Meet the Farmers
Broad Branch Farm is a family farm owned and operated by Brian and Anita Poeppel and 3 daughters - Lucy, Susannah and Laura. All 5 members contribute to the success of this diverse food producing farm no matter the age. Our family is stronger for working through both the long difficult days and the celebrations that come from the many accomplishments throughout the year.
We are passionate believers that local organic food can bring wellness and joy to our lives. We believe in knowing where our food is grown, who grows it and what growing practices have been used. We want it local, produced organically, absolutely fresh and delicious. We follow these principles in all we do to produce food for our family and for our customers. No short cuts, no compromises.
Back in 1995, Anita set up a card table full of herbs at the Naperville Farmers Market. The herbs expanded into salad greens and more vegetables. Eventually, Brian joined the effort by producing the first batch of pastured meat chickens and the rest is history. Broad Branch Farm became a popular stop at the market for organic vegetables, eggs and meat.
Anita heads up the vegetable enterprise at BBF and contributes to the livestock when Brian needs help. She is committed to producing and eating local organic food and enjoys preparing the family's meals with food produced on her own farm or another chemical free farm nearby. She is an advocate for pesticide drift awareness and is also a co-founder of the Spray Drift Education Network.
Brian grew up in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, IL and was a city kid most of his life. The change to farming and rural life could have been a rough one but instead, Brian found a passion for producing local organic food.
In 1989, Brian earned his BS at the University of Illinois in History and Political Science. He worked as a business consultant for a few years but the growing farm business needed his help. In 1998, Brian quit his office job for good and began farming full time with Anita.
Brian tends the farm’s meat chickens, laying hens, pastured hogs and grass fed beef. His favorite enterprise is the grassfed beef and he loves the challenge of grass feeding and finishing the calves. He has gone from never touching a calf to grass feeding and finishing 10 calves per season. Anyone who tries our beef will agree it is finished, tender and absolutely delicious - everything you might not expect from grassfed beef.
With tending the livestock, helping with the vegetables, maintaining equipment and raising 3 children, Brian tends to keep himself occupied most of the time.
Lucy joined the farm in December 2001 and has been a big part of the farm ever since her first farmers market at 5 months old. She is part of the regular garden crew and the team that puts together the vegetable boxes every week for 24 weeks. She is a natural leader who provides direction and instruction to people twice her age! She is skilled in the garden, with the livestock and brainstorming how to improve and move the farm forward. You will see her at our CSA deliveries handling the distribution and sales of our beautiful food.
Speaking of food, she is also an adventurous talented cook creating anything from homemade ice cream to an amazing meal for the entire family - made from scratch with BBF food, of course.
Favorite Vegetable: Sungold Cherry Tomatoes
Favorite Pastimes: Playing piano, mandolin, banjo, singing, cooking, dance class, listening to bluegrass and hanging out with her family and pets.
Susannah joined our family in February 2004 - our first growing season at the Wyoming farm. She also started her selling career early attending the farmer’s market with her family when just 3 months old.
Susannah's enterprise is cut flowers. She is growing annual and perennial flowers, creating arrangements and selling them. The arrangements are old fashioned mixed bouquets with fragrant flowers and herbs - always beautiful. Susannah is also very fond of our laying hens and always makes friends with the ladies. We count on Susannah for egg collecting and helping us when its time to load the meat chickens.
Favorite Vegetables: Carrots
Favorite Pastimes: Growing flowers, bluegrass music, horses, reading, birding, cooking, dance class and playing outside with her family and pets, violin and anything fiber! - knitting, crocheting, needle felting.
Our family welcomed Laura in February 2008 and she has fit right into our busy farming life. Her enterprise is fresh cut herbs. At just 8 years old, she is harvesting and marketing her fresh herbs at our CSA deliveries. She is motivated and head strong - a true entrepreneur!
She loves our big dogs, chickens and just being outside enjoying the farm. We can always count on her to catch those meat birds when its time to load!
Favorite Vegetables: Tomatoes – any kind
Favorite Pastimes: Anything that has to do with horses, eating good food, cooking, bluegrass music, hanging out with her sisters, growing herbs, dance class.