Harvest Moon Farms LLC (HMF) is a value added farm and food company that grows certified organic produce to serve the local market of Chicago. The company grows approximately fifty varieties of crops on a 20-acre farm located in Viroqua, Wisconsin. HMF also aggregates the same varieties plus other products to expand quantity and availability from the Producer’s Guild it created consisting of other farms within fifteen miles of its operation. The company is in the process of adding land to increase the inventory of products. The company was founded in 2007, run part time in 2008 and dedicated 2009 to proof of concept and creating pilot programs to sell to larger, more focused food companies.
HMF was created to help meet the needs of a nationwide growth industry, which includes supplying local and organic food. The company is not, however, merely growing local produce. In 2010, the company will add product and service offerings to create other revenue streams. To do this, it has created a partnership with Chef Bradley Borchardt (Resume available). The team will refine the existing wholesale (restaurant and retail) sales program, enhance the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) experience for the consumer, host farm to table events on the farm and in Chicago, and will begin creating value added services. There are other farms that sell to the Chicago wholesale market but none that blend high quality products, the ability to translate message as effectively to the media, and to have a chef on-staff to connect on a high focused level with those types of wholesale clients. They have created a brand which will attract buyers because of its comprehensive culinary insight.
Principal Jennifer Borchardt began the quest for a second career by interning on an organic farm in the summer of 2006. She also interned for the Midwest Organic Farmers Cooperative from December of 2006 through November of 2007. During this time she was able to learn organic farming techniques including planting, crop rotations, sustainable growing practices, washing, storage, and packing skills and direct to consumer marketing practices. During 2006/2007 she also attended the Farm Beginnings program in Caledonia, IL. Farm Beginnings is an 8-month class focused on all aspects of starting a farm business. Jennifer also has 18 years of business experience with Pearson Education managing textbook and educational technology sales. She manages all on-site farm and product operations.
Principal Bob Borchardt has a 20-year record of success in the food business. He owned and operated a back of the house restaurant service company, which he sold in 2005. He then created Cuisine Populaire Productions, a new media company which focuses on the food, wine, and spirits sectors. He has relationships with internationally renowned chefs, restaurant groups, wine makers, organic farms, and television hosts. The assets of CP provide HMF the opportunity to offer customers quality video and media content which enable them to have a marketing edge unlike any other produce business. He runs all sales, marketing, finances and distribution.