Katie Bishop was impressed when chefs from Engrained planned a visit to her family’s farm, PrairiErth Farm, located in Atlanta, Ill.
“The chefs were excited to visit us, walk the fields, tasting as they walked,” she said. “They are really committed to using local food and supporting local farmers.”
PrairiErth currently supplies Engrained with much of the produce we use in our menu items. The diversified operation grows fruit, bedding plants in the spring, and more than 50 different types of vegetables.
They also raise grass-fed beef and heritage pigs, produce honey and grow grains like wheat, oats, corn and soybeans.
Over the years, the farm has moved to an organic mission to meet the needs and wants of its customers.
“We choose to live in harmony with nature because it's actually the path of least resistance,” Katie explained. “The soil is fundamental to everything. Healthy, biologically active soil is what makes food taste good, look good and contain lots of nutrients, so we make sure to take good care of our soil.”
Katie and her husband Hans, along with their staff, operate the farm’s production of vegetables and bedding plants. Hans’ father Dave handles the grain and cows, while Hans’ younger brother Graham raises pigs with the help of farm manager Stephanie.
PrairiErth strives to sell directly to the consumer as much as possible through CSA programs and farmers markets. They also sell to restaurants and grocery stores throughout central Illinois and Chicago.
“We want to work with establishments who appreciate having a relationship with local farmers and who understand the benefits of using very fresh food,” Katie said. “We had met Brent, Engrained’s owner, at local food events and farming conferences. Now we have a wonderful, mutually benefiting relationship, and we're really grateful for it.”
Today, you’ll find PrairiErth’s locally grown foods in many of our dishes at Engrained – and the difference in our farm-fresh produce is noticeable from the first bite.
“It's trendy today for restaurants to say they use local food, but quite often, they do not. Engrained isn't that way. They have legitimate relationships with their farmers, and they’re transparent,” Katie shared. “I really admire Brent and his team.”