We’re biking across America to capture stories of the
Local Food Movement – 
through Potlucks.

Bikeloc on the Farm

Posted by Robert DuBois | Jul 20, 2010

Recall all of those daily votes you cast at the inception of Bikeloc, helping us win a Refresh grant to partially fund our project?

A film crew from GOOD Magazine followed us to our picturesque potluck hosted by Marty and Kris Travis at Spence Farm near Fairbury, Illinois; we had about 50 attendees from surrounding rural and urban areas.

It’s unclear whether the Shaker Reproduction furniture, rustic buildings, happy chickens, or abundance of food has caused it, but Spence Farm always has a little magic in the air. All who visit leave having learned something about the food we eat, and feel hopeful and inspired about the future of our food system.

And do you recall Annabeth? This is where we captured her story.

We rode through hundreds of miles of corn and soy beans to arrive at Spence Farm; they are a true food-growing oasis in a sea of ethanol- and feed- and high fructose corn syrup-producing crops.

In addition to growing food on their 15-acre farm, the Travis’ started The Stewards of the Land, which brings together their and 24 other small local farms under one LLC. They share insurance and marketing costs, a common brand, and perhaps most importantly, a support network where ideas are traded and encouragement spreads.

Within the group it’s not uncommon to find a 16-year old who made a few thousand dollars last season on his melon crop, or the spouse of a large-scale industrial farmer who was able to steal away a couple of their few-hundred acres to grow food for the family and sell at the local supermarket.


Jacob said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

Incredible video – so well done!! Excited for you guys and the movement you’re creating – keep it up!

Michael Nolan said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

Robert & Aaron-

Beyond awesome. So thrilled to see the fruits of your hard work.

Robert – happy to discuss juice while flying kites.

Good Luck and be safe!


Tommaso said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

On days when I wonder: “Should I be doing more to prevent suffering, fight oppression, and help my neighbor?” I just say: “fuck it, where’s my Pepsi” and then it all goes away :P

See you in San Francisco!

Willa Virkler said on Wednesday, July 21, 2010:

Dear Robert and Aaron, Thank you so much for sending me the e-mail about your PotLuck at Spence Farm. It was awesome!!!! Wonderful pictures and text. You are doing a great job on this trip. So rewarding to everyone.
Come back and see us again, please.

Robert said on Friday, July 23, 2010:

Hi Willa,

Great to hear from you! We think about Fairbury and Spence Farm often, and we’ve been spreading the word about The Stewards of the Land

Dave said on Saturday, July 24, 2010:

Hi guys,
I met you at Break Espresso in downtown Missoula. Great to see your site and get to know a bit more about your project. Good work!

My student Morgen is doing a very similar trip from Missoula out to Seattle and Portland. I think it would be great if you all could meet up. Check out his blog site at wildandsacred.wordpress.com.

Best to you on your travels and beyond,

Robert said on Saturday, July 24, 2010:

Dave, great to hear from you! Our short stay in Missoula was a good one.

Thanks for sharing your student’s project with us – hopefully we’ll get to connect when we make it to Oregon.

Scot Sterling said on Sunday, July 25, 2010:

Congratulations Robert and Aaron on your Refresh grant and Bikeloc journey. I’m envious of your biking adventure; you have the opportunity to see the sights of an incredible countryside and meet some pretty amazing people along the way while raising awareness of the local food movement that is growing in popularity these days.

Thanks for sharing your story, as well as the photos and video. Spence Farm is truly a shining star in the movement to preserve small farms, share their love and knowledge, and inspire others who have the same passion for enjoying the bounty that awaits us all back on the farm.

Safe journey and keep telling your story!

~ Scot

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