Bio and History

Farm Bio

Purple Leaf Farms is a farming project owned and operated by Jessica Rinks and as of May 2015 will be located in Chicago, IL.  We will be joining a new urban agriculture development in the City's South Shore neighborhood.  We hope that this new urban farm will be our forever farm home!

Purple Leaf is not certified organic, but we do not use ANY synthetic chemicals at the farm.  We weed by hand.  We fertilize with compost and other natural inputs.  We add to soil fertility using cover crop and green mulching techniques.

Currently Purple Leaf Farms focuses on annual vegetable, herb and flower crops.  With our new location as of 2015, we look forward to expanding our production by adding hoop houses, worm composting, mushroom production and micro green production.

We are happy to continue to serve our customers in the Chicago area.  We attend multiple summertime farmer's markets.  We also offer an affordable CSA program (box of produce each week during the summer).  We sell our flowers to people planning parties or events.  We also sell our produce directly to restaurants looking to bring fresh and local food to their customers.


2013-2014 Elgin, IL-  For two years, Purple Leaf Farms operated out of a two acre parcel located in Elgin, Illinois.  It wasn't your typical farm site, flanked on all sides by suburbia.  We loved the opportunity to push boundaries of what people expect to see in the suburbs.  Farms can operate anywhere.

In 2012 Purple Leaf moved to a small approximately quarter-acre lot owned by the Village of Forest Park in the near west suburbs of Chicago.

Purple Leaf Farms began as an urban agriculture project started by Jessica Rinks in 2010.  It all started as a restaurant garden project, with all produce being grown in raised garden beds built in a parking lot along Randolph Street in Chicago’s Restaurant Row.

About Farmer Jessica

Jessica Rinks grew up a southern gal in Tennessee and moved to Chicago in 2004 to attend graduate school for urban planning, but by 2007 her passion for growing food became clear.  She is a University of Illinois Master Gardener.  She is the co-founder of the Forest Park Community Garden.  She is the owner and one and only farmer at Purple Leaf Farms.  Jessica finally left her urban planning career in 2012 to pursue local urban farming full-time.  She has also served as the Farmers Market Manager for the Oak Park Farmers Market since 2012.