Seeking a More Sustainable Way of Life
Hello and thank you for taking an interest in Good Life Farms! I am Mike, and along with my fianceé Leslie, we co-own and operate GLF. We met in 2016 when I worked as a reporter and Leslie at a staffing agency. Around the same time, I became interested in grass fed beef, pasture/forest raised pork, and pasture raised poultry after a YouTube binge.
I immediately wondered, is it something I could do? Access to land is the biggest obstacle for beginning farmers. So, for three-plus years, I spent my free time researching, learning and networking with local farms and land access advocates as we tried to bring this dream to life. I believed it was possible for me, someone with hardly any savings and no land, to start a regenerative farm. With dedication, the support of my future wife and many others, it was possible! We secured our first lease in early 2020, and started with chickens, pigs and turkeys. We plan to add grass fed beef and lamb when the time is right.
We used to joke about a farm being part of our five-year plan. I wanted to work toward being a full time farmer within five years. Leslie wanted to start after five years. Turns out we started farming in year 3! For some time, Leslie thought I was nuts because I wouldn't stop talking about farming. But the birth of our daughter in 2018 further motivated us to achieve a more intentional way of life for our family, one that allows us to be our own bosses, doesn't rely on a “safe” job and most importantly, provides us and you with a transparent food sourcing experience.
Our long-term vision includes on-farm events like private dinners and family activities that bring people closer to responsibly raised food. The chance to establish a family business to pass on to our kids and provide nutrient dense, above organic meats for our family, friends and potential customers is an incredibly rewarding feeling that has brought us closer together. We hope to provide the same joy and inspiration to you and your family when you try our products.
ABOUT GOOD LIFE FARMS
At Good Life Farms, our animals live a good life, so you can too. In short, we work hard to ensure our animals live a healthy, stress-free life that results in a better dining experience and hopefully, an improved quality of life for you. We want you to know your farmers and know how your food was raised. We offer tours by appointment. Feel free to read more below and in our product descriptions about our specific farming practices.
We currently farm a few leased acres in unincorporated Lake Villa, Illinois as we look for a more permanent location. In our first year, we are raising several hundred broiler chickens, six pigs, and a small batch of Thanksgiving turkeys, all on grass and pasture with certified organic non-GMO feed.
So far, we sell to the Chicagoland area and can also serve southeastern Wisconsin as we're very close to the state line. We offer free delivery to these areas with bulk chicken orders (value of $100 or more) and for our Thanksgiving turkeys. Due to the size of half hog orders, we will deliver for a $25 fee per half. We do not ship our products at this time.
ABOVE ORGANIC, RAISED ON GRASS, GMO-FREE
We raise our animals outdoors year round in sunshine, rain and snow, moving to fresh ground frequently. This prevents sickness in the animals and the need for antibiotics, steroids or vaccines. It creates a more nutrient-dense, tender and tasty end product than most are familiar with, as all animals are allowed to survive on their natural instincts and behaviors. It's better for the environment, too, as "waste" is returned directly to the soil to feed new growth and microorganisms, rather than collected, sprayed or trucked across the country. When our animals return to a plot, it will provide more vibrant and nutritious forage than the previous time, because the soil's organic matter and biodiversity increase with every pass. Rotating livestock across the landscape enriches the soil beneath and gives the animals a better, healthier life. While industrial innovation has fed the masses, it has been detrimental to our health and environment. As we do our part to improve the local food system, we intend to connect eaters to old world flavor, nutrient dense meats and regenerative farming methods.