– Angelic Organics –
Angelic Organics, located in Caledonia, Illinois, is one of the oldest and currently the largest community-supported agriculture (CSA) farm in the United States. The farm has grown produce in accordance with biodynamic principles since 1990 and has operated as a CSA since 1993.
When Lester Peterson married Anna Nielsen in the 1930s, they settled on a rundown farm in the community where Lester and Anna had grown up. The main part of the farmhouse had been turned into a corn crib, and the basement had been used to store potatoes. The newlyweds shoveled the remaining corn out of their new home, carried bushels of spoiled potatoes out of the basement, chased out rats, and moved in.
By the time John Peterson, the founder of Angelic Organics, arrived in the Peterson family, dairy and poultry were the mainstays of the farm. At an early age, John started helping with the poultry chores. By his ninth birthday, he had been promoted to the dairy, where, morning and night, he helped with milking and feeding the cows.
By the mid-1960s, many of the homey little farms that dotted the countryside were either going through expansion in order to survive or were closing their barn doors. The Peterson farm went the expansion route, until financial calamity arrived in the early 1980s, almost closing the farm down for good.
However, enough of the Peterson land survived the shakeout to build anew. In 1990, John started up farming again, this time with a different approach. He wanted a natural system by which to farm, a system in which results were derived from the integrity of the soil, not the shenanigans of crop chemicals and petroleum-based fertilizers.
This was the birth of Angelic Organics—a rebirth, actually, from the great losses of the 1980s. As Angelic Organics slowly got its footing in the challenging new world of sustainable agriculture, it turned to Biodynamics and the community supported agriculture model for a truly comprehensive approach to farming.
Farming is not just about raising vegetables, but also about those who receive the vegetables: to reunite consumers with their source of food, to share the magnificent drama of farming, to give children the opportunity to see their vegetables grow. This completes the farming picture beautifully, providing deep satisfaction to customers and farmers alike.
More information on Angelic Organics can be found here: AngelicOrganics.com