Hendrick House Farm, part of Hendrick House, is dedicated to producing quality products for our customers using organic practices within Champaign county. Our farm promotes community outreach with our partnerships, Champaign Urbana School Foundation, The Land Connection, SYEP, CARE4U, Unit 4 and Urbana Schools, University of Illinois Extension and Parkland College through our commitment to educating and promoting youth development and community awareness with regard to healthy eating and sustainable agricultural.
Our farming operations include a 10 acre farm and a garden on the rooftop of Hendrick House. Through our farm, we provide seasonal organic produce to the residents of Hendrick House, those dining in Hendrick House contracted dining services locations, those eating at our Betsy’s Bistro locations and the local community through our community supported agriculture program.
The farm began in 2010 with the idea of institution food reform. Ann had worked most of her career as a farm-to-table chef in high end kitchens. She applied that idea for the institution food reform and the Hendrick House farm took shape. The farm has grown with the following milestones:
Our farm is a working farm where we are caring for live animals and growing some incredible organic produce.
Ann has two pigs, Jude and FreeBee, that participate in our outreach and community programs. Jude even has her own Instagram account.
Ann has a duck named Willie. He loves people.
We have a variety of chickens and roosters that call the farm home.
We are growing a wide variety of organic vegetables and fruits on the farm. Checkout a small sampling of what we are harvesting this season.
Celebrity tomatoes are a hybrid that produces long fruit-bearing stems holding 20 or more very plump, robust tomatoes. They grow quickly and produce fruit throughout the season until mid October in most areas.
Purple cauliflower’s brilliant purple heads are a great draw at farm stands and excellent for CSAs and restaurants. The colorful florets are attractive served raw with dip or as a cooked vegetable. The color is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.
The Chioggia beet (pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh), also known as the candy cane or candy stripe beet, hails from Northern Italy and became popular in the 19th century. It’s most notable for its striking deep pink and white spirals, and the beet adds a beautiful pop of color to salads and soups.
Purple Haze is the first imperator-shaped purple carrot. Purple is a very trendy color and gourmet chefs are always looking for a new vegetable color. Purple Haze has a purple exterior and orange interior and has a sweet flavor. Circles of cut Purple Haze carrots have two distinct colors: a halo of purple with a bright orange center.
This delicious blue-green kale selection has a compact habit which is suitable for whole-plant harvests. A heavy yielder when harvested traditionally, picked from the outer leaves, the uniform plants resist yellowing and retain their superb texture and flavor for a long time in the garden.
The uniform, 6-8 inch long, slightly tapered root is sweet and crunchy, prime qualities for snacking. A bright orange Nantes variety, these carrots grow to 1 1/2 inches across and are adorned with a 10 inch tall, dark green top.
Romaine lettuce, also known as Cos lettuce, has long, broad, upright leaves that hold themselves bunched together as they mature. The outer leaves can also be used in salads, as a tortilla substitute for wraps, and are delicious grilled. Romaine lettuce is crisp and juicy, with a sweetness unmatched by other lettuce types.
Tyee spinach is a A fast-growing, slow-bolting, semi-savoy spinach. It is very attractive with slightly rumpled dark green leaves. Especially recommended for spring, fall and over-wintering crops. Ideal for salads, cooked greens and soufflés.
Cherokee red lettuce has dark red leaves and a long harvest window. It has thick, crisp, dark red leaves with good flavor. Similar appearance to Magenta except much darker red color, though not quite as sweet.
Hendrick House Farm is proud to offer a community supported agriculture (CSA) program. In our program, customers (members) “buy in” to the farm, paying an upfront cost for weekly or every other week fresh boxed vegetables over a 20 week period, June through October during the peak farm season.
Look for our next CSA program offering in the Spring of 2020.
Ann Swanson built and manages a 10-acre vegetable farm for a foodservice company called Hendrick House, located in Champaign/ Urbana, Illinois. Ann received her degree from University of South Carolina in Hospitality Management. She is a trained chef, having worked under Sean Brock (Mind of a Chef) for years in Charleston, SC. Ann moved back to the area in 2010, building a weekly tasting menu based on local food for Bacaro called Market Monday. After leaving high end restaurants, Ann wanted to bring a farm to table concept to a forgotten segment of the food industry, institutional food service. She has spent the last eight years working on food reform, training and educating food service workers and the community on locally sourced food, creating and executing educational programs for Hendrick House employees, community youth workshops and also created a fully illustrated book to guide the community on how to handle, store and prepare fresh vegetables. In 2016, Ann wrote and received a SARE grant for her educational work on local food. She has partnered with local schools to build a teaching farm, working with local non-profits to host youth workshops and employ student workers. Ann has two pigs and a duck that live on the farm and help educate youth programs on animals’ role on the farm and also to help reduce food waste within the company. Ann wrote a culinary program for the local community college, which is scheduled to launch fall of 2019. Ann founded Allerton’s annual Forest to Mansion Dinner, featuring a menu created around spring foraged ingredients in the park, which was featured in Midwest Living Magazine in 2017. Ann participates in local farm to table dinners in the community and with Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery. In 2019, Ann was awarded a national 40 under 40 award for her work with her farm and outreach. Ann is an active participant in SARE and currently sits on the NRCS Farm Rancher Review Committee and the SARE Advisory Board.
Thomas Harrison is the owner/ farmer of Crooked Row Farm. The farm is located in Champaign, Illinois and is on it’s 4th year of operation. Thomas is also the assistant farm manager for the Hendrick House Farm. Thomas has had a passion for farming his entire life. Thomas has spent the last 8 years learning organic/natural process farming and the last 6 years farming with organic methods. He began learning about where his food was coming from and decided to make changes in his life to become healthier and to provide clean, nutritional food to his family and friends. This passion has advanced into providing these same beliefs for the community as well because Thomas feels they are also his family and friends. Thomas has previously been involved with the Parkland College Sustainable committee. He is eager to help change the way people think about where their food is coming from.
In 2018, we hosted Edison Middle School STEM camp with Julie Anders (Science teacher) leading the workshops. We held a 2019 Spring Workshop. Fowler Farm open house in the fall.
In 2017, we started providing summer youth workshops. Hendrick House Farm currently hosts five to six during the summer months organized and led by Ann Swanson, Hendrick House Farm Director. The children who attend participate in activities that bring them closer to their food source. We also use our animals to talk about their different roles on the farm and sustainability (they eat our company’s food waste).
Hendrick House donates to many fundraising events hosted by The Land Connection. The farm has also donated supplies to help sponsor their youth education events at the Champaign Farmer’s Market.
This is the second year our farm has been working with these programs. Hendrick House works with the community youth providing hands on job training throughout the summer.
In 2018 and 2019, we have helped local boy scouts do their Eagle Scout Projects for Hendrick House Farm and CUSF.
We work with both to help them to promote healthy living through farm fresh produce. Our CSAs were launched through their companies.
Hendrick House Farm
If you have any questions regarding Hendrick House, the Hendrick House farm, our amenities & services, our dining options or anything else, please feel free to contact us.