Vendor Profile: Lane's End Farm
Updated: May 16, 2022
"We love what we do. Our mantra is: Saving the world, one organic plant at a time."
Corey and Liz Aquino, on the farm with Foster.
Nestled between fields of corn, just south of the ever-growing suburban sprawl of Crown Point, Indiana, lies a little piece of the future. Lane’s End Farm is 20 acres of vegetable and herb farm that goes way beyond organic in order to achieve nothing less than saving the planet (one plant at a time - that’s their mantra).
When I was making my way to Liz and Corey Aquino’s place, I almost drove past the entrance to the farm, until I saw the beautiful wooden sign. It's secluded and unique, despite its proximity to conventional monoculture and chain food restaurants. The greenhouses are indeed at the end of the gravel lane, which leads past heaps of organic compost strategically placed for easy application on the fields.
Spring at the farm.
Lane’s End not only does not use chemicals on their crops – they do not use sprays of any kind. Liz and Corey, the owners and residents of the farm, use compost they make to help keep the soil healthy, as well as cover crops to regenerate and protect the soil. In fact, Corey points out that he is really a soil farmer; without healthy soil, there are no crops.
The family started the farm as a family garden over 30 years ago, when Liz wanted organic food to help her own health. Even three decades later, she has been able to avoid taking medication that others take for her same health issue, a fact she largely attributes to her organic farm. Each year since that first one, the farm has grown to include 3 large greenhouses, 3 hoop houses, and 10 acres (5 in the front, 5 in the back) of fields.
Each year also brings innovations, such as the pipes running under their new greenhouse floor, which connect to the compost heap and draw heat from the compost to keep the greenhouse just that much warmer.
Clockwise from top left: Thriving chives; keeping track of the products; the greenhouse with new floor and seedlings for sale; 5 acres of vegetable farm; lettuce in the greenhouse; a farm employee (Marina) preparing produce.
You can find more information on Lane’s End Farm on their website, where you can also participate in their CSA program. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest on their market offerings.
Lane’s End Farm brings their greens, herbs, and vegetables to market, along with plants that customers can use to start their own gardens. Here is what Liz and Corey had to say about participating in the Coffee Creek Farmers Market:
What do you love about participating the Coffee Creek Farmers Market?
It’s a good community atmosphere at the market. We enjoy interacting with the other vendors and the customers.
What are some joys and challenges of your work?
The weather is our biggest challenge. But it’s hard to even call things challenges, because we like solving them. For instance, there is an old apple orchard on our property, which we have learned helps to maintain the ecosystem balance on the farm. Even though the trees are old and we don’t get many apples, the orchard helps our pollinators, and the coyotes that can live there help to control the deer that would otherwise eat our vegetables.
We love what we do. We have a fantastic group of employees here on the farm. We teach them about organic farming, and then they learn so well they teach us! The biggest joy is when this place is full of flowers and harvest – it’s such a great feeling.
What do you want your customers to know?
Our mantras are that we are saving the world one organic plant at a time, and that we are planting today for our children’s tomorrow. This is what we want everyone to know.
Why is the local food system important?
It’s imperative. The whole food system is failing, from people’s health to the supply chain. A local food system keeps money in the community. We are able to employ 5 people full time for a decent wage with our farm. And there is such a correlation between the way our society produces food and the chronic illnesses people suffer from. A local food system based in organic principles can help keep people healthy.
Find Lane's End this week and every week at our Wednesday market at the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve Pavilion parking lot, April 20-November 2, 2022, from 3-7 PM. Check us out on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our mailing list to get notified of all of the vendors' featured products each week.