Reverence Gardens is a located in Round Lake, Illinois, about an hour north of Chicago. Reverence Gardens was run as a commercial veganic farm through a customer subscription program in 2007 and 2008, and was Certified Naturally Grown in 2008. Starting in the 2009 season, the farmers are changing their focus and transitioning Reverence Gardens to a large family garden, and are also hoping it can be used for outreach as a demonstration garden for veganic growing.
Reverence Gardens is run by Chris Pado, with the help of her family. The Reverence Gardens website, www.reverencegardens.com, features a blog, photos, and local food recipes. The website offers plenty of transparency, with a complete list of all theinputs used, and also links to each of theirseed providers.
In past years, Chris grew a wide variety of predominantly heirloom vegetables. In the coming years, the emphasis will be on flour corns, dried beans, edamame, and storage vegetables, to create a year-round veganic food supply for her family. Fertility is maintained primarily through alfalfa meal, green manure, comfrey tea, and organic molasses. Plant-based mulches of hay, straw and leaves are used to suppress weeds and retain moisture.
Reverence Gardens was founded by Chris so she could grow food in accordance with her values. As she learned that many plant-foods were grown with pesticides and slaughterhouse by-products, she realized that by growing her own food she could assure that it was grown with respect for animals and nature. She also viewed this as an opportunity to demonstrate that great looking and great tasting produce can be grown with reverence toward all life. She objects to the use of pesticides, even organic pesticides. Chris relies on maintaining both healthy plants and a healthy ecosystem for pest and disease control, and believes that working with nature, not subduing it, is the more effective way of living on this earth.
While Reverence Gardens will likely not be selling commercially in the 2009 season, interested parties are welcome to make arrangements to visit the farm by contacting Chris directly through her website: www.reverencegardens.com