Chefs Dig In to Support Spence Farm Foundation


Last Fall, board member and chef, Thomas Leavitt traveled to Spence Farm with a handful of other Chicago chefs including Marianne Sundquist, Carlos Ysaguirre, Heidi Hedecker,  Stephanie Izard, Chris Pandel, Jared van Camp for a weekend of sustainable farming education. The weekend included sessions on live butchering, soil analysis, beekeeping and tastings of sustainable vs industrially produced farm products.  Spence Farm is known for its commitment to organic and sustainable farming.  Owners Marty and Kris Travis are uniquely connected to both the Chicago chef community and their farming neighbors.  They created the non-profit educational organization, Spence Farm Foundation and the Stewards of the Land farming co-op.

After returning to Chicago the chefs began meeting to explore ways to impact local farm to table initiatives. This group of passionate chefs gathered in one place sparked the formation of a community organization dedicated to bridging the gap between the city and the farm, for the future of both, Ground Up!

Ground Up just helped to launch an Indoor Farmers’ Market at Brown Trout restaurant (4111 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL), as an incubation market for small family farms.

The Farmers Market at Brown Trout is on Tuesday evenings from 5-8pm with the market running every Tuesday until September 18th. If you are a farmer and are interested in participating in the market, please contact Market Manager and chef of Brown Trout,  Sean Sanders at 773-472-4111.


Chef Tom