Village Farmstand is a story of resilience and innovation.
When COVID-19 disrupted the local food system, Evanston filmmaker Matt Wechsler created a platform to connect farmers and consumers. He teamed up with Susan Stenander, who became a co-owner in December of 2020.

In June of 2023, Village Farmstand was acquired by Rachael and Jesse Smedberg of Tulip Tree Gardens and became the only farmer-owned grocery store in the Chicago area. Tulip Tree Gardens, located in Beecher, Il, covers 120 acres of organic and regenerative land. The farm grows a variety of plants including produce, floral, hemp, hay and raise livestock using regenerative agriculture principles. Tulip Tree Gardens was founded on the idea that nature nurtures us.  They foster the local ecosystem and the farming network with their holistic approach to wellness. Tulip Tree Gardens is not just a farm, it's a mission for a sustainable future.

Tulip Tree Gardens

Rachael started Tulip Tree Gardens as a micro farm applying her knowledge in soil health and organic practices while supplying her local community with organic produce. And Jesse brings years of engineering experience along with a passion for nature, science and wellness.

Working together, this couple is living their dream as first generation farmers and parents of young twins. Working the land, caring for crops and their community day in and day out. It’s hard work, but for Rachael and Jesse, protecting the soil, biodiversity, and our ecosystem is a privilege well worth the effort.

Visit Tulip Tree Gardens

Watch the Village Farmstand Story