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Locals Only: Get Your Local, Fresh Produce at Brandau’s Farm Stand

Brandau’s Farm Stand just opened for its 2011 season with homegrown sweet corn, tomatoes and a whole slew of other vegetables and fruit.

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.

Nancy Osborne July 26, 2011 at 12:28 PM
We've bought Brandau's corn twice in the last week and it's wonderful !!! Our little grandson has his first sweet corn last night and wouldn't put it down!!! FYI: It's great to freeze and enjoy months later!
Alicia Howe July 26, 2011 at 08:30 PM
Thanks for the freezing advice, Nancy. Glad you and your grandson enjoyed it!
Nancy Osborne July 27, 2011 at 02:54 AM
Thanks for your comments! Just incase you haven't frozen corn before, you should blanch (put in boiling hot water) it for 2 minutes, then cut the corn off the cob or leave whole. I put the kernels on waxpaper on a cookie sheet in the freezer and after cold/frozen, then bag. It tastes so good in the winter! PS I added a photo of my little cob munching grandson to the article. Enjoy! Nan

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