We started this farm to honor the legacy of Funks Grove and the generations of this family that have stewarded this land since the 1840s, and to honor those who came before our families, and the land with which they partnered. This farm is our attempt to carry on that work, while also making something new. We want Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains to be a place of compassion, beauty, and joy, a place where people can thrive within our ecosystem and also get something great to eat.
We began in 2016 with our first orchard and grain plantings, and since then have developed food products that make the best of our own crops and those of our neighbors. We use the commercial kitchen and incredible sirup from Funks Grove Pure Maple Sirup to develop an ever-growing line of baking mixes, preserved fruit products, and seasonal items, and sell them through the sirup shop and a number of central Illinois stores and farms. While we are not certified organic, all our crops are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Our grains are milled by Hazzard Free Farm in Pecatonica, and our fruit comes from either our own farm or other central Illinois growers. We currently grow on nine acres, located at what many people think of as the entrance to Funks Grove, just across the train tracks from Old Route 66.
While all three of us have spent most of our lives in and around farming, we are embarking on a new journey here. We have much to learn about growing grains and fruit, and trying to incorporate sustainable production methods, ranging from agroforestry to pollinator habitat to low-till organic soil management. In the years ahead, we hope to expand our acreage, incorporate more perennial production and livestock, and fine-tune our foraging and wooded landscape management.
We also hope to start drawing more people to our farm. We have been given a beautiful place here on earth, and we hope to share it with people. Katie is already a yoga instructor among her many roles, and we hope to soon offer yoga classes on the farm. We also may be able to host occasional events on the farm, whether that be farm-to-table dinners, weddings, or markets. Our major long-term goal is the establishment of a diner in the classic roadside style of Historic Old Route 66, with a sharp focus on using food grown on our farm and by our regional neighbors. We also hope that the diner will include a brewery to make use of Jonathan's considerable beer-brewing prowess.
In the end, this is a land of impossibly rich soils, of quiet living, and of great promise. We intend to honor that, to grow that, and to cultivate the best of what central Illinois has to offer.