KRD Farms, Illinois
Kyle Dionne and his wife, Rebecca, started KRD Farms in 2018 to provide their community with organic produce at a fair price. In an area with a high concentration of farms, KRD Farms is one of the few that is certified organic. They believe that this will change in the coming years, but in the meantime, they are doing everything that they can to expand their operations and bring fresh food to northern Illinois.
Know Your Farmer | KRD Farms, Illinois
Kyle Dionne: I just want to give somebody the choice. That’s one of the biggest reasons that we started this. I want to give people the choice to have locally grown organic food.
The Pathway to Organic Farming at KRD Farms
My name is Kyle Dionne with KRD Farms. We’re a certified organic vegetable farm. We market in both Marengo, Illinois and Huntley, Illinois. We’re also looking possibly to open a farm stand here at the farm in the future. I think every small town should have a local organic farm or have access to local organic food.
This is our second year as certified organic farming. My first introduction into organic farming was as a consultant with Midwestern BioAg. My real passion for the organic side actually came from a gentleman by the name of Mr. Gary Zimmer. I spent countless hours being taught by both him and a lot of the consultants up there. You could see his passion just the soil itself. That is what drove me to farm organically off the cusp of what’s status quo around here for farms.
Flavor Starts with Soil
The basis of KRD Farms, which Gary taught me, is that everything starts with the soil – to balance the soil out. Then we’ll start working on our micronutrients from there.
Flavors come out of your micronutrients. I’ve been told we’ve had some pretty good tasting vegetables from just random people that bought our vegetables. And I take a lot of pride in that – that I’ve got something that’s a little bit different. It doesn’t just look good; it tastes good too.
Getting Back to the Roots
At KRD Farms, we don’t believe in hydroponics. The hydroponic system isn’t organic. I don’t think it ever should have been introduced as organic. There was too much of a push for that.
Organic soil based. That’s where its roots are. If you dig deep into the roots of the organic standards and where they came from in the mid-90s, everybody was soil-based organic practices. Not taking an emulsion and feeding water to a plant and producing enormous tomatoes that are tasteless. A lot of your tastes come from what that plant gets from the roots.
I think organic needs to get back to its roots, back to the soil, back to small mom and pop farms. Not people looking to make multi-million dollars on this stuff. It started out as a grassroots campaign. It needs another grassroots campaign to push it even further.