Community Gardens: Angelic Organics

Heroes, Local Heroes
on August 1, 2006
John Peterson and Angelic Organics

For John Peterson, it took a village to save his farm. When he inherited the farm in Caledonia, Ill., at the age of 20, he worked it just as his parents had. But times were tough. He went into debt and couldn’t recover. He sold off a good portion of the farm, turned to acting, writing and art, and moved to Mexico. But he couldn’t shake the lifestyle he loved. He returned and started farming organically.

In 1993 at the request of a downtown Chicago couple enthralled with his organic carrots, he started a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. It proved to be his salvation and a boon to more than 1,200 Chicago-land families who enjoy its harvest every week.

Today Angelic Organics is one of the largest CSAs in the country. After 30 tumultuous years, John is finally at peace with his farm. Today you may even find him romping through his sweet corn fields in a bumblebee outfit. You can read more about him, his cookbook, Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, and his award-winning documentary, The Real Dirt on Farmer John, by going to


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