 4,11,18,25/ Sept. 1,8,15,22,29/ Oct.6,13

Fox Valley Area Pick Up
Monday 6:30-7:00pm
515 S. Frontenac ,parking lot Village Baptist Church
Aurora  60502 (corner of Rt 34 (Ogden Blvd and Frontenac)
June 2,9,16, 23/ July 7,14,21,28/ August 4,11,18,25/ Sept. 1,8,15,22,29/ Oct.6,13

St. Charles Pick Up                
Elgin: Harvest Bible Church
Thursday: 6:30-7:00 pm         
Thursday: 7:30-8:00pm  
1000 North Randall Rd 60123

Kane County Farm Bureau Office Parking Lot:
2N710 Randall Road, St.Charles 60174
June 5,12, 19, 26/ July 3,10,17,24,31/ August 7,14,21,28,/ Sept.4,11,18,25/Oct.2,9,16

Big Rock Pick Up
Thursdays at Esther’s Place 2:00-7:00 pm
201 West Galena Street, Big Rock, IL
June 5,12, 19, 26/ July 3,10,17,24,31/ August 7,14,21,28,/ Sept.4,11,18,25/Oct.2,9,16

 

Lamb of God Farm

Sometimes God takes you on an adventure, changing your course and enriching your life as you ride along. That is what Lamb of God Farm is all about, and I would like to share how it all came about as I tell you the story.

Our family had long been that of a typical suburban persuasion. Scott worked for a typical American corporation, running that rat race and climbing that ladder of success. The moves from place to place, from job transfer to job transfer, was wearing the marriage thin and weakening the ties of family. Donna kept the home fires burning, raising two children and striving to develop a sense of community when it seemed so hard to maintain continuity.

Somewhere in the middle of that, Scott and Donna become disconnected and the inevitable came. Those divorce papers. The heartache. The struggle. Proceedings for the divorce however, seemed to come to a halt. One obstacle after another seemed to stall the finality of the divorce. Still for five years, separate households were maintained, and their two children lived split lives between both parents.

Yet one day, one very precious day in November of 1997, God stepped in. He is always there by us, but it has to be just the right time for His plan to unfold, and that was the day. In the proceeding months, feeling down with nowhere else to go, both Scott and Donna began to seek out a church family. Perhaps it was the feeling of hopelessness that drove them to seek something bigger than themselves. Or maybe it was just to fill some longing in their hearts for stability and security. But on that day in November, they found what they were longing for when they gave their life over to Christ.

They had a new perspective on life. A sense of belonging, a sense of community with a friend who always was there to listen to their needs. And they began to pray for their situation. Before long, they had agreed to meet with a pastor to do marriage counseling. In that counseling, their hearts were softened and their issues reconciled. They realized that above all, God had given them a promise to uphold in all phases of life, in all situations. It was to cherish one another in all life would bring. That meant looking past the problems and realizing God is the only one that could solve them.

With that commitment, the family was reunited and bigger changes were right on the horizon. I’m convinced that we are like a piece of clay in the potter’s hands. He is not content just to form a shape, or a vase. That won’t do. He has to continue to refine it, shape it, mold it until it is exactly the vision that the artist holds in their head for that piece of clay. They didn’t even have the slightest idea of what was in store for their family over the next ten years!

Scott had enough of climbing the rungs of that corporate ladder at the cost of his family and his values. When the company offered him a 50% reduction in salary, unbelievably enough, he saw this as an opportunity for change. No longer could they maintain their lifestyle status quo. But where to now?
Then came along a rainbow ultra-light glider. You may be asking what that has to do with life changing experiences. That glider flew above their home on one fall day, and Donna thought this would be a fun exploration for her children, whom they were now home schooling. A few phone calls later and a car drive later, they arrived at the Aurora Airport looking for their mystery glider. No glider was to be found, but their adventure was just beginning. That first trip out to Sugar Grove, IL was the start of many myriad of trips out west. By some invisible force, they kept being drawn to the western edge where fields of corn still stood, and people waved at you when you passed them on the road. This was a place of slower pace, simpler times and sweet beginnings for Scott, Donna, Natasha and Eric.

They moved to their little slice of heaven in May 2000. Nestled among their eight spacious acres was a brook, a pine grove, cottonwood stand, gardens, trees, house and barns. It was an ideal place to reconcile the hurt and heartache that had consumed their lives for so many years. Among the growing things and the fresh air, things were different. Simpler.

Until they started to acquire the animals…first three sheep, then chickens, then goats. But all of that was still enjoyable and now they had their own eggs, milk and wool. Yet, status quo never stays that for long and two years into their life on the farm, Scott lost his job. Now they had to keep paying the bills on their own, and they turned to the farm they resided upon. The gardens became market gardens, grass got turned over for more useful purposes and they were scheduled for their first farmers market in Wheaton, IL for the summer of 2002. But what to call their farm? Had they really given it a thought until now? Lamb of God Farm is what was settled upon, because it told the whole story in a nutshell. New beginnings and forgiveness. Hope and a future. It spoke of the One who changes things for the better and gives encouragement. It gave them a chance to tell their story.

Before long, they were traveling to three farmers markets a week. Those who knew them then, remember the salads, heirloom tomatoes and sweet corn of great popularity. Organically grown and fresh as could be, they strived to put forth the best tasting and most unique the market had offer. Every morning before dawn, the truck would get loaded and off to the market they went.

During the third year, they started to offer a CSA, or community based agriculture program. In addition to their markets, they had customers that would buy a season of produce during those cold spring months, and in return would get a box of produce each week ‘til the end of the season. They were a part of the ebbs and flows of the garden and became partners with the farm. Lamb of God Farm had forty subscribers at a point, with three drop-offs across the Chicago suburbs. That was in addition to serving the Wheaton French Market and the Yorkville, Aurora, Lombard, St.Charles and Wheaton Thursday markets.

Evenings would be spent preparing for the markets, days spent tending the gardens. Quite a few acres saw their share of tomatoes, salad and corn and over a hundred other types of produce. Yet God always has different directions in which He takes you. At about this same time, Esther’s Place was born and the golden age of Lamb of God Farm’s market production was growing dimmer.

Lamb of God Farm is back strong and offering CSA Shares for the local community. They are mentoring new farmers who are starting out in this area. They are working in local and state organizations to make sure the voice of the produce farmer is heard. They are doing important work to make sure consumers have a chance to experience fresh-from-the-farm goodness, whether it is in teaching canning, or teaching school children about heirloom vegetables.

They enjoy encouraging others. Some people think one must have a college degree, or read all the books on the subject, or be raised on a farm, or intern in Africa, or drink wheatgrass everyday to make the transition from a suburbanite to a ruralite. But the difference is this: one must be open to working hard. Working hard on your farm, working hard to be a part of the community you are in, and working hard to make an impact on someone’s life each and every day. And you must have faith. Faith that there is a plan for everything that happens in your life and that God knows that plan. It’s just the fact that we don’t that makes it so frustrating. And last but not least, you must have humor. Laugh often and laugh much.

So I hope you can see now why I said that God takes you on adventures. The folks at Lamb of God Farm learned that. They know still that the adventure continues, and they don’t know what is going to happen in the days yet to come. Yet they have learned who they can trust.

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