The story of our family farm originated over thirty years ago near the shores of Lake Erie in the heart of rural Ohio where sweet, moist lake winds transform the sandy soil that was once the lake bottom into rich, fertile earth.
The family patriarch, Bob Jones, Sr. has always had a pioneering spirit and from his very first days as a farmer, he was constantly looking for ways to innovate and improve his work. These efforts resulted in improving crop yields by modifying his John Deere tractor to increase field production and analyzing the soil to understand what it needed to coax from it the most flavorful, nutritionally dense fresh vegetables possible.
Bob and his two sons, Lee and Bob Jr., would harvest and pack their produce each week to sell at the farm markets throughout Cleveland and to stock the farm stand located in the front yard of their traditional farmhouse.
Their lives changed forever when a severe hailstorm in the 1980s severely damaged their crops, threatening their livelihoods and the survival of the farm. It was during this time that Lee Jones had a serendipitous encounter with a chef who asked him if their farm would be able to grow squash blossoms for her restaurant.
This request planted a seed that germinated in the family’s conversation as they endeavored to rebuild their farm. They decided that they were going to take their farm in a new direction by focusing on the needs and desires of chefs and by replacing conventional farming methods focused on high yield production over flavor for responsible sustainable farming practices that emphasized quality instead of quantity.
The farm was transformed into a playground for chefs who reveled in the abundance of microgreens, heirloom vegetables, microgreen herbs, specialty lettuces and edible flowers that now flourished in the fields and greenhouses. The fertile soil of the farm and the microclimate created by the lake winds that enrich it were ideal for “growing vegetables slowly and gently in full accord with nature.” This is the guiding principle of the farm and the family’s commitment to its message dictates every aspect of sustainable farming at The Chef’s Garden.
The Jones family's farm has been delivering products with optimum shelf life, quality, flavor and nutrition direct from the farm to the world's most discriminating chefs for nearly 30 years. Under the guidance of Bob Jones, Sr., Lee Jones, and Bob Jones, Jr., The Chef's Garden employs traditional farming methods combined with innovative technology to stay on the leading edge of the produce business.