P.O Box 582
Hopkins Park, IL 60944

Johari Cole and her family farm forty-five acres about 75 miles south of Chicago near the Indiana border. Iyabo Farms land has been in the Cole family for twelve years and is currently in the process of becoming certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA). Certification should be complete around mid-summer 2005. Johari leads farm efforts with support from her brother-in-law, Terry James; husband, S. Kweli; and two children, ages 1-1/2 and 11. Farm chores include watering, weeding, greenhouse work, seeding, marketing and sales. The family grows a range of fresh produce including kale, greens, melons, tomatoes, beans, peas and lettuce.

Iyabo Farms is part of the Pembroke Farmers Cooperative and the Pembroke Farming Family. Pembroke Township, located within Kankakee County, has a long African-American agricultural history.

Johari was featured in the May 2005 issue of Organic Style magazine. Click here to check out the article.

Why is growing organic a priority for your family?
Its a cleaner way to grow food for my childrens safety, my farms future and my future generations.

Whats your favorite part of being an organic farmer?
My favorite part of organic farming is being able to eat right in the fields without having to rinse off anything but a little soil.

What is your least favorite part?
Controlling cabbage moths.

Why should people buy organic products instead of other options?
The flavor is more powerful and robust! The nutrients are maintained so youre getting more vitamins and minerals, which replenish your body.

What makes your farm special?
Our farm is special because it is ancestral.

Where would you like your business to be next year? In the next 5 years? 10 years?
We would like to be farming with an institutional research base. More research needs to be done with organic farming. We want our farm to be part of that academic setting. Also, we would like to be a part of the ag-tourism stops in Illinois.

Where can consumers get your products?
Iyabo Farms sells its products through the Pembroke Farmers Cooperative at the Austin farmers market in southern Chicago, in select Chicago health food stores and restaurants, and at Kankakee County farmers markets.

For more information on Iyabo Farms, contact Johari at (815) 944-5891 or send her an email.