Saturday, September 17
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
In Person: Beecher, IL
Free - Registration Required
Join this field walk at Tulip Tree Gardens in Beecher, Illinois (Will County) to get a glimpse of the creative, regenerative farming Rachael and Jesse Smedberg are doing on the land and the unique entrepreneurial approach they are taking with their business.
The name Tulip Tree Gardens name originated from Rachael and Jesse's initial agriculture endeavor, a micro farm where they had a 120+ year old tulip tree over their gardens. At their current 80-acre farm, they continue to make "gardens" throughout the farm, so they chose to stick with the name, staying connected to the past and the lifestyle brand they've built over the years.
The field walk will begin with Jesse and Rachael introducing you to their hemp fields. Initially, the hemp was strictly for the CBD oil they have the capacity to extract and customize on site. Going forward, they also plan to use hemp as part of the crop rotation preceding the conversion of land to pasture for the livestock that will be rotationally grazing. Because of the way hemp remediates the soil, they believe it can be a great cover crop in addition to producing a cash crop in hemp grain.
Their long-term goal is for the farm to be fully regenerative with each farming element contributing to the health of the whole farm ecosystem. This already includes vegetables, honey, and pigs. Over time, Jesse and Rachael will also be adding cattle and tree products as well.
Then you’ll move indoors to see the extraction laboratory and hear more about how they’ve made themselves successful (without off-farm jobs) through branding, marketing, cooperation with other farmers, U-picks, events, diversification and many other ways.
During lunch (bring your own brown bag), you’ll have the chance to ask more questions and talk with fellow attendees.
If time permits, Jess and Rachael will also share their land access story which is remarkable in its own right and demonstrates their creativity and ability to pivot quickly.
The Liberty Prairie Foundation (of which Northeast Illinois FarmLink is a program) is one of the planning members of the IDEA Farm Network. The IDEA Farm Network is a coalition of farmers, landowners, researchers, non-profits, and interested eaters who come together to share and grow ideas of how to farm better and smarter. The Network has an email listserv and also organizes field walks and other educational events. Learn more here!
firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-507-5989
Rachael and Jesse Smedberg
Tulip Tree Gardens
When Rachael and Jesse decided to go from part-time micro-farming on ¾ of an acre to buying an 80-acre farm, they went all in. Rather than keep some non-farm income on the side, Jesse sold his industrial engineering business. “We wanted to prove family farming could make money,” they said. This has not been easy. They have twins, are gradually expanding their farm enterprises on land that used to be conventionally farmed, and need to renovate many of the buildings on site. Their most recent Sunday evening date night was installing fence posts together. And they loved it.