Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

Montalbano Farms
Sandwich, IL

Montalbano Farms is a certified organic farm built on gently rolling acres in northern Illinois. Our mission is simple: to grow food forever. How we make that happen is a big part of our love story.

Christina and Rob founded Montalbano Farms in order to grow healthy food for families. Like us, our community wants food grown on a farm that has a positive impact on the environment. We take care of this land. We work to replenish our soil, leaving it in better shape each and very year. The fertility that we have built keeps over 70 varieties of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers growing strong. In short, we are a certified organic farm because we simply cannot imagine growing any other way.

We boost soil and plant health by rotating our fields, planting cover crops, and choosing regional varieties. We encourage beneficial insects like ladybugs and native bees. We create safe spaces for them to live and nest on land that is resting and not used for production of food. In turn, these beneficial insects help us manage the pests that affect our food crops. By working with nature, we are able to create a productive farm that serves our present and our future.

Our farm actively grows many varietals on Slow Food’s Ark of Taste, which works to recognize and protect endangered foods of culinary and cultural significance. We cultivate delicious vegetables like Radiator Charlie’s Mortgage Lifter tomato, Jimmy Nardello’s Italian frying pepper and many more. The stories behind our vegetables drive our purpose and connect our families with their food.

Montalbano Farms is transparent. Families are welcome to visit and learn about organic agriculture. We host educational workshops and give tours too. We are members of a farmer cooperative that trains and educates new farmers. We build hope and opportunity for our workers, communities and children.

Our hardworking farm crew and our committed farm families give back to the community. With the generous support of our Community Supported Agriculture members, we donate thousands of pounds of our very finest and freshest organic produce to food pantries throughout Chicagoland. Founded in 2006, Montalbano Farms received the Chicago Reader’s “Best Local Farm” award in 2014 and 2015

Rob, Christina, and the whole crew at Montalbano Farms are honored to be a finalist in the Green Business People and Planet award.