I grew up on a farm. Gardening was a part of life. My mother, at 88, still grows vegetables every year. I’ve always had a garden to help feed my family. In 2007 I decided to try and sell some of my excess vegetables. It was a small, slow beginning, but I found I really enjoy gardening and am moderately good at it. In 2010, my son John, married Dusty Sanor and I offered her a job. I didn’t want to be my daughter-in-law’s boss, so I offered a partnership. How many people get the opportunity to work with their daughter-in-law? I’m honored that she said yes. With her youth, enthusiasm, and good business sense, our business has grown and thrived. We make a good team. We are both passionate about fresh local food. We both can, dry, freeze and cook all the vegetables we grow and encourage our customers to do the same. We care about having the best, freshest vegetables and love hearing about people who thought they hated certain vegetables until they had eaten those vegetables fresh from the garden. We work at taking care of the soil and all life that works together to produce nourishing plants. We are always learning and experimenting to find just the right varieties of vegetables that like Illinois weather and East Galesburg soil. Spurgeon Veggies has become much more that I originally dreamed. I don’t know where we will go from here, I just know I want to keep gardening, like my mother, as long as I physically can.
I’m Dusty, Eloise’s daughter-in-law. I arrived on the farm scene in 2010 shortly after graduating from college. With work hard to come by at the time, I began helping out at the farm and farmers’ market in downtown Galesburg. Soon, vegetable farming became a full-time job and now my lifetime commitment. I’ve had to learn a lot over the past few years as Spurgeon Veggies’s manager, and quickly – of course, I’m still learning – but it’s all been a fantastic experience. I love the physically challenging, outdoor work on the farm and wouldn’t have it any other way! At the same time, I have a hand in producing some of the most delicious vegetables I’ve ever had in an environmentally conscious manner. It’s certainly trying at times (working around mother nature can definitely make one feel inconsequential now and then), but the reward of providing beautiful produce for my family and my community is always great. The farm is, quite literally, a breath of fresh air in the world of industrial agriculture, and I will continue to work hard to maintain the health and beauty of the land I manage. Now, with my very own farm in Rio to care for, I’m excited to see what the future holds for us!