We are The Ryder Family Farm, a first generation farming family in the heart of The Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois. We are a family operation in the beginning stages of building our diverse farm up from scratch.
We sell directly to our customers on the farm, via our online store and at seasonal farm markets. We are diverse and naturally minded family farm that works very hard to produce our offerings in a natural, sustainable way. We aren’t just out to make a buck selling you food, we are farming to improve the land, our community food economy and the welfare of our local ecosystem while also feeding our family and a few others. We offer a bit of everything so that our customers can secure farm fresh, locally produced foods and products right in their community.
Get Seasonal Produce Reserved for You-
In the Summer of 2015 we launched our family’s first Summer Produce Shares via our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. Our CSA program secures you a weekly basket of seasonal produce (for 12 or 16 weeks), that we’ve grown specifically for you. Each year we’ve been able to expand our availability to serve more customers. For now, our CSA services Southern Illinois, Paducah, KY and surrounding areas. We are the founding CSA farm in Pope county. Read more about our how you can join our CSA here.
Raw Goat Milk Soaps-
We hand milk our Illinois herd of dairy goats and create luxurious, natural, preservative free soaps from their raw goat milk. We make many scent variations and build up our stock when the milk is plentiful in the spring/ summer. Our raw goat milk soap is available to order online in addition to at our market locations throughout the year.
Local Farm Fresh Eggs-
We have USDA inspected, farm fresh, pasture raised eggs for sale all year that come from our happy hens. We offer chicken, duck and sometimes turkey eggs for sale. From time to time we have specialty hatching eggs (like Silkies) for sale too!
Illinois Grown Fall Mums-
We are growing natural season, hardy, Illinois grown fall mums on our family farm that are for sale starting in September/ October. Our mum colors and varieties aren’t like the mums you see in stores, we focus on the unique colors and varieties but we also have traditional colors available.
We sell mums to customers at our fall open house events as well as to florists, garden centers, hardware stores, club fundraisers and more. Contact us for more info about our mums.
Our Southern Illinois family farm serves customers in Golconda, Illinois and in surrounding areas like Marion, Illinois, Carbondale, Illinois and Paducah, Kentucky.
Southern Illinois Family Farm Dreams
We are a husband and wife duo, transplants from the vast deserts of Arizona who left corporate jobs to pursue dreams farming and self sufficiency.
Nathan is a former TV Anchor & Reporter who later went on to work digital media & public relations for a major area theme park. For the past several years Nathan has taught agricultural skills in inmates at a nearby correctional facility. Nathan has plans to bring agricultural skills learning to Veterans in the area in the coming years.
Talina is a former voice and dance performer turned choreographer with an extensive work history in hospitality finance, food service management and special events catering. Talina plans to bring agritourism to the area via their farm operation.
How did the farming journey begin?
After becoming parents in 2009 we found ourselves growing much of our own food and we yearned to expand our production possibilities.
In the summer of 2014 opportunity came knocking. Nathan quit his corporate job and we left big city life to live on a large working family farm in Southern Illinois. For several years we learned as much as possible working as farm hands/ farm outreach specialists while also building our own family farm offerings on the side.
In 2017 we left farm hand work and set off to build our own farm just a few miles outside the city of Golconda, Illinois, in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest. We moved on to a rented home with 10 acres of unfenced pasture and set off to slowly build our ideal farm while chasing the dream of farm ownership.
In 2018 we planted various fruit trees and bushes. We put in rows of strawberries and asparagus, build additional livestock shelters. We expanded our CSA food basket offerings and continued to grow our farm.
In 2019 we purchased our home/ farmland and we also got approval for a planned high tunnel project.
As you can tell, we are in the very beginning stages of physically building our family farm up with borrowed tractors and implements as we slowly and sustainably grow the local farm operation.
We focus on selling our goods directly to our community, unlike many area farms. Did you know only about 8% of U.S. farms market food locally? We believe locally raised food is fresher and healthier for consumers and continue to focus on selling our products locally for our customer’s benefit.