Aerial photo of Down River Farm in East, Peoria, IL
Sunset on the Farm (with Poppy looking curious)
Down River Farm supplies Peoria, Illinois with the freshest and finest of vegetables in the area.
Evan Barry, farmer and owner, grew up exploring the Fox River three hours north in the suburbs of Chicago. The Fox River is a tributary to the Illinois River, the river that flows through Peoria. He's simply movin' on down the river, hence the name of the farm.
Metaphorically, the name also suggests the farm's hopes to mitigate an agricultural system that negatively affects people and communities down river. This is mostly due to runoff of top soil, sediment, and chemical applications that are able to washout of conventional farm fields due to improper management. When soil is left bare and we get adverse weather, soil erodes from the landscape bringing anything that was applied to it into nearby streams and creeks which eventually drain into the Illinois River, Mississippi River, and finally into the Gulf Coast. Our farming practices greatly impact more than just the food we create and our regional soils' health.
To that effect, Down River Farm aims to minimize the use of fossil fuels by growing in and selling to Peoria, buying local amendments whenever possible, and utilizing only a two-wheeled tractor and hand tools for working the land. Additionally, no pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers will ever be used. Read more about our practices here.
Down River Farm plans on selling produce at the Peoria Riverfront Market, the Morton Farmers Market, to a small group of CSA members, and through wholesale accounts in the Peoria area.
With a growing amount of hoophouses, we aim to "extend" the shoulder seasons so that we can offer more products for a longer period of time.