There’s nothing like keeping your stove off and indulging in a crisp, colorful salad to keep you cool during the hot summer weather.
When purchasing the ingredients for your salad, consider stopping by in Mokena.
Brandau’s Farm Stand supplies produce as local and fresh as you’ll find. Jim Brandau began the stand 28 years ago in Mokena, his son Kyle Brandau said.
Jim had previously joined his dad, Kyle's grandfather, in the farming operations in 1975. It was then a corn, soybean and wheat farm. Jim Brandau purchased land in Mokena in 1983 and began raising produce.
“My dad sold produce off a wagon on the side of the road for the first four years,” Kyle Brandau said. “Then we fixed up this barn and started selling inside.”
Kyle Brandau said that Jim’s brother, Tom, decided to partner up with Jim and open another farm stand in Orland Park at 159th Street and Wolf Road.
The farming operations are all completed by the family, with help from friends, Kyle Brandau said. All the produce is handpicked, without the use of machines, and, with few exceptions, it’s grown on land directly behind each of the farm stands.
The Mokena farm stand just opened for its 2011 season on July 20.
“We opened a little later than usual this year, because we wait until our sweet corn is ready to sell,” Kyle Brandau said.
The Brandaus also sell peppers, cucumbers, pickles, beets, zucchini, dill and other types of vegetables and herbs, along with pumpkins and Indian corn come fall. Their specialties are definitely the sweet corn and tomatoes, Kyle Brandau said.
“We’re growing a lot more heirloom tomatoes this year because they’re getting popular again,” he said. “We also grow new vegetables every year, like Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi.”
The farm’s tomatoes won’t be ready for another two to three weeks. Kyle Brandau said they’re purchasing tomatoes to sell for now. They also buy their potatoes and onions, and their fruit comes from Michigan farms. Everything else is grown on their land.
“We usually have corn up until the end of September, or first week of October, and then we stay open until Halloween,” Kyle Brandau said.
Kyle Brandau said their produce isn’t organic, but they use very minimal amounts of any pesticides.
“It’s as close as it can get to organic without being certified,” he said.
Why shop at Brandau’s Farm Stand?
“Quality,” Kyle Brandau said. “We’ve been here a long time and we have the best sweet corn and tomatoes around. All of our customers would agree with that.”
You can check out Brandau’s Farm Stand and support your local farmers from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.