Bob Jones, Sr. worked in agriculture for over fifty years, the family patriarch who shaped the regenerative farming vision for The Chef’s Garden. Under his guidance and care, the farm became and remains an innovative leader in small family farming, inspiring new methods for growing, harvesting, packaging and delivering fresh vegetables to the restaurant doors of the world’s most esteemed chefs.
It was Mr. Bob, as he was fondly referred to on the farm, who first identified the value of collaborating with and fulfilling the needs of chefs who were at the forefront of returning to regenerative agriculture, culinary professionals who were committed to reconnecting with food producers who focus on ethical growing practices with an emphasis on quality, nutrition and flavor. His devotion to growing the highest quality heirloom vegetables, microgreens, edible flowers, herbs and more resulted in pioneering endeavors in improving the composition of the soil and water that is used on the farm.
Bob’s dream became a reality in 2003 with the establishment of The Culinary Vegetable Institute®, a culinary center that is a retreat, and research and team building facility for chefs and others in the culinary community on the grounds of The Chef’s Garden. He was also integral to the creation of Veggie U®, a nationwide not-for-profit children's program.
Bob attended The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and Bowling Green State University. As an avid reader, he amassed a personal library of several thousand copies of old and new agricultural and business volumes, all of which he has personally read. Jones attended American Management Association (AMA) seminars and was a member of several area chambers of commerce, also serving as a wellness committee member for the Berlin-Milan school district.
Bob Jones, Sr. was married to his high school sweetheart Barbara for 60 years.
Here are tributes given in honor of Bob, Sr. in the newspaper and by Lee on our blog. Discover what Bob has to say about his early memories of the farm and of winter farming. Plus, here are memories that Bob himself shared about his love of farming.