When this story began — some 30 years ago, not far from the shores of Lake Erie — Bob Jones could be found tinkering with an old John Deere tractor, designing modifications that would increase the efficiency of field production on his family's farm.
Every week, Bob and his two sons, Lee and Bobby, harvested and packed produce to take to the Cleveland farmers' markets. They also sold their produce daily from a stand in the front yard of their farm home.
In the 1980s, after a significant loss of crops following a severe hailstorm threatened their survival in agriculture, Lee Jones met a chef who was interested in purchasing squash blossoms. As they rebuilt, the family made a decision to focus on the needs of chefs.
Conventional farming that emphasized high yield over flavor was out and growing responsibly for quality, instead of quantity, was the Jones family's new direction. A world of microgreens, microgreen herbs, heirloom vegetables, specialty lettuces and edible flowers blossomed at the farm.
In Huron, Ohio, the lake winds bring sweet, moist air; the soil, which was formerly lake bottom, is sandy and fertile. This combination offers the perfect microclimate for "growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature."® This is the commitment that guides the family's approach to agriculture today.
While farming at The Chef's Garden has evolved "back in time," using methods employed by our great grandfathers, innovation and new product development help us remain the leading grower of artisanal produce in the nation. In addition, with advanced food safety programs that include routine testing for foodborne illnesses and a bar-code system that tracks a product from seed to shipping, The Chef's Garden provides our customers with safe food, direct from the farm that they can be confident to serve their guests.
Recognizing our like-minded methods and philosophies, we've been privileged to deliver the finest culinary ingredients direct from our farm to restaurants around the world for over 30 years. We believe our success comes from a doggedness to survive in agriculture, our commitment to delivering the best-tasting and freshest products direct from Earth to Table® and our willingness to listen to a chef's needs.